UNI's Student Businesses Win Business Plan Competition 2007

La Presnsa Hispanic newspaper and E-Holdings were two of the five winners of the 2007 Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition held at Drake University in Des Moines on Thursday, March 29, 2007.

La Prensa is owned by Carlos Arguello, a senior marketing major at the University of Northern Iowa. La Prensa is a free, twice-monthly Spanish-language publication that provides Hispanics in western Iowa with reliable, culturally tailored news and information. The newspaper, based in Carroll, has the largest circulation of all of the Hispanic newspapers in western Iowa.

E-Holdings, LLC is owned by Ben Frein, a junior majoring in computer science and finance, and Dustin O'Leary, a junior marketing major. E-Holdings develops cutting-edge software and on-line applications for public and private use. These applications specialize in satisfying the user's needs and experience. E-Holdings submitted its Facebook application in the Competition.

Eric Osmundson, owner of Contempo Solutions, was the other UNI regional winner who competed at the state-level competition on Thursday. Contempo Solutions provides a mobile platform for text-messaging business-to-consumer communication.

The Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition is an annual event held in the spring semester of each academic year as part of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Iowa Conference. Iowa full and part-time college students with an original new business idea write a business plan and compete at the regional and state levels for monetary awards to help launch their new businesses.

John Pappajohn, founder of the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers and president and founder of Equity Dynamics Inc., noted the level of the competitors and the business plans was impressive and for that reason he chose to present five businesses with awards this year. Normally, three awards are presented at the state-level.

2007 UNI Regional and State Winners. Shown are: (front, l to r) Randy Pilkington, JPEC Director; Ben Frein, Carlos Arguello, Dustin O'Leary (all UNI State winners), John Pappajohn, Equity Dynamics; (rear, l to r) Eric Osmondson, UNI regional winner; Dan Storck and Mr. Thompson, Equity Dynamics.