Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge is a university-wide competition with the goal to identify, advance, and support the most innovative projects on campus. $225,000 in total funding will be awarded during the 2021-2022 academic year to the most innovative ideas! The competition is open to all University of Iowa faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, and incubator startups.

The first phase of the Innovation Challenge is the Elevator Pitch Competition. $75,000 in funding will be awarded.

Contact Information
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.
Founders are required to present the pitch.
Team Member 1
Team Member 2
Team Member 3
Business Information
Undergraduate and Graduate Students Only
Incubator Startup Only:


Following the application deadline of 10/28, you will be contacted via email with scheduling options for your pitch

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.

Winners and award amounts will be announced at the Iowa Innovation Challenge Awards Wednesday, November 17 at 5:00pmat MERGE. To RSVP:

A pitch workshop will be held at the BELL at 322 N Clinton St on Friday, October 22nd from 11:30am-12:20pm. If you are unable to attend one of the workshops please email to receive our training handout. Drop in coaching hours are available from 10:30-1:30 on Oct 22, Oct 29 and Nov 5, also at the BELL. No appointment needed.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Jan Finlayson at