The Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is a statewide competition where students in Iowa colleges and universities who have interest in starting their own venture can compete to win one of three seed grants in the amount of $5,000 each. Business plans will be judged based on content, concept, and viability of their business idea.

Submissions must include an executive summary (Business Model Canvas format), one page Business Model Canvas, financial projections, and a signed terms and conditions.

All students of Iowa colleges and universities are encouraged to participate. However, to be eligible as a University of Iowa student, participants must place in the Business Model Competition held on campus. The top three finalists of the Business Model Competition, held at the University of Iowa, will be eligible to compete in the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition.

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  • Full or part-time undergraduate or graduate students registered for 2018-2019 academic year at any Iowa post-secondary educational institution. 
  • Plans may be submitted by an individual or by a team of students.
  • Teams must consist of at least one student member.
  • Teams must consist of five or fewer members.
  • Business plans must be for a start-up business only (not for an existing business).


April 1, 2019--All applications due

Initial submission of Executive Summary, One-page Business Model Canvas, Financial Projections (Income Statement), and Terms & Conditions (signed).

April 1-10--Judging, Regional Competition ($500)

Each of the five regional locations will select no more than three top business plans to compete in the final competition. Regional competitions may include personal interviews or oral presentations at the discretion of the regional chambers.

April 10--Up to 15 Teams Selected to Advance

April 26--Final Statewide Competition/Awards ($5,000), tentatively set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Regional award winners will give a pitch presentation (including slide deck) to Equity Dynamics staff in Des Moines, IA. Three top awards ($5,000 each) will be presented following a luncheon event. ($5,000 winners are not eligible for the $500 regional award--only one award per team).




We are no longer accepting applications for the Spring 2019 Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. Please check back in early 2020!

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