About the Competition
The 2024 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is co-hosted by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
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 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is open to participants who meet the following criteria:
The plan must relate to an original idea for a business in operation for four years or less, or a business that is not yet cash flow positive.
The principal business operations of the business must be located in Iowa.
Company officers/members are 18 years or older at the time of entry and are legal residents of the United States.
Businesses can include, but are not limited to: technology, bio-technology, green technologies, medical, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and agri-products, engineering, and education.
The business is not engaged primarily in retail sales, real estate, or the provision of health care or other professional services. "Professional services" include, but are not limited to, services provided by professions listed in Iowa Code Section 496C.2(4).
Participants that previously have won a first, second or third place are not eligible.
Company officer/members cannot be directors, officers, or employees of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers, the Small Business Development Centers or Equity Dynamics. The following are not eligible to participate in this Competition:
consultants or freelancers who do business with any of the above
immediate family members of any of the above
2023 Timeline (for reference, 2024 timeline will be released in February 2024)
Wednesday, March 15: Application opens. To compete in the John Pappajohn Iowa Entepreneurial Venture Competition, go to the YouNoodle website.
Monday, May 15 at 11:59 PM: Step #1: Deadline for Initial Applications submitted to the YouNoodle Competition website.
Friday, June 2: Notification to all companies on whether they were chosen or not to advance to the semifinal round.
Monday, July 17 at 11:59 PM: Step #2: Deadline for Semi-Final Round to be submitted through YouNoodle Competition website and complete Publicity & Liability Release form.
Friday, August 11: Notification to all companies if they are one of the 7 to 10 finalists. The finalist companies are contacted to schedule for presentations/interviews with the judges.
Friday, August 25: Step #3: Final Round: 7 to 10 finalists will be videotaped while presenting their Pitch Deck to a panel of judges at Iowa State University in Ames. Pitches will be followed by an Awards Luncheon where the top three companies will be announced.
ONE (1) $40,000 First Place Prize
ONE (1) $25,000 Second Prize
ONE (1) $15,000 Third Prize
Additional Prizes totaling $20,000
All winners will be recognized on the website for the John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. The winners will be announced at a luncheon immediately following the final round pitches on August 25, 2023.
NOTE: There is no guarantee, expressed or implied, that any business will receive an award. If no entries into the competition meet the entry criteria, if the judges, in their sole discretion, determine that no entry has a reasonable chance for success, or if the judges determine no winner exists for that year of the competition, no award will be made for that year and the award money will be used for the following year's competition. The odds of winning a prize depend on the skill of the entrants and the number of entries received. All taxes associated with the prize are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. Prizes are not transferable.
Decisions will be made by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers, the Small Business Development Centers, the Iowa Accelerators/Incubators, Iowa Business Council, and private equity firms (the "Judges").
Judges will review all information submitted in connection with each application to the John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. Judges will consider the following factors in judging the competition: The best business "plan" is one that contains the needed components to represent and execute on a viable end business model.
Problem: What customer problem does your product and/or service solve?
Solution: Please describe your product or service.
Value Proposition: What benefits does your product or service deliver to your customers and how do these compare to those delivered by your competition?
Customer Segments: Outline who your customers are and how you plan to reach them.
Financial Potential: Describe any revenue to date and the financial potential of your business opportunity.
Current Status: Describe your progress to date, milestones and next steps.
Management Team: Is the team capable of taking this business to the next level? Are all aspects of the business covered with adequate expertise (R&D, marketing, sales, finance, operations, etc.
Judges may disqualify any application they believe violates the letter or spirit of the competition guidelines.
Judges will not sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in connection with serving as judges or performing any other services for the competition. Participants are responsible for protecting their intellectual property.
For the duration of the competition, Judges agree not to initiate a professional relationship with individuals or businesses participating in the competition. If a judge has an existing personal or business relationship with a participant, that judge will excuse him or herself from discussing, reviewing or voting on that participant and any submissions from that participant. Individuals and businesses are deemed to be participating until they have been eliminated or have withdrawn from the competition, or until the final prizes have been awarded.
All decisions of the judges are final, including any interpretations of the rules or guidelines of the competition.
2023 - Dhakai
Dhakai received first place and was awarded $40,000. 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. Dhakai streamlines the apparel sourcing process by automating design, sampling, quotations, production matchmaking, communication, auditing, approvals, payment processing, production tracking, and logistics.
2022 - Continuum Ag
Continuum Ag received first place and was awarded $40,000. Continuum Ag is a soil health data intelligence company that helps farmers profit by improving their soil health.
2021 - Skroot Laboratory Inc.
Skroot Laboratory Inc. received first place and was awarded $40,000. Skroot Laboratory Inc. is developing technological short-cuts for biotech companies – to help them create better products, faster. Skroot sells wireless sensors for biomanufacturing. Skroot Laborartory Inc. is based at the Iowa State University Research Park in Ames. Iowa.
2020 - 3D Health Solutions
3D Health Solutions received first place and was awarded $40,000. 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.
2019 — Rantizo
Rantizo received first place and was awarded $40,000. Rantizo is an agricultural tech company that has developed a platform for targeted agricultural drone spraying.
2018 — Power Pollen
PowerPollen received first place and was awarded $40,000. Power Pollen℠ is an advanced crop yield enhancement technology that enables higher productivity in seed and grain production. Preserved pollen is used in combination with advanced pollen handling automation. The preserved pollen is applied directly to the silks, on demand, to increase the yield and purity of hybrid seed and grain production. PowerPollen is headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa.
2017 — Gross Wen Technologies
Gross Wen Technologies(GWT) received first place and was awarded $25,000. GWT as invented an algal based wastewater treatment process that recovers nutrients from wastewater. The algae biomass that is produced can be used as a slow-release algal fertilizer. GWT is headquartered at the ISU Research Park in Ames.
2016 — Performance Livestock Analytics
Performance Livestock Analytics received first place and was awarded $25,000. Performance Livestock Analytics has created a data-driven, real-time analytics system for precision livestock operations management.
2015 — Innovas Technologies
Innovas Technologies received first place and was awarded $25,000. Combating one of the largest sources of energy waste in the country, Innovas Technologies designs, manufactures and distributes industry leading shell and tube cleaning technology.
2014 — PearDeck
PearDeck received first place and was awarded $25,000. Pear Deck is an EdTech startup powering active classrooms in Google Apps for Education schools by blending personalized and collaborative learning in one simple app. Pear Deck was started in 2014 and is located in Iowa City, IA.
2013 — R-pipe
R-pipe received first place and $25,000. R-pipe is a civil engineering company that makes pipe from waste material that is lighter, more durable, as strong, and is slightly less expensive than concrete pipe. The company was founded in 2013 and is located in Ames.
2012 — Iowa Powder Atomization Technologies (IPAT)
IPAT, received first place in 2012 and $25,000. IPAT is a development-stage company with an atomization process for manufacturing fine titanium and other metal powders, leading to better part quality due to the material's ability to act much like a fluid. The company was founded in 2012 and is located in Nevada. Pictured: Accepting the award from Mr. John Pappajohn are Dr. Andrew Heidloff, Co-founder, Doug Moore, COO, and Dr. Joel Rieken, Co-founder.
2011 — VSI Aerospace
VSI Aerospace, received first place and $25,000. The company combines software and air pressure sensors to alert pilots of trajectory changes, enhancing safety and fuel savings. It was founded in 2008 and is based in Ames. Pictured: Accepting the award from Mr. John Pappajohn are Dr. Jerald Vogel, Co-founder and CTO and Dr. Atul Kelkar, Founder and CEO.
2010 — Energy Control Technologies
designs, manufactures and implements automation systems for the oil and gas, biofuels, and industrial and manufacturing markets. ECT's systems improve operation safety and minimize the amount of energy consumed. ECT received $25,000 for its winning business plan. Pictured: Accepting the award, Danny Cantrell, a co-founder of ECT.
2009 — BodyViz
BodyViz, based in Ames, Iowa, creates software that provides vivid 3D visualizations of medical scans on the PC for physician education and surgical planning. Pictured: Dr. James Oliver, Founder and Curt Carlson, President & CEO of BodyViz.
2008 — Submittal Exchange
Submittal Exchange, of Adel, has a comprehensive, secure online system for reviewing construction submittals electronically. The system reduces paperwork, saves resources, and improves collaboration of architects, engineers and contractors on construction projects. Pictured: Mark Ostanik, President.
2007 — Ensoft Enabling Software
Ensoft Enabling Software, spawned by research at Iowa State University's Knowledge-Centric Software Lab, develops customized tools, provides consulting services and sells software products. Clientele includes major aerospace and avionics companies. Pictured: Suresh Kothari, President, receives the award.
2006 — iSEEK Company
iSEEK company, led by Iowa State University professors Abir Qamhiyah and Don Flugrad, develops search engines for manufacturing and design companies that sort geometric shapes the way Google searches text. Pictured: Co-Founder, Senior Vice President & COO Dr. Don Flugrad and Dr. Abir Qamhiyah, founder and president of iSEEK Corporation.
Winner Announced for 2018 Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition
Monday, September 17, 2018
The 13th Annual John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition came to a close on September 13 with the announcement of the winners at a luncheon where $100,000 in awards were announced.
Winner Announced for 2017 Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition
Friday, September 22, 2017
The 2017 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition came to a close on September 21 with the announcement of the winners at a special recognition luncheon at Drake University in Des Moines.
Winner Announced in 2016 Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition
Friday, August 26, 2016
The 2016 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition came to a close on August 26 with the announcement of the winners at a special recognition luncheon at Drake University in Des Moines.
Innovas Technologies takes the Win at the 2015 Pappajohn Iowa Entrpreneurial Venture Competition
Friday, September 25, 2015
The 2015 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition came to a close on September 25 with the announcement of the winners at a special recognition luncheon at Drake University in Des Moines.
Winner Announced in 2014 Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition
Friday, September 26, 2014
The 2014 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition came to a close on September 18 with the announcement of the winners at a special recognition luncheon at Drake University in Des Moines.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Originally published in the Iowa City Press Citizen by Aly Brown.
Ames-based r-pipe wins John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition
Monday, September 30, 2013
The 2013 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition came to a close on Sept. 26 with the announcement of the winners at a special recognition luncheon at Drake University in Des Moines.
Seven finalists selected for 2013 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Seven businesses have been selected as finalists in the 2013 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition. In the first round, businesses submitted brief information about their business plans.
Competitors selected in John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The first round of the John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition is complete. Of the 34 executive summaries submitted, 16 have been selected to submit full business plans to be reviewed by judges.
Iowa Business Plan Competition Open for Submissions
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
New and start-up businesses can enter to win up to $25,000
Pappajohn launches annual Iowa Business Plan Competition
Friday, February 1, 2013
New and start-up businesses can enter to win up to $25,000
Winners of Business Plan Competition, Lifetime Achievement Award Announced at Entrepreneurs Conference
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
October 6, 2010 (DES MOINES) A number of Iowa start-up companies shared the spotlight Wednesday, winning awards at the Iowa Entrepreneurs Conference that will help them develop their businesses.
Monday, September 8, 2008
The John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition is in its final stage. Three finalists have been chosen.