2018 Student Startups of the year
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Two student startups were named 2018 University of Iowa Student Startup of the Year. Both startups were formally recognized at the UI Office of the Vice President for Research's annual Discovery and Innovation Awards Dinner at Hancher’s Stanley Café on April 17, 2018.

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.

Congratulations to both ABAL Therapeutics and Premiere Dance Project for this achievement. Both student teams are active in the Founders Club.

ABAL Therapeutics is a design software that aims to lighten the burden on parents of children with autism by streamlining at-home ABA therapy exercises. The student business was founded 2016 by University of Iowa students Shamus Roeder (Biomedical Engineering), Logan Grote (Computer Science, Entrepreneurial Management), and Max Salinger (Computer Science and Linguistics) during the Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center’s (Iowa JPEC) Iowa Startup Games. ABAL is determined to make quality behavioral therapy a possibility for the more than 700,000 children affected by autism in the U.S. by delivering therapy through their digital platform. ABAL has placed in several Iowa JPEC competitions as well as competed and placed in competitions nationwide and internationally. Most notably, the company was awarded the grand prize of $25,000 at TCU's Neeley School of Business Values and Ventures Competition. Find out more at https://www.abaltherapeutics.com/.

Amanda Gustafson (Dance and Business Management) and Aunica Harvey (Dance) joined the Founders Club in 2017 in an effort to turn their passion of dance into a business. After creating a business plan for Premiere Dance Project, they continued to use the resources made available to them through the University to launch their company. In June 2018, they will be opening their first studio in Waukee, Iowa and will offer classes for students 18 months and up in ballet, tap, jazz, acro, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, pointe and modern. The studio also will offer yoga and dance personal training classes. The company has also placed in many other Iowa JPEC competitions and also recently competed in the Pappajohn Student Venture Competition. Find out more at https://www.premieredanceproject.com/.