Winners announced in the 21st Annual John Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

May 3, 2021

The 2021 John Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition was held virtually with 13 students advancing to the final presentation round, where plans were reviewed by John Pappajohn and his team.  Student entrepreneurs entering the competition came from Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.  The following businesses emerged as winners of this year’s competition, with each venture receiving $5,000. 

  • Thuy Nguyen, founder of Optic Origin, University of Iowa.  Optic Origin provides vision correction to underserved communities through an intelligently prescription match platform.
  • Mason Weh, founder of Mentoring for Change, Iowa State UniversityMentoring for Change aims to mentor disadvantaged youth ages 15-19 through sports and art to help them reach their full potential.
  • Anthony Piscopo, Hawkeye Surgical Lighting, University of Iowa.  Hawkeye Surgical Lighting has developed a light worn by surgeons that lights up tumors during a surgical procedure.