UNI alum wins first place at entrepreneurial venture competition

Russel Karim, a 2015 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), won first place and a $40,000 prize at the 18th annual John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. Karim’s business, Dhakai, enables eCommerce and promotional apparel brands to move from idea to final delivered products ethically, sustainably and cost-effectively through a single technology platform.

The competition, which is hosted by the five Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers, received over 50 submissions this year. Thirteen teams advanced to the final presentation round, which was held on Friday, August 25 at Iowa State University. A panel of judges consisting of representatives from the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers, the Small Business Development Center, VentureNet Iowa, and the Entrepreneurial Development Center selected Karim’s Dhakai as the winner.

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