Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

The John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition contest is intended to encourage and promote entrepreneurial activity and create greater awareness of the resources available to entrepreneurs in Iowa. We encourage innovative, new ventures to participate. Judges selected by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers will review all submissions. Participants will be judged on the basis of their written submissions and, for participants who advance to later rounds, presentations to the judges. Judges will rank participants and, subject to certain limitations, the top three will be awarded. Prospective participants must read and comply with the rules of the competition set forth below to enter and participate in the John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. The John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is void where prohibited by law.

The 2021 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is co-hosted by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The 2021 applications will open in March 15, 2021. 


2021 Competition Dates

March 15              Applications Open
May 17                  Application Deadline
July 19                  Semi-Final Round Deadline
August 9              Top Presenters Notified
August 27            Final Presentations (at ISU)
September 23     Awardees introduced at the Pappajohn 25th Anniversary Event



The 2021 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition will continue to operate as usual. The first two rounds are online applications that will not be affected. We will be sure to update all applicants if the competition will need to be changed because of the Coronavirus. 

The 2020 top three winners:


  • 3D Health Solutions, Dr. Jon Mochel – 3D Health Solutions is commercializing 3-dimensional in vitro canine cell culture lines for therapeutic drug screening purposes in both veterinary and human health applications. 3D Health Solutions is headquartered in Ames, Iowa. www.3dhealth.soutions/home-1


  • FBB Biomed, Howard Urnovitz – FBB Biomed is harnessing the latest advancements in genetics, bioinformatics and RNA virology to develop novel approaches in combating chronic inflammatory diseases, with its first application targeting multiple sclerosis (MS) therapy. The company is concurrently applying its technology to develop its disease severity test for COVID-19 patients. FBB Biomed is located in Iowa City, Iowa.

  • Roboflow, Joseph Nelson – Roboflow organizes, prepares, and improves image and annotation training data for developers. Roboflow transforms raw images into a trained computer vision model in minutes. Roboflow is located in Des Moines, Iowa.

2020 Semi-Finalist Companies:

3D Health Solutions, Inc.

Apollo Technologies


FBB Biomed

Firefly Photonics, LLC


Kimle Aquaculture

No Limbits

Pani Clean, Inc. 


Skroot Laboratory Inc.


2020 Finalists

Contact Us

Please contact one of the John Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship (JPECs) below if you have questions about the business plan competition or would like some assistance developing your business plan.  We encourage participants to contact these centers when developing their plans to help create a well written executive summary. There are also many other resources for participants to take advantage of, such as our VentureNet Iowa and Iowa Department of Economic Development accelerators and other service organizations which are listed to the right.  For general questions and inquiries please contact your nearest Pappajohn Center, listed below. 

Drake University

Bill Adamowskii


University of Iowa

Lynn Allendorf