Luensmann appointed new director of University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

Luensmann appointed new director of University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Patrick Luensmann has been named director of the University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (UNI JPEC) following the retirement of former Director Laurie Watje.

Luensmann is a 2012 graduate of the Economics and Finance Departments at the University of Northern Iowa. He began his career at UNI in the Regional Business Center as a counselor for the Small Business Development Center clients and began working with the MyEntre.Net family of programs to connect business owners with important resources. He then led IASourceLink, a joint venture between UNI and the Iowa Economic Development Authority that provides online resources to over 60,000 entrepreneurs each year. In 2021, the UNI JPEC merged with IASourceLink, and Luensmann became associate director. 

“We are fortunate and excited to have Patrick lead the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center team,” said Randy Pilkington, executive director of UNI’s Business & Community Services department, where the UNI JPEC is housed. “He has spent the past dozen years working with entrepreneurs and is well respected around the state and throughout the Cedar Valley.”

“I’m excited to continue to lead this innovative and dynamic team, and to continue fostering entrepreneurship and innovation on and off of UNI’s campus,” said Luensmann. “I’m looking forward to continuing the legacy of John Pappajohn and everything he intended to accomplish in the state of Iowa.”

The UNI JPEC empowers and supports entrepreneurs and innovators at UNI, in the Cedar Valley and throughout Iowa. It is the centralized hub where Iowa entrepreneurs can find resources, explore programs, collaborate with peers and the community, and develop their new or existing ventures. It is one of five centers of the same name in the state. The UNI JPEC serves students through UNI’s David W. Wilson College of Business and supports the broader entrepreneurial network through UNI’s Business & Community Services

Patrick Luensmann

For more information about the UNI JPEC, visit