IOWA Magazine | 12-11-2020

Tippie College of Business Program Launches Iowa Entrepreneurs

1 minute read
The Hawkeye Startup Accelerator helps students develop their business ideas.
Brittany Caskey, Patrick Prosser, and Lane Dethrow PHOTO COURTESY BRITTANY CASKEY UI entrepreneurs Lane Dethrow, Patrick Prosser, and Brittany Caskey first joined forces in spring 2020 while competing in the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center's Iowa Startup Games.

In March, three Henry B. Tippie College of Business students imagined a service in which adventurers could rent GoPro cameras to record their vacation memories. After participating in the Hawkeye Startup Accelerator this past summer through the UI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, the budding entrepreneurs have transformed CapturePro from an idea into a company.

"Before coming into this, I didn't know much about the entrepreneurial side of business, but JPEC has given me so many resources for networking," says Brittany Caskey, a junior marketing major who formed CapturePro alongside recent finance grad Patrick Prosser (20BA) and junior accounting major Lane Dethrow. "It's helped me go out of my comfort zone and gain the confidence and knowledge I need for my future goals."

For the past five years, the Hawkeye Startup Accelerator has helped students launch their business ideas. Student entrepreneurs participate in workshops, lectures, pitches, and sessions with experienced mentors throughout the 11-week program.

After hearing the final pitches, judges award cash prizes to the winning teams.After completing the program, CapturePro decided to expand it sservices to rent out drones, provide photo and video editing packages, and offer video tutorials.The team earned second place and $2,000 for its final investor pitch, which will help fund a marketing strategy.

CapturePro was one of 15 student-run companies to participate in this year's Hawkeye Startup Accelerator, run entirely online for the first time due to the pandemic. JPEC Director Lynn Allendorf (86BS, 97MBA) says, "The students all worked incredibly hard on their businesses, and there are several poised for immediate success."

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