Monday, April 2, 2018

On March 28th and 29th, the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) had the pleasure of hosting the annual Business Model Competition.

30 student teams competed over two days and $45,000 was awarded in cash prizes. The first day of the competition was for early stage companies who had not achieved revenue or won more than $1,000 in business competitions. The second was for companies with revenue or who had previously won $1,000 or more in business competitions. The winner from the first day of the competition also moved on to compete in the second day.

The winner of the entire competition has the opportunity to move on to the international Business Model Competition held by Brigham Young University, or the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition for the chance to win up to an additional $35,000!

Students who participated represented multiple areas of study, as our student businesses range from technology to health to event planning and design. This competition is a great example of multidisciplinary innovation across UI’s campus.

Congratulations to the following winners from the 2018 Business Model Competition:

Day 1 Winners:

  • $3,000 – Eric Brosch (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences/Biochemistry) for Florakeep
    • Developing an additive to floral nutrient powders that extend the life of cut flowers.
  • $2,500 – Michael Simon (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences/Environmental Science) for RC Beaver
    • A waterborne device designed to remove debris from waterways, particularly bridge piers
  • $2,000 – Isabel Reed (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences/Psychology) for Co-Found It
    • A networking platform that helps student entrepreneurs find partners, co-founders and team members.
  • $1,500 – Mallory Lefkowitz (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences/Enterprise Leadership) for FemPower
    • FemPower is a clear, organic, simple ingredient protein powder specifically designed for and by elite level female athletes.
  • $1,500: - Sief Gaber (Tippie College of Business, Analytical Economics) for BrainStorm
    • An artificial intelligence plug-in that finds information on the internet as students are typing papers.
  • $1,500 – Matthew Lewis (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Physiology) for HeadsIn
    • A mobile application that will help coaches and program directors monitor the mental health of student athletes.

Day 2 Winners:

  • $11,000 – Anthony Pham (College of Public Health) for Speeko
    • An application that measures and improves communication practices within organizations through artificial intelligence powered voice analytics and coaching.
  • $5,000 – Vako Darjania (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Art) for Vako Design
    • Vako Design creates American made and internationally recognized contemporary objects, lighting and furniture with simplicity and function in mind.
  • $5,000 – Anthony Piscopo (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Neurobiology) for Conquer Accessories
    • Hand stamped metal and fabric accessories.
  • $3,000 – Peter Easler (Tippie College of Business, Business Analytics and Finance) for StudentCare
    • Student based care for students with a wide range of disabilities.
  • $3,000 – Mahdi Eghbali (Tippie College of Business, Economics) for VerdiLife LLC
    • Sustainably transforming wood waste into wood vinegar, an organic agricultural product widely used in Europe and Australia.
  • $2,000 – Amanda Gustafson (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dance) for Premier Dance Project
    • Premier Dance Project is a dance studio that infuses tranditional dance training with athletic training principles.
  • $2,000 – Peter Seele (Tippie College of Business, Business) for Bunkstepper
    • BunkStepper is a product designed to make getting in and out of bunk beds safer and easier without taking up extra space.
  • $2,000 -  Caroline Edmunds-Diez (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Enterprise Leadership) for Kulture Vaccine
    • A punk rock and gothic clothing line that promotes local music and connects underground musicians.

Thank you to the Day 1 judges, Aaron Finn, Deanna Trumbull, and Curt Strait, and Day 2 judges, Jeffery Parsons, Andrea Olson, and Dennis Henderson.