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Daymond John to speak on campus

BY BENJAMIN TOWAR | APRIL 23, 2015 5:00 AM

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Daymond John, founder of FUBU and cast member on “Shark Tank,” will visit the University of Iowa today for the Hawkeye Innovation Summit in the IMU Main Lounge.

Students, staff, and “Shark Tank” fans will join John at 7 p.m. to hear business tips and his story of personal success.

John is also the author of two best-selling books, The Display of Power and The Brand Within.

“The Summit is [Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center’s] biggest event of the year, which invites innovators from every level to share their business knowledge,” said Clair McGranahan, the center’s marketing coordinator.

John’s speech is the final event scheduled for the day as part of the larger Hawkeye Innovation Summit, which begins at noon.

The summit is estimated to attract 300 to 400 attendees, McGranahan said.

Tickets for the John lecture and Hawkpitch were initially free to the public, but within an hour of availability, the tickets were gone, said Nathaniel Richmond, the head of the UI Lecture Committee.

However, Richmond said those who wish to still see John speak will still have a chance. If seats are left unclaimed at 6:45 p.m. 15 minutes before the lecture, they will be available to the public.

“We sold a lot of tickets, and we’re pretty sure there’s going to be some empty seats … so if there is anyone who still wants to see Daymond John, there’s still a chance,” Richmond said.

The summit will conclude with the panel, named Hawkpitch, judging the student entrepreneurs’ pitches.

During Hawkpitch, three teams of student entrepreneurs will pitch their business models to the panel of esteemed venture capitalists.

The student entrepreneurs consist of Andrew Shao, the creator of Test Buddy, a desk extender, partners Chen Ciu and Emily Roberts, who created Western Wise, an Internet-based tutoring company, and Anthony Gair.

McGranahan described each one of them as “top students” at the Tippie College of Business. Each team will have three and a half minutes to pitch its idea, and one team will be crowned the winner.

The judging panel will consist of John, Tom Bedell, a entrepreneur and benefactor from Spirit Lake, Sarah Gardial, the dean of the business school, and John Pappajohn, aDes Moines venture capitalist and UI business alum.

“We’re more than ready to have him,” Richmond said.


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