Iowa Innvation Challenge
Thursday, November 21, 2019

On November 18-20 the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) had the privilege of partnering with the University of Iowa’s Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Iowa Research Foundation, and UI Ventures to host the first phase of the Iowa Innovation Challenge. The Iowa Innovation Challenge will award over $225,000 during the 2019-2020 academic year to support innovation across campus and is open to all UIowa faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, and incubator startups.

The first phase of the Challenge was an elevator pitch competition which took place the past three days. The second phase of the Challenge will take place in spring 2020.

A total of 65 UI businesses pitched their ideas as a part of the elevator pitch competition, and $81,000 was awarded in prizes. Congratulations to all of the winners of the first phase of the Iowa Innovation Challenge.

Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students, and Incubator Startup Awards

Best Technology:
  • 1st Place, $20,000 | CartilaGen – Jaison Marks (Graduate Student, Orthopedics) Medical technology that is capable of preventing posttraumatic osteoarthritis.
  • 2nd Place, $10,000 | Pani Clean – Joun Lee (Incubator Startup) Develops key technological innovations to improve the energy efficiency of the water treatment process and lower fresh water cost.
  • 3rd Place, $5,000 | Juggernaut Life Sciences/ArtuDetu – Sandeep Laroia (Director of the Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology) A remote controlled medical device that utilizes robotics and artificial intelligence technology to aspirate pathological fluids from body cavities.
Best Non-Technology:
  • 1st Place, $5,000 | VerdiLife – Mahdi Eghbali (Graduate Student, Economics) Strives to make the Earth a healthier place by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and replacing harmful chemicals used in agriculture with all-natural solutions.
  • 2nd Place, $3,000 | No Limbits – Erica Cole (Incubator Startup) 3D print custom prosthesis covers for amputees.
  • 3rd Place, $2,000 | Apollo – Jon Lensing (Graduate Medical Student) A web-based platform that seeks to match physicians and other healthcare providers with hiring hospitals seeking shift coverage.
Additional Awards:
  • Best Pitch - $2,000 | Comigo – Isabel Reed (Incubator Startup) A web platform for college students to connect with cross-campus collaborators to work on their ideas together.
  • Best Social Impact - $2,000 | Iowa Mobile Clinic – Joyce Wahba (Graduate Medical Student) An interdisciplinary health sciences student organization dedicated to providing free health screening, prevention, education, and basic health services.
  • Judges Choice - $1,000 | CartilaGen – Jaison Marks (Graduate Student, Orthopedics) Medical technology that is capable of preventing posttraumatic osteoarthritis.

 

Undergraduate Student Awards

Best Technology:
  • 1st Place, $5,000 | Body Betty – Libby Chelsvig (Environmental Engineering) and Emily Leibold (Chemical Engineering) An interactive toy that teaches anatomy and physiology to girls.
  • 2nd Place, $2,500 | HeadsIn – Matt Lewis (Enterprise Leadership) Intelligent, communication application that monitors and tracks the mental health of student-athletes.
  • 3rd Place, $1,000 | Assistance Tech – Michael Westphal (Human Physiology), John Tian (Enterprise Leadership), and Zach Combs (Pre-Business) RFID bracelet key for use within assisted living centers.
Best Non-Technology:
  • 1st Place, $5,000 | Funny Nuggets – Jade Peterson (Marketing and Elementary Education) Comedy clubhouse for kids.
  • 2nd Place, $2,500 | Franklin – Blake Whitten (Entrepreneurial Management) A marketplace that invests in human potential by increasing access and affordability to income share agreements.
  • 3rd Place, $1,000 | Wanderlust Wraps – Kennedy Voss (Enterprise Leadership) & Taylor Williams (Communication Studies) Handmade boho style headbands with unique and limited edition patterns.
Best Pitch:
  • 1st Place, $1,000 | Wanderlust Wraps – Kennedy Voss (Enterprise Leadership) & Taylor Williams (Communication Studies) Handmade boho style headbands with unique and limited edition patterns.
  • 2nd Place, $500 | FEM Power – Laura Schwager (Interdepartmental Studies) An organic, plant-based, sustainably sourced and manufactured protein supplement designed for female balance and recovery.
  • 3rd Place, $250 | Level Up Sports – Josh Levinson (Marketing Management) A database connecting youth athletes to private coaches for specialized coaching purposes.
Best Social Impact:
  • 1st Place, $1,000 | Palate Pal – Ally Carey (Biomedical Engineering) A device that assists patients with limited upper extremity mobility to improve eating dependence.
  • 2nd Place, $500 | Ethi-Gal – Gabrielle Aranza (Marketing and Theatre Arts) Trendy, sustainable fashion items for women.
  • 3rd Place, $250 | Kimik Sustainable Solutions – Trent Katz (Finance) A recycling bin that tracks how many bottles and cans are being placed in the bin.
Best Lifestyle Business:
  • 1st Place, $1,000 | Golden Gloss Auto – Matthew Nicholson (Music Education) Luxury automotive detailing.
  • 2nd Place, $500 | Hawkeye Outdoor Maintenance Enterprise – Adam Johs (Enterprise Leadership) Local lawn and landscape company.
  • 3rd Place, $250 | Schneider Custom Designs – Blane Schneider (Mechanical Engineering) A woodworking company specializing in unique coffee tables, side tables, cutting boards, and other furniture using a mix of wood and beautifully colored epoxy resin.
Best Retail Business:
  • 1st Place, $1,000 | Wanderlust Wraps – Kennedy Voss (Enterprise Leadership) & Taylor Williams (Communication Studies) Handmade boho style headbands with unique and limited edition patterns.
  • 2nd Place, $500 | FEM Power – Laura Schwager (Interdepartmental Studies) An organic, plant-based, sustainably sourced and manufactured protein supplement designed for female balance and recovery.
  • 3rd Place, $250 | Sugar Fiend Sweets – Ramya Kolusu (Enterprise Leadership) Homemade ice cream, baked goods and sweets with limited edition flavors and seasonal ingredients.
Judges Choice:
  • $1,000 | Asonus Tech – Brandon Williams (Computer Science) Device that allows those with hearing impairments to regain some of their sense back.
  • $1,000 | Amateur Caddie – Bryce Prokop (Journalism) A golf accessory holder.
Keith A Starman Entrepreneurship Awards:
  • $2,500 | Avarupt – Caleb Marting (Computer Science) Custom LED lighting solutions for businesses.
  • $2,500 | FEM Power – Laura Schwager (Interdepartmental Studies) An organic, plant-based, sustainably sourced and manufactured protein supplement designed for female balance and recovery.

 

Thank you to our amazing judges!

Josh Bass – Real Estate Agent, Intrepid Real Estate
Al Bunte – Former COO, Commvault
Adrienne Greenwald - Managing Principal, VentureNet
Scott Hoekman – Principal, Next Level Ventures
Brian Ilg – Executive Director, Connected Solutions Group
Liz Keehner – Program Manager, Venture Net
Matt O’Rourke – Director, Transamerica
Betsy Starman – Education Support Services Specialist, University of Iowa
David Tominsky – Chief Relationship Officer, New Bo.co
Larry Van Steenhuyse – Former Executive at UBS Financial Services

 

Thank you to our amazing sponsors!

The Starman Family
Nick Rhodes
University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research
University of Iowa Research Foundation
UI Ventures