This page contains information for UI undergrad students interested in participating in the Iowa Innovation Challenge.

*If you are UI faculty, staff, graduate student, or incubator startup please see this page for additional information.


Information for UI Undergrad Students

Pitch dates: November 19-20

  • $25,000 in cash prizes
  • Capped at 50 applicants
  • Deadline to apply: November 6


  • 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


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


    • Must be UI undergraduate student currently enrolled in 6 s.h. or more.
    • Individual signing up and pitching must be a Founder/Co-Founder and/or have equal or controlling interest in the business.
    • Businesses of all levels are accepted.


    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 to receive our training handout.



    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.


    • Best Technology Business ($5k, $2.5k, $1k)
    • Best Non-Technology Business ($5k, $2.5k, $1k)
    • Best Pitch ($1k, $500, $250)
    • Best Social Impact ($1k, $500, $250)
    • Best Lifestyle Business ($1k, $500, $250)
    • Best Retail Business ($1k, $500, $250)
    • 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