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Iowa State University Named Entrepreneurial University of the Year

Posted Jul 10, 2023

Iowa State University continues to build its global reputation for excellence in entrepreneurship.

Iowa State was awarded Entrepreneurial University of the Year for the Americas — a 33-country region — in an international competition in Barcelona, Spain. The award ceremony was held on June 27.

The award, presented by the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities, recognizes excellence in incorporating entrepreneurial initiatives throughout the university and prioritizing entrepreneurship and engagement in higher education.

“This award recognizes our approach to incorporate entrepreneurial initiatives throughout the university and foster an innovative mindset in our students, faculty and staff,” said Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen. “We’ve created a culture of entrepreneurship, thanks in great part to the generosity of donors and supporters, including an extraordinary gift that established the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship 27 years ago.”

Achieving this global recognition shows Iowa State is the place to be for entrepreneurship, said Judi Eyles, director of Iowa State’s Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.

Photo courtesy of Judi Eyles.

“Being recognized among our global peers as the best in the Americas is a wonderful validation of the important work being done across campus to foster entrepreneurial development and community engagement,” Eyles said.

Criteria for the Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award for the Americas included leadership within the academic world, commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial concept and strategy, and outcome and impact of efforts. Selected examples of Iowa State’s impact include:

  • Cross-campus collaboration with all seven colleges participating in a comprehensive innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
  • Flagship entrepreneurial programs including CyBIZ LabCYstartersStartup Factory and Start Something.
  • Academic entrepreneurship courses and degree programs offered for undergraduate through Ph.D. students.

Iowa State is the Place to Start Something

This latest recognition for Iowa State’s entrepreneurship program is the third national or international award in as many years. Last fall, the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship received the 2022 Nasdaq Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, the highest honor presented by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, a group of more than 200 leading university entrepreneurship programs around the world.

And in 2021, Iowa State received the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Model Program Award, the highest of the organization’s four annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education awards.

Iowa State also currently ranks fourth in the Midwest and 11th nationally in The Princeton Review’s annual survey of undergraduate schools for entrepreneurship studies.

About the Pappajohn Center

Located in Iowa State University’s Research Park, the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship serves as a bridge among the university’s entrepreneurship courses, experiential learning opportunities and venture creation resources.

Founded under the premise that the center’s primary mission is to support and develop entrepreneurs in Iowa, the Iowa State Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship offers programs and services that broadly reach and connect students, community entrepreneurs, business professionals, and alumni.

The center’s two primary objectives are to create a culture that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation and to provide the tools necessary for building and improving Iowa’s businesses.