Candi Karsjens joins NIACC Pappajohn Center as Director of Innovation & Acceleration

The NIACC Pappajohn Center and North Iowa Area SBDC are excited to welcome Candi Karsjens as Director of Innovation & Acceleration. Candi will be responsible for providing business consulting and accelerator services to start-up companies and existing small businesses in all phases of business who are in need of funding, management and operational expertise to improve their chances of success. Candi will also be delivering and leading programs to improve the region’s culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem through partnerships and collaboration.

Candi comes to NIACC with over 20 years of business and industry experience. Her expertise ranges across strategic planning, business coaching, organization design, sales and marketing strategy, and team development. She has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, an MBA, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in E-commerce from Northcentral University where she also spent four years as adjunct faculty teaching a variety of graduate level business courses and developing curriculum.

Candi along with her husband Mike are serial entrepreneurs who have built and sold two businesses in North Iowa (one partnership), both in the manufacturing sector. Candi also spent several years as a strategic business consultant developing business and marketing strategies and managing projects for clients throughout the US, Canada, Scotland, the UK, and Australia. Candi will use her unique combination of skills, education, and hands on entrepreneurial experience to assist North Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs in achieving their visions for growth and expansion. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and creating a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in North Iowa.

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

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