The John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition 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 Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. The 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, or immediate family members of any of the above.

2019 Timeline

May 20: Application Due
June 7: Notification Sent Out To Semi-Finalists
July 22: Full Business Plans Submitted (Semi Final Round) & Publicity Release Form Signed
August 9: Notification Sent Out To Finalists
August 23: Final Round, W-9 Forms Submitted
August 26: Notification to Top Three Winners
September 12: Awards Luncheon

Next Steps

Visit the John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition website to find out more about this competition.

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