Jack Malone, a University of Iowa junior and member of the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory, hopes to build on the momentum he said he has generated with his business in the past 30 days at a business open house this week.
Malone, 20, of Iowa City, runs ML1 Labs, which designs and sells apparel and accessories that implement electronics. On Tuesday, he said he has received some seed money toward the sale of the professional grade speakers he sells through his company, Grade A. Speaker Co.
"We sell concert-grade professional speakers in a simple plug and play, easy to use, bluetooth package for consumers to use," he said. "I'm going to keep boot-strapping as I've been doing. I'm doing a lot of the design work, web work, product sourcing, even shipping personally."
Malone said he has sold more than 10 units in the past 30 days. He hopes the business open house will allow him to build on that momentum.
Malone will be one of a handful of student entrepreneurs that will display their businesses during an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory, 322 N. Clinton St. There will be more than 25 businesses on display, said Ashley Zierath, digital marketing and public relations manager at the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.
The free event which is open to the public is intended to give the entrepreneurs a chance to talk about their businesses.
"The purpose of the open house is really just for everyone to come in, learn more about the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory and JPEC as an entrepreneurial program on campus," Zierath said. "Attendees will be able to tour the facility, see some of the student business offices and learn more about the program."
Seventeen offices inside the Learning Laboratory are full, Zierath said. Typically, there are 25 to 32 businesses in the program, she added.
Those businesses that are not in offices are on a weight list and considered affiliates of the program. These businesses still receive mentoring and the opportunity to attend all networking events through the program.
Among the student-owned businesses that will be on display Thursday are Earth Accessories, a company that sells imported organic jewelry to stores and Epiphany Social Design, a web design/ social media company that helps local businesses reach their customer base through the web.