Congratulations Accelerator Winners
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

15 student-run companies from the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) Hawkeye Startup Accelerator program pitched their innovative business ideas Friday, July 31, marking the end to the first-ever virtual 2020 Hawkeye Startup Accelerator. 

During this eleven-week program, the Accelerator teams met daily to launch their startup using Lean LaunchPad methodologies. Student entrepreneurs participated in workshops, sessions with experienced mentors, weekly pitches, and lectures throughout the virtual summer program. 

“The students in the 15 startups that were part of the University of Iowa’s 2020 Hawkeye Startup Accelerator all worked incredibly hard on their businesses and there are several poised for immediate success,” said Lynn Allendorf, Director of Iowa JPEC. “This year, because of COVID-19 we had to move our entire program online.  The teams did an amazing job adjusting to this format and still were able to meet regularly with mentors, perform customer discovery and participate in our Lean Startup training programs.”

Teams presented their businesses on Friday in front of a panel of judges for a chance to win cash prizes. A total of $14,000 was awarded to winning teams at the end of final pitches.

Thank you to our judges, Scott Swenson (Regional Director, Kirkwood SBDC), Anne Price (Program Coordinator, Iowa Innovation Corporation), and Tom Trone (District Director, SCORE Mentors).

Congratulations to our 2020 Accelerator winners:

Investor Pitch Winners

1st Place ($3,000) | Downsizing Professionals | Joe Jensen (Finance)

  • Offering all the services needed when downsizing your home

1st Place ($3,000) | Students Care | Michael Penniman (Finance), Peter Easler (Finance & Business Analytics), and Jacob Newcomb (Accounting)

  • Creating a better college experience for students with disabilities

2nd Place ($2,000) Capture Pro | Lane Dethrow (Accounting), Brittany Caskey (Marketing), and Patrick Prosser (Finance)

  • A company that rents GoPro technology and accessories at reasonable prices to people wanting to capture their experience

3rd Place ($1,000) Apollo | Jon Lensing (Medicine)

  • An internet-based hiring platform that is designed to help match healthcare facilities requiring temporary positions with capable, licensed healthcare providers to help ensure all needed services are available at their location

Best Pitch ($500) Benedict's Basket | Anaze Benedict (Psychology)

  • An online farmer’s market where people can get locally sourced products on a regular basis

People's Choice ($250) Fantastikk  | Alex Hefel (Political Science and Economics), Andrew Gippert (Business), and Dylan Trainor (Entrepreneurial Management)

  • Software that allows professional sports teams to collect data on fan in-stadium spending and behavior.

 

Elevator Pitch Winners

1st Place ($1,000) Dorian Frame | William Dorian (Mechanical Engineering)

  • Providing custom glass etched frames to consumers

2nd Place ($500) Re/Fuse | Blake Quarrie (Accounting)

  • Service-based company that takes unsold produce and converts it to fertilizer which can then be repackaged as white-label fertilizer to home-improvement departments

Best Pitch ($500)Assistance Tech | Michael Westphal (Human Physiology), Myles Habits (Health Science), and Zach Combs (Business)

  • Developing a wearable solution to be implemented in assisted living communities throughout the United States

Best Pitch ($500) Get To Know Me | Souhit Varre (Psychology)

  • Aiming to lower the time it takes therapists and clients to get to know each other by sending out mood reflection questions when the appointment is booked, and that info is shared with the therapist

People's Choice ($250) | Assistance Tech | Michael Westphal (Human Physiology), Myles Habits (Health Science), and Zach Combs (Business)

  • Developing a wearable solution to be implemented in assisted living communities throughout the United States

 

Additional Prizes

Most Improved Team ($500) | Glider Electric Scooter  | Charles Boyle (Communications Studies and Entrepreneurial Management)

  • Bringing an electric scooter operation to Iowa City

Most Improved Team ($500) Downsizing Professionals | Joe Jensen (Finance)

  • Offering all the services needed when downsizing your home

Best Use of Customer Discovery ($500) | Fantastikk | Alex Hefel (Political Science and Economics), Andrew Gippert (Business), and Dylan Trainor (Entrepreneurial Management)

  • Software that allows professional sports teams to collect data on fan in-stadium spending and behavior.