Student Businesses to Open Collaborative Retail Space at Iowa River Landing

Foundry IRL to offer fashion, furnishings and accessories designed by emerging Iowa entrepreneurs.

CORALVILLE, Iowa (August 28, 2018) — Eight University of Iowa student-led businesses will open Foundry IRL, a collaborative retail space at Iowa River Landing in Coralville. Set to open in September of 2018, Foundry IRL will feature sustainable object and furniture designs by Vako Design, streetwear collections by Almvghty, Elevated Supply Company and Kulture Vaccine, accessories by Conquer Accessories, Yiran Li Design and Wanderlust Wraps and on-site cell phone repair by Parametecs.


Each business has already established a following through online retail, social media and local pop-up shops, but for most, Foundry will represent their first brick and mortar retail space. By locating at Iowa River Landing, which is visible to 70,000 cars daily from its location on Interstate 80, the brands will gain exposure to a broad demographic, and the opportunity to partner with neighboring national brands on special events and community engagement. The eight student entrepreneurs will also gain hands-on experience in floor design, merchandising, promotions, event management and customer service. “Foundry gives young entrepreneurs a way to share their creations. It’s exciting to be a part of the first group,” said Vakhtangi Darjania of Vako Design. Added Patrick Hagan of Almvghty, “The design of the store itself is one of our best features. It was a fun challenge to unify diverse businesses into a cohesive, design-forward atmosphere. We can’t wait to welcome our customers into the space.”


The concept for Foundry IRL arose when Iowa City real estate developer Deanna Trumbull served as a mentor for several student-led business developing retail products. Trumbull approached the City of Coralville to propose that Iowa River Landing lease a space to a collaborative of start-ups. Said Trumbull, ” A number of cities are making shared spaces for local products a key feature of retail development. This mix of edgy startups alongside major national brands makes for an exciting visitor experience, and highlights Iowa’s creative energy.“ Lynn Allendorf, Director of the Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, where the student businesses receive guidance and support added, “I’m excited to see these talented students take on this business endeavor. When student entrepreneurs integrate with the community, not only does it build our economy but it also encourages students to stay in Iowa after graduation.”


Foundry IRL is a collaborative retail and event space located at Iowa River Landing created to showcase leading companies emerging from the Founders Club, an incubator for student-led businesses within the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center located on the University of Iowa Campus. Foundry offerings include sustainably designed furnishings and decorative objects, urban streetwear collections and hand-made accessories for men and women.


Media Contact:

Patrick Hagan, Foundry IRL
920 E. 2nd Avenue, Suite 110, Coralville, IA 52241 email:
Phone: 319-771-0238