Iowa Startup
Monday, October 28, 2019

The last weekend in October we had the honor of hosting the Fall 2019 Iowa Startup Games competition. This three-day event brings together students from all areas of study to pitch their ideas to have an impact.

The event started on Friday night with 46 participants and many of them pitched an idea for a business. From there, the students selected 11 innovative ideas and teams were formed to pursue the idea.

After the formation of teams, students started planning their business. On Saturday, they spent all day assigning roles within their team, doing research, customer discovery, and meeting with business coaches to gain insight. After a full day of creating their business, the 11 teams competed in front of three judges, peers, and the community at the scenic Kinnick Stadium Press Box. The top three teams were awarded cash prizes, as well as the Judges Choice and People’s Choice winners.

Our winning students represented a wide variety of academic areas and backgrounds here on the University of Iowa campus. Congratulations again to our Fall 2019 Iowa Startup Games winners!

1st Place ($2,000.00) | Assistance Tech – Passive RFID bracelet key for assistant living communities

  • Myles Hebets, Health Science and Entrepreneurial Management
  • Zach Combs, Pre-Business
  • Michael Westphal, Human Physiology
  • John Tian, Enterprise Leadership
  • Kyle Lastine, Computer Science and Engineering

2nd Place ($1,000.00) | Of Kings & Queens – Connect multicultural Fashion Designers to multicultural student organizations

  • Elizabeth Dix, Business
  • Ayotoluwafunmi Ogunwusi, Journalism
  • Jashan Gill, Pre-Business
  • Fansheng He, Enterprise Leadership

3rd Place ($750.00) & People’s Choice ($500) | Get to Know Me – A Platform that reduces frustration with the beginning sessions of therapy

  • Mckenzie Paulsen, Communications
  • Souhit Varre, Enterprise Leadership and Psychology
  • Jacob Jones, Psychology
  • Karter Donahue, Business Analytics and Information Systems
  • Sean Diehl, Enterprise Leadership

Judges Choice ($500) | Bee-A-Keeper – Online subscription service that enables people to do something about the disappearing bee phenomena

  • Anthony Gamino, Enterprise Leadership
  • Brock Miller, Liberal Studies
  • Daniel Lunde, Enterprise Leadership

In addition to the cash awards, teams are recognized by a student group of 7 organizers who were with them the entire weekend. These students have participated in Iowa Startup Games previously and have volunteered their time to assist the teams with advice and guidance. They recognized the following teams with these awards:

  • Customer Discovery Award: Five Friendly Neighbors
  • Marketing Award: Context
  • Minimum Viable Product: HuRa Shades
  • Pre-Order/Sales Award: Context
  • Pivot Award: Bee-A-Keeper
  • Most Committed Team: Assistance Tech
  • Iteration Award: TrackMy Tummy
  • Customer Standout Discovery: Of Kings & Queens
  • Sustainability: Ecowaste Organizer
  • Most Viable Product: Code-A-Day
  • Work Space: Get to Know Me
  • Pivotal Customer Discovery: Ecowaste Organizer