North Iowa Businesses Compete in Fall 2022 Venture School Launch Day

North Iowa Businesses Compete in Fall 2022 Venture School Launch Day Main Photo

28 Nov 2022


MASON CITY, Iowa — The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center hosted Venture School Launch Day on Thursday, November 17, 2022. The Fall 2022 Venture School cohort competed in person after attending classes virtually for 7 weeks of training, customer discovery, and developing their business model alongside local entrepreneur coaches. A panel of local judges selected First, Second, and Third Place winners, and two Honorable Mention awards.

  • First Place – Bethany Fisher, Trendy Pineapple Boutique, Garner, IA. Awarded $1,500 prize.
  • Second Place – Brittany Bock, A Kneaded Break, Charles City, IA. Awarded $1000 prize.
  • Third Place – Davin Mcleod and Jared Herrmann, WhiteGlove; Mason City, IA. Awarded $500 prize.
  • Honorable Mention – Kole Witte, Northern Roots Landscaping, Manly IA; and Michael Hook, Elegant Countertops, Garner, IA. Awarded $250 prize.

The University of Iowa Venture School is a premier statewide program for entrepreneurs and is built from a streamlined curriculum developed by the National Science Foundation I-Corps at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Venture School emphasizes real-world entrepreneurship and innovation based on leading edge curriculum. Teams will accelerate the startup process by testing their business model hypotheses immediately. They get out of the building to talk to customers, partners, and competitors, rather than relying on statistics and secondhand market research.

Each team is assigned a local entrepreneur as their coach. On Launch Day, participants compete for seed money with the top team winning $1,500. In addition, eligible teams may compete for cash awards at the state level during the Venture School Launch Day at EntreFEST in Iowa City on June 8-9, 2023. The cost for the course is $299. Contact Mary Spitz at with questions. If you are a local entrepreneur interested in becoming a Venture School coach, please contact Candi Karsjens at To apply for the Spring 2023 cohort, visit and select the Mason City cohort in the dropdown menu.

The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is the expert in rural business innovation and success. In partnership with North Iowa’s Small Business Development Center, together we provide tools, support, and resources to Iowa’s entrepreneurs. We counsel both new and existing local businesses, from Main Street to industry leaders. We’re growing Iowa’s entrepreneurial culture through grade school initiatives, college and community programs, and business training and development. Contact the NIACC Pappajohn Center at 641-422-4111, or

# # #

Photo Caption - left to right: Brittany Bock; Bethany Fisher; Davin Mcleod, Kole Witte, Michael Hook.

Add to Report View Custom Report