CYstarters Spotlight: Samuel Gentz and Jacob Schulmeister

By Lindsey Murray | ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship

CYstarters Spotlight: A 14-part series highlighting student entrepreneurs pursuing their business ventures as part of the CYstarters 2024 summer cohort. Through this program, students have the unique opportunity to prioritize the development of their own startup or business idea. Each individual receives $6,500 and access to resources such as mentorship, networking opportunities, and educational sessions on entrepreneurship and business startup. 

Samuel Gentz and Jacob Schulmeister: The Tech Minds Behind Impulse AI

When cousins Samuel Gentz and Jacob Schulmeister enrolled at Iowa State University, little did they know their lives would be so closely intertwined. Both majoring in Software Engineering and members of the Beta Sigma Psi fraternity, Samuel and Jacob are now pursuing entrepreneurship together and have built Impulse AI from the ground up, a company devoted to harnessing AI to improve user productivity and streamline business processes.

Growing up near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Samuel and Jacob shared not only family ties but also an interest in technology. Samuel’s entrepreneurial spirit began to flourish in high school, where he juggled side gigs like mowing lawns and creating photo slideshows before really leaning into his passion for computer coding. When it comes to entrepreneurship, there are many things that excite Samuel. “I really like being able to come up with my own ideas and not being limited by other people or company standards. I’m really excited to just do my own thing,” Samuel reflected.

Jacob always had a clear vision of working in software engineering or launching his own business. When Samuel proposed starting a software company during their sophomore year at ISU, Jacob was immediately on board. “I want to be able to focus on projects that I’m passionate about, which you don’t always get to do when you’re working for someone else,” Jacob shares.

Impulse AI was born out of Samuel’s desire to increase his own productivity and that of others through the use of artificial intelligence.


The company offers custom software solutions, or pre-built solutions to help businesses integrate AI into their systems. They also specialize in web application development, and mobile app development.

Samuel’s focus is on designing user interfaces, enhancing user experiences, and managing the multifaceted aspects of the business. Jacob develops the intricate backend logic powering Impulse AI’s apps and services.

Their journey has not been without challenges. “There are a lot of things I didn’t really know about business before I jumped into it,” Samuel admits. Despite extensive research, the cousins have faced numerous surprises along the way, from marketing and advertising to legal and tax hurdles. They’ve also dealt with unexpected setbacks, such as an AI app removal from the Google Play Store due to inappropriate content generation.

Working with their first client has been a crucial learning experience. Developing a database analyzer that efficiently retrieves data upon request, Samuel and Jacob are fine-tuning their processes, learning the importance of clear timelines, scheduled meetings, and comprehensive contracts.

Samuel and Jacob feel that their participation in CYstarters has been hugely beneficial. They are working on their business constantly, and CYstarters has provided them with the funding and time to make Impulse AI their main focus this summer. “We’ve learned a lot about marketing, landing pages, and productivity hacks,” Samuel says. These insights are already being applied to Impulse AI’s website as they are trying to expand their target market by catering to small and medium-sized companies in addition to the large companies that are their main focus. They are actively cold-calling, emailing for consultations, and exploring new marketing avenues like social media ads.

Their SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) goals for the summer include completing their contract with their first client, re-releasing their AI app with a new update, and developing distinct marketing strategies for their diverse product offerings. “We’re working a lot now so that we don’t have to work as hard later,” Samuel explains.

Looking Ahead

As they continue to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape, Samuel and Jacob remain driven by their passion for AI and software engineering. “AI is pretty cool, but we want to make sure that we use it responsibly and in the right places,” Jacob emphasizes. Samuel adds, “We want to help people to perform tasks better and more efficiently.”

Their advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is straightforward: “You will come upon different roadblocks, but just push right past them,” Samuel encourages. “That may feel impossible, but once you do it, you’ll be able to start taking your project in new directions.” Jacob echoes this sentiment, saying, “Work hard and work smart.”

Check out the innovative solutions that Jacob and Samuel are developing and set up a consultation with them by visiting, follow them on Instagram @impulse.a.i, or reach out via email to And don’t miss the opportunity to support Samuel, Jacob, and the other members of cohort 9 at CYstarters Demo Day on Tuesday, July 30th. Be sure to register for the event at