Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has committed up to $5 million to four John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers in Iowa to fund the start up of Iowa businesses. The $5 million is part of $25 million Wellmark pledged in 2002 to designate for Iowa-based economic development opportunities.
Pictured (l to r): Tom Vilsack, Governor of Iowa; John Forsyth, Chairman and CEO of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield; Labh Hira, Former Dean of the Iowa State University Ivy College of Business; John Pappajohn, President of Equity Dynamics Inc.; and Steve Carter, Former Director of the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.
Regional Application and Assistance Process
Venture projects will be identified, investigated and recommended to Wellmark by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers in four locations. The centers are available to both receive applications and to assist companies applying for funding. Assistance may also be obtained at any of the 15 Iowa Small Business Development Centers. Entrepreneurs may submit applications to one of the four regional centers: Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, University of Iowa, North Iowa Area Community College.
Iowa State University Criteria
Each regional center may impose additional criteria as each Center best feels meets the needs for their particular region. Although all kinds of projects will be considered for Wellmark funding through the Iowa State University Pappajohn Center, projects with the following characteristics will be given higher priority: