UNI Students Win State Business Plan Competition Winner,2011

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - A University of Northern Iowa (UNI) student team has won one of three $5,000 first place awards in the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition held in Des Moines on April 22, 2011.

Greg Jass, a senior marketing major from Garner, and Therese Kuster, a senior public relations major from Boone, won for their business, SEO Solutions LLC. SEO Solutions is a comprehensive internet marketing firm specializing in search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, email marketing, social media management, and web design. SEO Solutions' primary goal is to increase the visibility of its clients' websites and improve their overall web presence. SEO Solutions is an education-focused firm that strives to manage internet marketing with a client rather than for a client.

"We are pleased to have won. We were excited about the opportunity to meet with Equity Dynamics and receive input on our business. The award money will help with the growth of our business," said Kuster.

Larissa French, a senior economics major from Johnston, and Eric Vander Schaaf, a sophomore marketing major from Maurice, were UNI regional winners with their businesses, CommishArt and West Branch LLC respectively. CommishArt is a hub in the online art market for buyers and sellers. West Branch LLC is an e-commerce business focusing on outdoor recreational products.

The other two state-level winners were Scout Pro, a software application for farmers, from Iowa State University and Responsible Transportation LLC, a meat processor and pet food manufacturer, from the University of Iowa.

Photo (l to r): UNI winners Greg Jass (center) and Therese Kuster (right) receive an award from John Pappajohn.