Iowa State University is being named Entrepreneurial University of the Year for the Americas, following an international competition held in Barcelona, Spain. Judi Eyles is the director for the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship on the Ames campus.

Eyles says, “We were excited to first be a finalist, and then to actually receive the award was unexpected but very, very awesome.”

The award was presented by the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities, which is based in Germany. It’s honored universities in Europe, Asia and Africa in the past.

“This is the first time they’ve ever done in Americas Division, so we applied for this honor which recognizes an institution that has embedded entrepreneurship across its campus,” Eyles says. “We ended up being a top five finalist in our category and ended up getting the first place prize. So it was great!”

She says there’s a wide range of entrepreneurial opportunities at Iowa State, from undergraduates to grad students to PhDs. “And then for anybody who has an idea that needs help, we have a whole group of people that can help people move that idea along, build teams, gain funding, figure out how to market, connect with mentors,” Eyles says. “So it’s really from the classroom to the boardroom.”

Iowa State ranks number-four in the Midwest and 11th nationally in the Princeton Review’s annual survey of undergraduate schools for entrepreneurship studies.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)