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 2022 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is co-hosted by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The 2022 applications are now being accepted.

Click on the "Apply" tab to get started!   

2022 Competition Dates

March 16              Applications Open
May 16                  Application Deadline
July 18                   Semi-Final Round Deadline
August 5               Top Presenters Notified
August 26            Final Presentations (at ISU)
September 15      Awards Luncheon

The 2021 top three winners:


  • Skroot Laboratory, Nigel Reuel, John Casko, Will Israelsen - Skroot Laboratory Inc. is a corporation founded in 2018 in Ames, IA. Skroot's focus is developing technological short-cuts for biotech companies – to help them create better products, faster. Skroot sells wireless sensors for biomanufacturing. Skroot's flagship product is a sensor system that allows continuous monitoring of cell growth in bioreactors during cell manufacturing processes in cell therapy and upstream biopharma design campaigns. The real-time monitoring provided by the products eliminates the need for manual sampling and allows industry customers to improve the quality of their design models, reduce risk of progressing costly conditions/products, and speed time to market. Skroot has a team of five employees and based at the Iowa State University Research Park in Ames. Iowa.

  • OpenLoop, Jon Lensing - OpenLoop is a fractional clinician marketplace that will care for the 460K patients that would previously be left unseen. The OpenLoop web-platform connects healthcare organizations to top-tier clinicians that fit the exact specifications required to deliver services. This platform gives healthcare organizations struggling to care for their patient populations, due to lack of clinician talent, the ability to access a temporary workforce ready to power next day patient visits. OpenLoop is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • No Limbits, Erica Cole - No Limbits is a ready-to-wear adaptive clothing brand with the mission of increasing comfort, confidence, and independence in those who struggle with clothing due to a disability. No Limbits' first line is an adaptive pant for amputees, with wheelchair and sensory friendly collections in development. No Limbits is based out of Iowa City, Iowa.

2021 Semi-Finalist Companies:


Continuum Ag

Mazen Animal Health

No Limbits



Skroot Laboratory

TAG Tech

In Motion Care

2021 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