spring 2020 ideastorm
Friday, February 14, 2020

The week of February 10-13, the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) hosted four uniquely focused IdeaStorm competitions across the University of Iowa campus.

IdeaStorms are entry-level pitch competitions open to all UI students. These competitions are designed to introduce students to innovation by encouraging them to share their idea in two minutes or less with their peers and a panel of judges. Students do not need a business plan, prior pitching experience, or a presentation to pitch - this allows students to have a soft introduction to the world of entrepreneurship.

A total of 91 individuals joined us at these competitions where they heard pitches for nearly 50 new business ideas. These students represented a variety of majors and areas of study making these competitions a great example of multidisciplinary innovation across UI's campus. The top ideas selected by judges were awarded cash prizes at each competition, as well as a People's Choice award that was selected by students who attended the event.

As you will see below this semesters winning students represented a wide variety of academic areas. Congratulations once again to our Spring 2020 IdeaStorm winners!

Health Initiatives IdeaStorm – February 10 - Hosted in the Seamans Centerstudents shared ideas that aim to help create better well-being through health care innovation

  • 1st Place, $500 |  Aaron Silva (Engineering)
    • A catheter with fiber optics within it that allows for disinfection
  • 2nd Place, $400 | Anna Fox (Interdepartmental Studies and Pre-Dentistry)
    • A safer way for mobile dentistry clinics to dispose of biohazardous waste
  • 3rd Place, $300 | Ian Steinbrech (Enterprise Leadership)
    • Facetime for people who suffer from depression contemplating suicide
  • People’s Choice, $150 | Keri McKewen (Engineering)
    • Workout app for people with mobility limitations

Creative Concepts IdeaStorm – February 11 – Hosted in Schaeffer Hall | students shared ideas that focus on a variety of creative mediums such as fine arts, fashion, design, music, history, literature and more.

  • 1st Place, $500 | Stephanie Zullo (Pre-Business)
    • Lingerie Shapewear
  • 2nd Place, $400 | Addie Bushnell (English and Creative Writing)
    • Hawkeye Publishing Press, an opportunity for students to publish and sell works in local bookstores
  • 3rd Place, $300 | Jacob Zobel (Graduate Student, Business Analytics)
    • Golf club customization
  • Judges Choice, $200 | Mitchell Kabenda (Global Studies)
    • An East African apparel line
  • People’s Choice, $150 | Emma Sherlock (Marketing)
    • Changeable and removable walker wheels to adapt to different terrain

Common Good IdeaStorm – February 12 - Hosted in Gilmore Hall | students shared ideas that inspire change through social and sustainable solutions that benefit the common good

  • 1st Place, $500 | Ethan Bennett (Computer Science)
    • An app encouraging socialization between users by turning talking to each other into a game
  • 2nd Place, $400 | Anaze Benedict (Psychology)
    • Online farmer’s market featuring locally sourced foods in eco-friendly packaging
  • 3rd Place, $300 | Erika Law (Management)
    • Food Cents – Educational game for elementary students about nutrition and calories
  • 4th Place, $200 | Logan Fonken (Management)
    • Lugnut stopper
  • 5th Place, $100 (tie) | Paris Sissel (Marketing)
    • Use recycled plastics from the ocean to make furniture
  • 5th Place, $100 (tie) | Nicholas May (Pre-Law)
    • Living essentials made out of biodegradable bamboo
  • People’s Choice, $150 | Erika Law (Management)
    • Food Cents – Educational game for elementary students about nutrition and calories
  • Honorable Mention, $50 | Keifer McCaw (Journalism)
    • An app with a timing system to help wean off of vaping

Consumer Solutions IdeaStorm – February 13 - Hosted in the John Pappajohn Business Building | students shared ideas that explored solutions to everyday problems through new products or services

  • 1st Place, $500 | Kristoff Poole (Business)
    • Proactive homeless help
  • 2nd Place, $400 | Kendall Stark (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Lift chair device to assist the disabled and elderly into lower sitting sedans
  • 3rd Place, $300 | Katie Westbrook (English and Creative Writing)
    • Virtual reality weld training simulator to train the basics of welding without the safety hazards and cost
  • Start Tomorrow Award, $200 | Nate Elsey Williams (Enterprise Leadership)
    • Trash and recycling pick-up service for high-rise apartment complexes
  • Passion Project Award, $200 | John Larkin (Exercise Science)
    • High-performance training focuses on physical/mental development for athletes and the general public of all ages
  • People’s Choice $150 (tie) | Kristoff Poole (Business)
    • Proactive homeless help
  • People’s Choice $150 (tie) | Katie Westbrook (English and Creative Writing)
    • Virtual reality weld training simulator to train the basics of welding without the safety hazards and cost

Thank you to all of our amazing judges!

Iowa JPEC is committed to helping students, faculty, staff, and community members launch and grow businesses. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you think we can be of assistance. To find out additional information about other opportunities available to students of all areas of study, please visit our website.

Congratulations once again to all students and colleges who had students pitch in these competitions!