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Keeping up with Altmans: Rising Senior Grant Lewis' Accelerated Summer

June 20, 2016 5:30 PM
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Grant and Team at Kinnick Stadium

Rising Altman senior Grant Lewis (far left) spent his entire junior year abroad, first in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the IFSA-Butler Argentine Universities Program, and then in Madrid, Spain at Tulane's partner, ICADE. Immediately following his time abroad, he joined a team of college entrepreneurs to apply for the Student Accelerator Program at the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa. Grant explained that, as part of the application process, he and his team submitted "an original start up idea to a panel of mentors and instructors who decided who got to participate in the program." Their team decided to develop a GPS-based digital screen advertiser for vehicles. Once accepted to the program, they began working with a group of mentors and instructors to turn the idea into a viable business.

We asked Grant to describe a typical day in the Accelerator program. He told us there was never a dull moment! "Monday, Thursday, and Friday we have lecture-based classes covering various vital aspects to starting a business (such as revenue models, partnerships, value chain, etc). Tuesdays are specifically allocated to meet with mentors and instructors. Our various mentors have expertise in skills such as software development, social media, digital marketing, website development, entrepreneurship, etc. Wednesdays we go to a pitch event called One Million Cups (1MC) where we listen to entrepreneurs in the area pitch their own business ideas, and in addition, we got to pitch our idea last week!" Through this weekly exposure to pitches, Grant and his team were able to hone their pitch skills for their business venture.

Through various events on-campus, our speakers series and a career development course, the Altman Program tries to help Scholars gain the skills they will need when they are out in the business world. Grant explained that these events helped him build his networking skills, which proved to be highly valuable in the Accelerator. He said, "We are constantly reaching out to new people for informational and discovery interviews that help us progress our idea." From a curricular standpoint, he says that many of his business classes, include finance, marketing, accounting and Management Communication, have been hugely important to starting a business.Grant and his team made their final pitch on July 21st and we are happy to announce that they won $1600 in seed money to build their business idea and expanding it out of Iowa following the conclusion of the Accelerator Program.

The Altman Program is looking forward to welcoming Grant back to campus this fall so that he can complete his senior year and share his experiences with his cohort and Altman underclassmen! Congratulations, Grant!