UNI Business & Community Services represents 12 distinct outreach programs committed to improving the economic vitality of our home, Iowa.

From an entrepreneur needing help to turn their dream into reality, to a manufacturer needing environmental assistance or 3D mold printing, and even a business needing in-depth market research to gain a competitive advantage, we have a program that can help.

Every service we provide, from regional economic development to business environmental assistance, works together towards a common goal: Building a Better Iowa. 


BCS Programs serve all 99 counties in Iowa

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2,816 students were reached through BCS programs

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63,447 entrepreneurs served via

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Institute for Decision Making

The Institute for Decision Making supplies Iowans with the knowledge, tools and guidance to take organized community and economic development actions to improve their communities, regions and the state.

Iowa Waste Reduction Center

The Iowa Waste Reduction Center provides direct environmental and energy efficiency assistance to Iowa small businesses, works throughout the Midwest to fight food waste, and provides customized painter training to Department of Defense facilities nationwide.

UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

The UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (UNI JPEC) provides a dynamic and supportive environment to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

Strategic Marketing Services

Strategic Marketing Services (SMS) conducts full-service market research to deliver customized, targeted and actionable marketplace intelligence.

Family Business Center

The UNI Family Business Center provides consulting, peer learning, events, programming, and networking opportunities to strengthen Iowa’s family-owned businesses. 

Advance Iowa

Advance Iowa delivers facilitated services, resources, and programming that assist small and mid-sized firms in the key areas of innovation, strategic growth, and succession planning.

Small Business Development Center at UNI

The UNI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides free, confidential, customized business advice in the Cedar Valley and Northeast Iowa.

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Metal Casting / Foundry 4.0 Centers

The Metal Casting Center & Foundry 4.0 Centers are nationally recognized leaders in foundry research, additive manufacturing, applied technology and technical assistance. They provide hands-on experience and training to students giving them the opportunity to work at innovative facilities with modern casting technology. Past clients have included small and large companies alike, as well as all five branches of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Intellectual Property

Are you a UNI community member with a novel idea or research you'd like to pursue? Have you noticed a product or process that can be improved? 

Enter the UNI Innovation and Disclosure Competition and win some seed money for your idea. UNI Business and Community Services, the Intellectual Property Team, and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs are sponsoring a simple competition to generate new ideas and disclosures across campus. The top five disclosures will win $500 each and receive additional support for their idea or research. The deadline for 2023 has passed, but be on the lookout for the next competition in Fall 2024.

Learn more about IP at UNI by contacting Patrick Luensmann, Commercialization Officer, at