This prestigious award annually honors two deserving student startups affiliated with the University of Iowa. The recipients of this award exhibit passion, devotion, and innovation in planning and deploying their startup and have either made significant progress over the years, or have made an impact as determined by jobs created, revenue generated, or other metrics. For the purpose of this award, a startup is defined as a breakout company that has been in operation for three years or less.

We are no longer accepting applications for 2019. Please check back in early 2020 for additional information on next year's award.


  • Company must be started by a University of Iowa student
  • Company must not exceed three years of operation
  • Company must be based in Iowa
  • Candidate must be the owner of the company and currently enrolled in 6 or more credit hours at the University of Iowa at the time of the application

Application process and deadline

  • Please click on link below to submit an application for this award
  • Deadline is typically in early February each year
  • Awards will be announced in April and will be celebrated at the annual Discovery and Innovations Awards, hosted by the Office of Research and Economic Development

Next Steps

Applications for the student startup of the year are due in February each year. We are no longer accepting applications for 2019. Please check back in early 2020 for additional information about the application process. In the meantime, please visit the Office of Research and Economic Development's website for additional information.

Find out more