This page contains information for UI Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students, and Incubator startups interested in participating in the Iowa Innovation Challenge.

*If you are an undergrad student please see this page for additional information.

    FALL ELEVATOR PITCH COMPETITION

    Information for UI Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students, and Incubator Startups

    Pitch date: November 18

    • $50,000 in cash prizes
    • Capped at 25 applicants
    • Deadline to apply: November 6
    • An additional $2,500 in NSF Funding will be made available to all participating technology-based projects that meet NSF funding guidelines (could lead to up to $50,000 in additional funding).
    • Participants will also be given priority access to Iowa JPEC student interns and business consulting services to help advance their business
    • Please Note *We define "Incubator startup" as either participating in the UI's research park, or active alumni members receiving support from the UI Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory.

    PITCH FORMAT

    • 2-minute pitch
    • 5 minutes of Q&A
    • No computer or PPT presentations can be used
    • You may bring: prototypes, photos, handouts, etc. *Please note that you will not be given additional time to set these up prior to your presentation

    ELIGIBILITY

    • Must be UI Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students, and Incubator Startups. (*We define "Incubator startup" as either participating in the UI's research park, or active alumni members receiving support from the UI Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory.)
    • Individual signing up and pitching must be a Founder/Co-Founder and/or have equal or controlling interest in the business.
    • Must be an early-stage business idea with no more than $250,000 in any type of funding or investment; and no more than $25,000 in annual revenue. (*We anticipate many successful applicants will be entry-level and have no current revenue or funding.)

    PITCH WORKSHOPS

    Two pitch workshops will be held to help you prepare for this competition.

    • October 25: 11:30am-12:30pm | W151 PBB
    • October 28: 5:00pm-6:00pm | 2117 MERF
    • You will also have the opportunity to sign up at these workshops for additional one-on-one coaching sessions. These sessions will be available Oct. 28 - Nov.18 on various days/times.
    • If you are unable to attend one of the workshops please email jan-finlayson@uiowa.edu to receive our training handout.

    APPLICATION

    A one-page executive summary will be submitted as a part of the application process and is due November 6. This summary should include:

    • Product/service description
    • Problem being solved and competitive advantage
    • Current state of business, including revenue and funding received to date
    • How you would use funds from competition

     

        AWARDS

        The winners of the Elevator Pitch Competition will be announced at a reception held in Iowa City on Wednesday, November 20. Additional details regarding this reception will be sent to all applicants. All participants in the competition will be welcome to attend the reception.

        FACULTY, STAFF, GRADUATE STUDENTS, AND INCUBATOR STARTUP FALL AWARDS
         

        • Best Technology Business ($20k, $10k, $5k)
        • Best Non-Technology Business ($5k, $3k, $2k)
        • Best Pitch ($2k)
        • Best Social Impact ($2k)
        • Judges' Choice ($1k)

        *Please Note: Prizes over a set amount ($2,000 for faculty, staff, graduate students, and incubator startups | $1,000 for undergraduate students) will not be paid until the individual(s)/team meet with a member of Iowa JPEC leadership or UI Ventures to discuss how the funds will be used. Significant prizes will be distributed when set milestones are met by the individual(s)/team as agreed upon in this meeting.

        Next Steps

        We are no longer accepting applications for the fall elevator pitch competition.

         Contact us