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. 

UI Students take top prizes in statewide Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

April 29, 2019

Students take top prizes in statewide Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Three college student teams each claimed $5,000 prizes at the finals of the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition on April 26, in Des Moines.

Hawkeye Pitch Off Recap

October 16, 2018

On Thursday, October 11 Iowa JPEC students and alumni came together at WeWork in Chicago for a night of networking and ideation.

PowerPollen Takes Home $40,000 After Winning 2018 Pappajohn Pitch Competition

September 18, 2018

The 2018 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition commenced last week with 12 finalists. PowerPollen was announced the winner and was awarded $40,000.

U of I Students Opening Collaborative Retail Space at Coralville Development

August 31, 2018

Eight current or just-graduated University of Iowa students have ambitious business plans. They're going to launch a joint retail shop in Coralville and do it in a very visible location.

Student Accelerator Final Pitches, Summer 2018

July 25, 2018

On July 24th, the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) Student Accelerator program finished with the Student Accelerator Final Pitches.

UI Founders Club Features 10 Engineering Student Running Businesses

January 29, 2018

10 College of Engineering students have enrolled their startup companies in the University of Iowa's Founder Club for the Spring 2018 semester. Read more online

UI Student Entrepreneurs Place at Pappajohn Student Venture Competition

April 21, 2018

Thirteen student teams representing Iowa State University, University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Drake University, and North Iowa Area Community College got the chance to pitch to John Pappajohn and his team at Equity Dynamics for the chance to win $5,000 for their business idea.

Staying strong 10 years after brain tumor diagnosis

March 15, 2017

Caleigh Bemont, a senior at the University of Iowa, started an organization called Siblings Empowered. The purpose of the organization is to provide emotional support for those who are dealing with siblings who are terminally ill, or who have died.

An Iowa student's shocking invention helps keep these little piggies from getting squished

March 23, 2017

University of Iowa student, Matthew Rooda, started a business to focus on preventing the crushing of piglets by their mothers.