A two minute pitch

IdeaStorms are entry level pitch competitions across the University of Iowa’s campus that encourage students to share their innovative ideas with others, all while familiarizing themselves with the pitching process. They encourage students to come and share their new, never heard before ideas without the requirements of a business plan or proposal and provide a collaborative environment where students can get feedback and resources on how to make their ideas into a reality. Does your idea solve a problem in a unique way? At IdeaStorm, all UI students are invited to share their business idea in two minutes or less with a panel of judges and an audience. The top ideas at each competition will be awarded cash prizes to help take their idea to the next level.

  • Spring 2020 IdeaStorm Competitions will be held February 10 - 13.
  • The deadline to apply is February 7.
  • All UI students are eligible to participate.

Upcoming IdeaStorms

Iowa JPEC is once again hosting FOUR DIFFERENT IdeaStorms  - each with their own focus. Please review the options below to figure out which IdeaStorm competition is best to present your idea at.

Creating a better well-being through healthcare innovation
5:30pm | SC 3655

Competition focuses on new solutions to healthcare problems. Ideas may focus on a variety of aspects of healthcare, including mental health, dentistry, pharmacy, patient experiences, health outcomes, medical devices, public health and more.

Innovation through art, design, history, music and literature
5:30pm | SH 40

Competition focuses on sharing new ideas within the world of art. Ideas may focus on a variety of creative mediums such as fine arts, fashion, design, music, history, literature and more.

Inspiring change through social and sustainable ideas to benefit the common good.
5:30pm | GILH 106

Competition focuses making the world a better and more sustainable place. Ideas may be connected to eco-friendly, sustainability, social justice, crisis management, natural disaster solutions, and much more.

Exploring Solutions to everyday problems through new products or services.
5:30pm | W401 PBB

Competition focuses on innovative solutions to everyday problems. The range for this competition is wide, and covers food products, household goods, living essentials, travel, technology and much more.


**Please note: Prizes will not be paid until the individual winner meets with a member of the Iowa JPEC team to discuss the potential of their idea and how Iowa JPEC can be of assistance to the student. Milestones may be required for larger prizes. Meetings will not take more than 15 minutes.   


IdeaStorms are open to every UI student and are entry level. No prior experience or preparation is needed!  There are only two requirements you must meet in order to pitch at an IdeaStorm competition.

  1. You must be a UI student currently enrolled in courses
  2. Your idea must be new.
    *Your idea cannot be a developed business that you have already been pursuing. If you have received revenue, funding, or professional support (including the Founders Club) for this specific idea it will not be eligible. If you are unsure if your idea is eligible or not, please contact us at iowajpec@uiowa.edu


  • Familiarize yourself with the process of a pitch competition
  • Network with students from across campus
  • Win cash prizes to help bring your idea to life
  • Get connected with the Founders Club and our student innovation programs

    Common questions

    Q: If my business is too far along to pitch my idea at IdeaStorm, can I pitch a different idea?
    A: Absolutely, we encourage you to pitch any new idea you may have.

    Q: Can I pitch my idea at more than one IdeaStorm competition?
    A: No. You cannot pitch the SAME idea more than once. However, we encourage you to pitch again sharing a new idea!

    Q: I've never pitched before - do you have any suggestions on a format to follow?
    A: IdeaStorms are specifically designed for students that have no pitching experience - you will fit right in! You do not need a presentation or to prepare ahead of time and will have up to two minutes to talk about your idea. When you arrive at the event, we will share a sample pitch and some helpful tips on key things you might want to include in your pitch.

    "I participated in the IdeaStorm competition on a bit of a whim, after hearing a professor talk about it. I wasn’t even entirely sure what Iowa JPEC was. Immediately after winning the competition, I learned all about Iowa JPEC’s resources for students interested in entrepreneurship, including the Founders Club (which I joined later) and other competitions. I really encourage people of creative and strategic mindsets alike to explore Iowa JPEC – it could be a game changer, and they’ll meet you at whatever stage of the process you’re at."

    - Isabel Reed, Founder of Comigo

    How to get started

    Watch this video made by past IdeaStorm participants to see just how easy it is to participate!

    First steps

    1. Select which of the 4 IdeaStorm Competitions is the best fit for your idea
    2. Apply to pitch at that competition
    3. Think about your idea and problem
    4. Write and practice your pitch
    5. Attend and pitch your idea in 1-2 minutes
    6. It’s fun, it’s easy – if you don’t have an idea, sign up anyway because you might come up with one

    Pitch formula

    • What’s the problem you are trying to solve?
    • Give us a little story about it.
    • What is your solution to the problem?
    • Can you do it?  What do you need?

    Thank you to our generous sponsors

    Jay and Cindy Greenzweig | Health Initiatives IdeaStorm
    Nicole and Curtis Strait | Consumer Solutions IdeaStorm


    Next Steps

    Bet on yourself. The next IdeaStorm competitions will be held Feb. 10 - 13, 2020.