Innovate at Iowa State

There's a new energy spreading across campus. Innovate at Iowa State is creating a culture of innovation that will include and inspire students from all seven colleges. Curriculum will have innovation built right into it. Everyone will have access to entrepreneurial opportunities through resources like the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. The Student Innovation Center has opened its doors, encouraging collaboration among innovators from every discipline. Our deans are working with our Entrepreneurial Ambassador to introduce fresh approaches that empower our students to turn their ideas into action, their dreams into impact. Innovate at Iowa State is an invitation to all. Let's do something the world has never seen. Let's co-create the future.

These Paths Are Waiting For You

  • Traditional Entrepreneurship

    traditional entrepreneurship

    A traditional entrepreneur is a dreamer who takes an idea and makes a business out of it. Numerous Cyclones have embodied the entrepreneurial spirit — from starting an augmented reality service for zoos and aquariums to making a custom pesticide applicator.
  • Intrapreneurship


    An intrapreneur helps large corporations innovate. Our own Jenny Junker ‘19 did just that by creating an award-winning merchandising and marketing plan for a leading athletic apparel company.
  • Civic Innovation

    civic innovation

    Civic innovation improves how society works in new ways. Entrepreneurship major Lauren Jones created The Modern Milkman — a grocery subscription service targeting communities without accessible grocery stores.
  • Social Entrepreneurship

    social entrepreneurship

    Social entrepreneurship solves social, cultural, and environmental issues. In December, we will host a homelessness symposium bringing together national experts to explore housing policies and programs surrounding the issue.

“In five years, Iowa State will become widely recognized for promoting, teaching and practicing innovation and entrepreneurship for the good of our students, faculty, staff, and society.”

President Wendy Wintersteen

Iowa State’s leading role in
innovation and entrepreneurship

  • Iowa State University’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program is ranked #11 in the nation by The Princeton Review.

    Iowa State is the first public university in Iowa to offer an undergraduate major in entrepreneurship and only the eighth in the United States to offer a Ph.D. specialization in entrepreneurship.

    Iowa State was named a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps site to enable researchers to explore the commercial potential of their emerging technologies.

  • Established in 1996, the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship serves as a campus resource for students in all majors who have an entrepreneurial idea or want to create a venture of their own. Complementing classroom learning with hands-on experience, the Pappajohn Center offers workshops, competitions, internships, and other opportunities for students to engage in problem solving, idea generation, or business creation.

    Programs like CYstarters, CyBIZ Lab, and Startup Factory exemplify Iowa State’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • The Student Innovation Center, which opened in fall 2020, is a hands-on hub for Iowa State students of all programs and majors. This collaborative space provides a unique, state-of-the-art space for students to exercise their innovative and entrepreneurial muscles – to design, fabricate, test, and demonstrate ideas -- everything from culinary to lunar, and digital gaming to vehicles. The facility also includes exhibit space, print and supplies shops, a student-run cafe, office space for student organizations and a plethora of wireless access points.

standing innovation

President Wintersteen represents presidents across the nation on the first-day-of-issue Innovation stamp program.


Photo of Karen Kerns

Karen Kerns is serving as an entrepreneurial ambassador, working across the university and with the colleges to foster Iowa State’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

[Start Your Adventure] In Innovation

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