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 Director of Innovation Programs 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. Learn more.
  • 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. See more.
  • Social Entrepreneurship

    social entrepreneurship

    Social entrepreneurship solves social, cultural, and environmental issues. For example, the College of Design’s interdisciplinary option studios get students involved in a variety of innovative pursuits for the greater good, including design solutions for senior living facilities and sustainable rural communities.

“Iowa State has become a recognized national leader in innovation and entrepreneurship with world-class educational programs, activities, and facilities. Our numerous awards for entrepreneurial education demonstrate that Innovate at Iowa State is helping our students express their amazing creativity to make the world a better place.”

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 ISU 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 facility provides a unique, state-of-the-art space for students to exercise their innovative and entrepreneurial muscles—to design, fabricate, test, and demonstrate ideas for everything from culinary to lunar to 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.

innovators of Iowa State

Iowa State’s renowned faculty scientists are deeply engaged in innovative, creative, and meaningful research, making a difference state- and worldwide. In the “Innovators of Iowa State” video series, faculty innovators share their passion for positive impacts with President Wintersteen.

innovation in overdrive

Read Iowa State’s President’s Report—a testament to our university-wide dedication to interdisciplinary collaboration among students, staff, and even our business partners. “Innovation in Overdrive” serves as both an overview of the university’s triumphs in innovation over the last year and a preview of what’s to come for the future.

Learn More.

Start Something

Iowa State’s Start Something Network consists of our innovation- and entrepreneurship-centric academic opportunities, from credit-earning coursework to capstone projects to internships, for all university students regardless of discipline.

[Start Your Adventure] in Innovation

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