University of Northern Iowa

The R. J. McElroy Student Business Incubator, a program of the UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, is an educational learning laboratory designed to inspire and educate students interested in entrepreneurship and small business. The SBI program was originally funded by the Small Business Administration and private donations. These funds allow student business owners to explore business ideas with the assistance of JPEC staff and others. Current UNI students and teams of students are eligible to apply. Students from other area colleges and high schools will also be considered. Students are admitted on a semester basis and must demonstrate adequate progress to remain in the program. Students are required to participate in programs designed to increase the chances for entrepreneurial success. There are two types of incubation in the SBI — physical (full) incubation and affiliate incubation. Students involved in full incubation receive a suite in the JPEC’s facility located in the Business and Community Services building on the UNI campus. Students in the affiliate program may not be ready to occupy physical space in the incubator or the nature of the business may not warrant physical space. Affiliate businesses will receive all of the services except physical space. Students will graduate from the program equipped with the skills and experience necessary to create a positive influence on the Iowa economy and beyond.

How To Apply To The Student Business Incubator Program

The first step to being considered for the Student Business Incubator program is to study this presentation on business opportunity development and incubation. After submitting the quiz, you will have access to the application for the SBI program. For more information on the SBI, you may call the JPEC at 319-273-JPEC (5732).

Professionals who are working with SBI businesses include:
Laurie Watje, CPA
Judy Schindel, CPA
Kris Gulick, CPA
Ann Robinson & Jay Schares, PDCM Insurance
Eric Johnson, Attorney
Kate Mitchell, Attorney
Steve Dickinson, Attorney
Katherine Cota-Uyar, MA & MBA, Management, Marketing, Communications and Financing

Walls of Fame

The JPEC selects certain SBI students and businesses to honor with displays on the Walls of Fame. The profiles in these displays are designed to educate and inspire other students entrepreneurs. Here are the current honorees:

Band of Christians — Dante Marcellous Means and Travis Lloyd Smith
Carlos Arguello, Tylson Hanish, Stephen Rausch
Ben Frein
Travis Steffen
Beth Nybeck
Mark Watje, Amy Coombs Kern, and Chris Harms
Adam O’Leary
Greg Jass & Therese Kuster
Travis Augustyn
Nick Cash

CURRENT STUDENT BUSINESSES

Recycle Rite is single-stream, curbside recycling collection and handling company in the Cedar Valley owned by Brian Hoyer. The company’s website is www.recycleritecf.com and the company is located on Facebook at RecycleRiteCF. Brian Hoyer is from Cedar Falls. Recycle Rite has several employees including UNI students Rayanna Bockenstedt and Sarah Mackey. Recycle Rite entered the incubator in Spring of 2011.

Legerity Industries is an action sports clothing company that specializes in unique graphic designs for athletes and fans of action sports. Legerity means “to be quick in mind and body”. The company is owned by Kyle Tucker. Legerity Industries can be found on the Web at www.legerityind.com. Legerity Industries entered the incubator in the Fall of 2011.

Glass Cannon Games is an online game programming company owned by Ian James, Cody Bardell, and Conor Koenig. The company is currently developing an X-Box game. The company’s website is www.glasscannongames.com. Glass Cannon Games entered the incubator in the summer of 2011.

Smothers Properties LLC specializes in residential housing rehabilitation and rental as well as property management in the Des Moines, Iowa area. The company is owned by Taylor and Paige Smothers. Smothers Properties LLC’s website is www.smothersproperties.com. Smothers Properties LLC entered the incubator in August 2011.

Ian Tucker Designs is a graphic design and photography company that specializes in the creation of logos, print and packaging design, brochures, newsletters, stationary, CD cover design, and clothing design. The company is owned and operated by Ian Tucker. Ian Tucker Designs’ website is www.iantuckerdesigns.com. The company entered the incubator in the spring of 2012.

Leave a Life Legacy provides legacy and oral history services. The company is owned and operated by Laura Scearce. Leave a Life Legacy entered the incubator in the spring of 2012.

The Roast is a start-up company, owned by Nathan Wiemers, that is planning on opening a coffee shop on the Hill in Cedar Falls. The Roast’s website is www.theroastcf.com. The Roast entered the incubator in the spring of 2012.

Get in the Net is a web development company owned and operated by Levi Bostian. Get in the Net entered the incubator in the summer of 2012.

INCUBATOR GRADUATES FALL 2011-SPRING 2012

Harris Graphics provides vinyl graphics for racing and other needs. The company is owned and operated by Chris Harris. Chris graduated from UNI in December 2011 and currently works for Wayne Engineering. He continues to run Harris Graphics as a side business. Harris Graphics entered the incubator in the fall of 2009.

Cedar Valley Research Labs focuses on the development of technology products with an education adaptation benefitting populations that are most in need. Cedar Valley Research Labs is owned and operated by Bibek Sahu and is located in the Fayette/Winneshiek county area. The company entered the incubator in spring of 2011.

GS Solutions LLC is an e-commerce company that sells breathalyzers. The company is owned by Thomas Gilbert and Jeffrey Short. The company’s website is www.breathalyzershop.com. Thomas and Jeffrey have graduated from UNI. Jeffrey started a new company called Vookbag LLC. Vookbag is being tested by several professors at UNI and elsewhere. Check it out at www.vookbag.com. GS Solutions LLC entered the incubator in the spring of 2010.

Diversified Web Solutions LLC was a website development company owned and operated by Matt Rice and Jeffrey Short. Matt Rice graduated in May 2011. The company has been shut down so Jeffrey could focus on his new venture, Vookbag LLC. Diversified Web Solutions LLC entered the incubator in the spring of 2011.

West Branch LLC is owned and operated by Eric VanderSchaaf and is an e-commerce business that sells products for outdoor enthusiasts. The company’s Facebook page is westbranchoutdoors. The company entered the incubator in August 2011.

Book Hatchery was owned by Nick Cash. Book Hatchery was a web community for self-publishers to manage and sell their texts as well as maximize exposure of the material. Nick was one of the five finalists for Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 and was one of the 10 Coolest College Start-Ups of 2011 from Inc.com. Book Hatchery has ceased operations so Nick can pursue other opportunities. Book Hatchery entered the incubator in the spring of 2010.

Hungry 4 Huh? was a company specializing in selling a food product called a “kurrito”, which is a fusion between Korean and Mexican. The food vendor cart could be found on the College Hill many weekend nights. The company was operated by Trevor Carlson. The company ceased operations so Trevor could explore other opportunities. Hungry 4 Huh? entered the incubator in October of 2011.

CMB Portfolio Management LLC is a company specializing in investment management and is owned and operated by Christian Brown. The company is a registered investment advisory firm. CMB Portfolio Management’s website is www.cmbportfolios.com. Christian Brown has graduated from UNI and still runs CMB Portfolio Management LLC. The company entered the incubator in the spring of 2012.

Chamber Experience is a company that provided online access to music compositions. Chamber Experience is owned and operated by Isaac Brockshus. The company entered the incubator in the summer of 2012.

SOME FORMER INCUBATOR TENANTS

Alex Gates was the first official incubator tenant and entered the program in the spring of 2005 being housed in temporary space in the Curris Business Building while the Business & Community Services Building, home of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the R. J. McElroy Student Business Incubator, was being built. He worked on developing a real-time live web community to create music.

Nathan Tobey started a business that developed go-cart sized replicas of NASCAR vehicles. Nathan entered the incubator in the spring of 2005.

CAAL Translation Services and La Prensa are businesses both run by Carlos Arguello. CAAL Translation Services is a Spanish translation business and La Prensa is a Spanish language newspaper which covers Western Iowa and is operated out of Carroll. Carlos has graduated from UNI and works at John Deere and continues running La Prensa. Check out the paper at www.laprensaiowa.com. La Prensa entered the incubator in the fall of 2005 and graduated from the incubator in May of 2007.

Accounting Services, owned by Sam Parakkal, was a company that planned to provide monthly accounting services. Sam has graduated from UNI and now works at Wayne Engineering. Accounting Services entered the incubator in the spring of 2006.

College Pro Painters was a franchise company that was being run by Drew Kahler. College Pro Painters provides outdoor residential painting services. Drew entered the incubator in the spring of 2006. Drew later went on to start Millennial Marketing & Management in the incubator. Drew has currently taken a position with a Cedar Falls company.

College Pro Painters was a franchise company that was being run by David Beyer. College Pro Painters provides outdoor residential painting services. David entered the incubator in the spring of 2006.

Wieland Real Estate was a company that provided real estate and online textbook rental services. The company was run by Michael Wieland. Michael entered the incubator in the spring of 2006 and left the program in March, 2008.

Theater by Demand was a company owned by Joe Eibes and provided theater rentals. Joe entered the incubator in the spring of 2008 and he graduated from UNI in December, 2008. Joe now works for Mechdyne of Marshalltown doing MIS project installations around the world.

Big League Analysis provides baseball education and services. The company was started by Tyson Hanish. Tyson, a former professional baseball player with the New York Yankees organization, took his skills, knowledge, and contacts and is using them to help little league and high school ball players improve their skills. Tyson’s won third-place at the National Elevator Pitch Competition in Chicago in November, 2008. Tyson entered the incubator in the fall of 2008 and graduated from UNI in December, 2008. Tyson continues to run Big League Analysis and the website is www.bigleagueanalysis.com.

Rausch Brothers Trucking was owned by Stephen Rausch’s father and uncles. Stephen used his major in supply chain management and his work in the incubator to improve the company’s efficiencies and logistics. The company continues to be one of the largest construction trucking operations in Iowa. Stephen entered the incubator in the fall of 2007 and graduated from UNI in May, 2009. Feel free to call Rausch Brothers Trucking at their Ionia location at 1521 220th St, Ionia, IA 50645; 641-394-4384 for your trucking needs.

JIT Truck Parts is one of two companies that Mark Watje owned while in the SBI. Mark entered the incubator in the fall of 2008 and graduated from UNI in the summer of 2009. Mark currently works for Wayne Engineering in Cedar Falls and recently graduated from the MBA program at the University of Iowa.

Enderton Strength was an e-commerce business that explored health and nutrition. The company was run by Jared Enderton and entered the incubator in the spring of 2009. Jared transferred to UW-Lacrosse in 2010 for a year. He continues to train for the Olympics. You can check out Jared Enderton’s website at www.jaredenderton.com.

E-Holdings LLC was very successful in the SBI program. The company offered Internet software solutions and e-commerce sites and was owned Dustin O’Leary and Ben Frein. E-Holdings entered the incubator in the spring of 2006. Dustin graduated from UNI in December, 2007. Ben became sole owner of the company shortly thereafter. At one point in the SBI, E-Holdings was running eight businesses. Ben Frein, owner of E-Holdings, graduated from the SBI and sold its businesses to ClickStop of Urbana, Iowa. Ben Frein is pursuing other investments (in real estate) and business opportunities in Des Moines. Ben graduated from UNI in May of 2009 with degrees in computer science and finance. Here are links to many of E-Holdings websites: www.bellybling.net ; www.goldbellyrings.net ; and www.myhairstylingtools.com.

Breakaway Consulting LLC owned by Chris Harms provided alternative energy consulting to industrial and commercial clients. Chris entered the incubator in the fall of 2009 and now works for Principal Group Investments in Des Moines. He graduated in December of 2009 with degrees in investment finance, real estate and a certificate in entrepreneurship.

3Fueled focused on a biomass production and delivery system for renewable energy derived from feed stocks. The company was owned by Zach Hedrington who graduated in December of 2009 with an MBA from UNI. 3Fueled entered the incubator in the spring of 2009 and Zach has since turned the management of 3Fueled over to a new partner. Zach is pursuing other opportunities while awaiting changes in legislation to make the company more viable.

Sanctuary Yoga and Wellness Studio was owned by Kay McClure. Kay is a May 2010 graduate with a Masters in exercise science. She finished her additional yoga certifications in 2010 and eventually plans to open Sanctuary. She has taught several Cedar Valley yoga classes for several organizations. Kay has also prepared the exercise/activities for students involved in the JPEC’s Youth Entrepreneur Camp. Kay is a new mother and is enjoying time with her daughter.

Synn Clothing was one of several businesses that Travis Steffen operated while in the SBI. Synn Clothing offers clothing for 18-26 year olds interested in style, action sports, and mixed martial arts. Travis later sold the company. Travis is a co-owner of WorkoutBox.com, an on-line personal fitness training website with more than 5,000 members. It has trainers from around the world developing specific content for specific fitness goals. Travis is also a co-owner of Supplement Shelf. Travis graduated in December of 2010 with an exercise science masters. Travis’ first book for poker players is available on Amazon.com at Peak Performance Poker . (http://www.amazon.com/Peak-Performance-Poker-Revolutionizing-View/dp/0984143483/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278096053&sr=1-1) You can find out more info on: Synn Clothing by visiting Synn at www.synnclothing.com and visit WorkoutBOX at www.WorkoutBOX.com.

Band of Christians and Changing Lives Entertainment – Dante Means and Travis Lloyd Smith worked on their Band of Christians education and entertainment business while part of the SBI affiliate program. Band of Christians is an entertainment company that is dedicated to providing motivational speaking, professional workshops, emceeing, and inspirational music to audiences from any age, race, or background. Dante is a May 2010 graduate with a degree in communications/electronic media. Travis Lloyd previously graduated from Allen College. As of July 2010, Travis explored his newest business, Changing Lives Entertainment. You can check out Travis Lloyd at www.Travis Lloy.net . In Fall of 2011, Dante launched DanteNow on Facebook to highlight his change in music style.

Supplement Shelf is an online nutritional supplement business. The company was started by Stacy Chinander and Travis Steffen. The company entered the incubator in spring of 2010.

Render Orange is owned by Blaine Motsinger. Render Orange is a web development company. Blaine entered the incubator in the fall of 2010.

Solafide was an on-line community started by Bart Schmitz. The company entered the incubator in the spring of 2010. Bart graduated from UNI in December of 2011 and now works at the Maucker Union on the UNI campus.

Myers Enterprises is owned by Jason Myers and has several businesses under development including a baby boutique, a restaurant ceiling tile cleaning business, and a printing business. Jason entered the incubator in the fall of 2011 and graduated in May 2011.

SEO Solutions was owned by Greg Jass and Therese Kuster. It provided search engine optimization for small business websites. Greg graduated from UNI in May of 2011 and Therese graduate from UNI in July of 2012. In June 2011, Greg and Therese joined Doug Drees (merging SEO Solutions and TargetClick) to form TargetClick Marketing Solutions. Check out the website at www.targetclickmarketing.com. In June 2012, they merged TargetClick with Mudd Advertising of Cedar Falls. The company is now TargetClick powered by Mudd Advertising.

Commish Art is an online art community owned by Larissa French. Larissa entered the incubator in the fall of 2010. Larissa graduated from UNI in May 2011 and currently works for Wells Fargo in the mortgage department.

My Dining Hub was owned by Tony Patterson and provided marketing services for local restaurants. My Dining Hub entered the incubator in the spring of 2011. Tony graduated from UNI in May of 2011 and is now a manager at The Other Place on Ridgway in Waterloo.

Some Affiliate Incubator (Services, not space) Tenants

Beth Nybeck was a May 2010 graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art. She was in the affiliate incubator program and graduated to the Arts Incubator of Kansas City. She has been creating and installing public art for several years. Since moving to Kansas City, she has received numerous other commissions or awards. One of her sculptures hangs in the Business and Community Services building which houses the Student Business Incubator. Check out Beth’s works at www.Beth Nybeck.com.

Progressive Structures is owned by Travis Augustyn. The company works on specialized systems for underground utility construction, as well as emergency road openings, bridge demolitions, culvert replacements, storm sewers, and light structural work. Travis graduated in 2010 with a degree in construction management. He can be contacted at http://www.agcia.org/memberDetails.asp?memberID=61360

Rich Judas, owner of Wind Rich Energy Solutions, installed the UNI purple and gold 100-foot wind turbine and some solar panels on the south side of the UNI campus next to the Industrial Technology Center. Wind Rich has installed several turbines throughout Iowa. Check out the website at http://www.wind-rich.com/

Night and Day Coffee, LLC: Troy Olson and Andrew Potratz worked on coffee bean roasting. Check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Night-Day-Coffee-LLC/103536263015995 or search Night & Day Coffee LLC

Tropical Sno: A tropical sno franchise business in Cedar Falls run by Mark Iehl. Check out the website at http://tropicalsno.weebly.com/.

Eco-Taxi: Kyle Reason and Heather Hussong started an eco-friendly taxi service. It currently operates in Iowa City. Check them out on Facebook at Eco Taxi LLC https://www.facebook.com/yourecotaxi?ref=ts&fref=ts

Green’s Organics is owned by Devon Green. He produces organic pork and poultry. Check out Devon at http://harvestfromtheheartofiowa.us/?p=505

SMJ Photography & Creations: Stacey Jambura, owner of SMJ Photography, graduated in May of 2010 with a degree in early childhood and elementary education. Stacey continues to take photographs and sells her photos through SMJ Photography and Creations on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/SMJ-Photography-Creations/143532627173 or at SMJPhotography on etsy.com.

Dan Phillips Photography is owned by Dan Phillips. Check him out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/danphillipsphotography

Rough and Rigid Landscaping: Lawn and landscaping services from Nathan Mackey.

Zaneta Designs: Graphic design business by Sally Kueker.

Calving Johannsen Video: Video and photography services from Calvin Johannsen.

Cedar Falls Concrete RX: Business owned by Jane Richtsmeier.

Gaa-God-Goo-Goo LLC: Rebecca Lueth designed various baby items.

Dank Basement: Greg Robinson worked on graphic design and artist promotions.

House Entertainment is an entertainment venue and food business owned by Andre Tate.

Motherly Love Babysitting Service: Babysitting services provided by Lauren Waman.

K-Rizon, Inc.: A wireless store started by Drew Kahler and Jake Brunsceon.

Roggendorf Pickups: Jeff Roggendorf runs a business that builds custom guitar pickups. Jeff was also a SBI tenant in the fall of 2011.

R & L Pallets is owned by brothers, Lee and Ross Corkery.

International Sequestration Technologies: Tim J. Miller worked on CO2 mitigation and sequestration.

MyMemAide: Matt Nelson worked on memory tools for speech pathologists and counselors.

JR Productions: Jeremy Roberts worked on an e-commerce business for audio theaters.

Templeton Tailgate: Bloody Mary mix produced by James Hanken. The company is currently changing its name. It is located in Templeton, Iowa.

Andrew Elthon is currently working on a Facebook app.

Adverse Intelligence is a design business owned by Evan Shultz.

Wheel and Tire Outfitters: An e-commerce site developed by Spencer Krogh and Jared Southerland. Check out the company website at http://www.wheelandtireoutfitters.com/default.aspx

Eco Food Pet Food: Luke Henson worked on eco-friendly fish food.

Owen Sadewasser is working on a liquor store.

Josh Koppes is working on an organic restaurant.

Melody Nichols is working on a green clothing line.

Grochurries: A grocery delivery business by Jake Kopriva.

Phillips Honey: Honey production by Mitchell Phillips.

Our Dearly Beloved: Thomas Leonard started an internet community service. Thomas entered the incubator in the spring of 2008.

Fortuis E-Services: Hitesh Juneja, Forrest Dawkins, and Ehrich Pakala entered the incubator with their business in the spring of 2008.

Easy Street Education Services & Technologies: Erica Elliott started a business that provides education software. Erica entered the incubator in the fall of 2008. She has moved out of state to pursue other opportunities.

Utility Refund Specialists: Brandon Pearson started a commercial energy auditing service. Brandon entered the incubator in the fall of 2009.

Hoyer Senior Services: Brian Hoyer provides services to seniors. Brian entered the incubator with Hoyer Senior Services in the fall of 2008.

Skyed Limited: Nathan Wiemers started a business that provides ultimate Frisbee products. Nathan entered the incubator program with Skyed Limited in the spring of 2010.

Rea Gold Boutique: Zanetta, Shaleice, and Shaletta Miller started an e-commerce clothing line. Zanetta entered the incubator in the spring of 2010.

Photoconception provides corporate visual identity. Photoconception is owned by Chris Varzavand, who will graduate in December 2012.