About

The Iowa Innovation Challenge will help bring over $250,000 in total funding to be awarded during the 2019-2020 academic year across the University of Iowa's campus. The Challenge is a university-wide competition with the goal to identify, advance and support the most innovative and entrepreneurial projects on campus.

This competition is offered in partnership between the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, University of Iowa’s Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Iowa Research Foundation, and UI Ventures.

The first phase, an Elevator Pitch Competition, was held in fall 2019 and awarded $81,000 in prizes. The second phase, a Business Model Competition, will be held in spring 2020 and will award $169,000 in additional prizes.

Pitch workshops will be held prior to both competitions to help individuals/teams prepare.

This competition is open to all University of Iowa:

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Graduate students
  • Undergraduate students
  • Incubator startups
  • UI Program or Academic Alumni
     

    *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.

    * We define "UI Program or Academic Alumni" as either having previously been enrolled as a student at UI, or having participated in an Iowa JPEC outreach program. These outreach programs include Venture School alumni, Business Consulting Clients, Small Business Development Center Clients, and businesses who employed a student intern through our Iowa Innovation Associates program.

How it works

Our spring Business Model Competition will be accepting applications until March 27, 2020. To begin your application, please select the category below you fit best based on your relationship to the University of Iowa.

Faculty, staff, graduate students, incubator startups

  • Deadline to apply is March 27
  • $70,000 in prizes available
  • Applications will be reviewed and 10 finalists will be selected to advance and pitch to judges on April 14
  • All finalists will receive $1,000 for advancing
  • Finalist will be given coaching and guidance on how to prepare for their pitch
  • Now accepting applications!

Find out more

Undergrad students

 

  • Deadline to apply is March 27
  • $74,000 in prizes available
  • Applications will be reviewed and 20 finalists will be selected to advance and pitch to judges on April 13
  • All finalists will receive $1,000 for advancing
  • Finalist will be given coaching and guidance on how to prepare for their pitch
  • Now accepting applications!

Find out more

UI Program and Academic Alumni

  • Deadline to apply is March 27
  • $25,000 in prizes available
  • Applications will be reviewed and 10 finalists will be selected to advance to the competition.
  • Winners will be announced and top video submissions will be viewed and voted on by public for people's choice award at the Iowa Innovation and Entrepreneurship Honors on April 23.
  • Now accepting applications!

Find out more

 

 

iic sponsors final

Thank you to our generous sponsors

Dennis and Margaret Sparks
Merle and Marian Volding
Al and Diane Bunte
Family of Don Guthrie

Next Steps

The deadline to apply for the spring Iowa Innovation Challenge Business Model Competition is March 27, 2020.

Contact us