Applications now open for Spring 2021 Venture School

The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is now accepting applications for the Spring 2021 cohort of the University of Iowa’s Venture School program. The Spring 2021 program will be held as a hybrid in-person/online on Thursday evenings, and will kick-off live on February 4th at the NIACC Pappajohn Center and continue virtually for the next 7 weeks through March 25th.

The University of Iowa's 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 a leading-edge curriculum. You will encounter the chaos and uncertainty of creating new ventures while also being challenged to create your new business model, make pivots or preserve your original plans based on your discovery.

Spring 2021 Venture School classes will be held as a hybrid class with a combination of in-person and online weekly classes via Zoom. In-person classes will meet on the NIACC campus February 4th for orientation and March 25th for the Launch Day Pitch Competition. In-person classes will adhere to CDC guidelines which require wearing masks and physical distancing. All other weekly classes will be held online via Zoom.

Each Venture School team will be assigned a local entrepreneur as their mentor. Participating teams will be eligible to compete for cash awards both locally and at the state level during the Venture School launch day at EntreFEST 2021. Last year’s Mason City graduates were awarded $13,000 in prize money during the 2020 EntreFEST pitch competition. The cost for the course is $299 (for two team members).

Contact Candi Karsjens at with questions or if you are a local entrepreneur interested in becoming a Venture School mentor. To apply for the Spring 2021 cohort, visit and select the Mason City cohort in the drop-down menu. The deadline to apply is January 25th.

Apply Now for the Spring 2021 Venture School


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