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Pappajohn Scholarship Program

Spring 2000 Pappajohn Scholarship Winners

Spring 2000 Pappajohn Scholarship Winners
(l to r): Todd Williams; Matthew Bormann; Heather Johnson; Joe Bradley; and Chris Bruner

Matthew Bormann(Ag Business); Joe Bradley(Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering); Christopher Bruner(Industrial Manufacturing Systems Engineering and MBA); Heather Buchanan Johnson(Veterinary Medicine); and Todd Williams(Veterinary Medicine) were all named as this spring's John and Mary Pappajohn Scholars. Each was the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship. All five of these students have had their own unique experiences in the world of entrepreneurship. These young leaders are the future of entrepreneurship.

These five ISU students have one thing in common. All have unique experiences in the field of entrepreneurship. Take Joe Bradley, for instance, who is developing "Smart" toys. "Smart" toys are a new emerging market of high functionality electronic toys. Bradley calls it "pretty awesome technology." Bradley says, "I have a patent on one product that I would like to produce, and I have a vast portfolio of new concepts and technologies. I am also working in graduate school on a few new products."

Heather Johnson is busy providing in-home care for companion animals while their owners are away. Johnson says, "Many people feel guilty locking their animal up in a kennel while they go on vacation. My service alleviates this guilt and provides a humane, compassionate aternative." Johnson, who owns and runs "All Creatures Great & Small Pet Sitting Service" started the business in August 1999 and made her first dollar in October 1999. Johnson intends to continue with this service until she graduates from vet school.

Matt Bormann has a share in his dad's beef cattle feedlot and operates his own custom round bailing business. Bormann says he started the business last winter. "Dad and I had a hard time hiring a farmer who could help us with our custom round bailing. After thinking about it, I decided to buy my own round baler. I do bailing jobs within a 30-mile radius of our Livermore, Iowa, farm." But this isn't all Bormann has his sights set on. "Ultimately after graduation, I want to farm. I want my farm to be a well-diversified business. I would to start a beef cattle feedlot where farmers or investors can invest their money in cattle. I will provide the feed, labor, facilities, and management. There aren't many feedyards in Iowa that do this. They are mainly located in Kansas and Nebraska."

These students agree that there are many resources that have benefitted them that are available to students. Among those mentioned are entrepreneurship courses where students create a comprehensive business plan, the SBDC and SCORE, the Pappajohn Center, and the SBDC's "Smart Start" business start-up workshops.

The students gave an indication of their future goals. Bradley reveals, "I am definitely going to start my own toy company in the near future. I would like to star my company after graduation if I can get funding to produce my first product. I am sure that this product will sell well enough for me to finance my company. If I am not able to start my company right away, I will plan on working as a research scientist somewhere or going back for a Ph.D or MBA."

Johnson says, "Upon graduation from vet school, I plan on opening my own veterinary clinic. I believe that there is a need for vets who can treat exotic companion animals(lizards, birds, etc.) so I intend on opening an exotic animal clinic. I will incorporate the pet-sitting idea into the clinic, because I see how important it is for pet owners to have their pets taken care of in their own home by a responsible individual. After that, the sky is the limit!"

Bormann adds, "My future goal is to work on my own. I would like to eventually get my retained ownership feedyard started."

The students agreed that their efforts could impact entrepreneurial efforts in the state of Iowa. Bradley commented, "I believe that entreprenerial efforts are the backbone for a growing economy. Since my company is developing new technology and products, we can grow and create new jobs and new opportunities."

Johnson added her perspective, "Hopefully, I will encourage people, especially women, to try to act on their idea and start a business of their own. Also, I hope that I have opened the eyes of veterinary students who are often so focused on learning what's in their textbooks, that they don't realize how much learning can be done in the real world with your own business."

Chris Bruner and his brothers have a company that supplies operational systems for the amusement industry.

Todd Williams is a student in the College of Veterinary Medicine.