Pappajohn Student Business Plan

Sponsored by John Pappajohn, Equity Dynamics, Inc., the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is intended for Iowa university and college students with an interest in starting their own business. Plans are judged based on a) Content of Plan and b) Viability of business idea. Three (3) seed grants in the amount of $5,000 are awarded to the top three business plans submitted in the competition.  In addition, all finalists receive $500 if not chosen for the top awards.


  • Full or part-time undergraduate or graduate students registered for 2015-16 academic year at any Iowa post-secondary educational institution are eligible for the competition.
  • Plans may be submitted by an individual or by a team of students.
  • Teams must consist of at least one student member.
  • Teams must consist of five or fewer members.
  • Business plans must be for a start-up business only (not for an existing business).

Student applicants from the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Drake University, Iowa State University, and North Iowa Area Community College will submit materials to their respective Pappajohn Center.  Applicants outside of these schools (other private or community colleges in Iowa) will submit materials to the Pappajohn Center closest to their home institution.

Timeline of Competition

April 1st, 2016–All applications due

Initial submission of Executive Summary, One-page Business Model Canvas, Financial Projections, and Terms & Conditions (signed)

April 1st-8th–Judging, Regional Competition ($500)

Each of the five regional locations will select no more than three top business plans to compete in the final competition.  Regional competitions may include personal interviews or oral presentations at the discretion of the regional centers.

April 11th–Up to 15 Teams Selected to Advance

April 22nd–Final Statewide Competition/Awards ($5,000), tentatively set for 8AM-1PM

Regional award winners will give a pitch presentation (including slide deck) to Equity Dynamics staff in Des Moines, IA.  Three top awards ($5,000 each) will be presented following a luncheon event.  ($5,000 winners are not eligible for the $500 regional award–only one award per team.)

Guidelines & Resources

Required downloads to compete:

2016 Terms & Conditions (Adobe PDF)

Signed Terms & Conditions is required within submission.

2016 Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition Guidelines (PDF)

Use this guideline as an overview for the competition.  Please note:  you do not need to submit your application via email if you are a student at Iowa State or a nearby post-secondary school to the ISU Pappajohn Center.  This is only applicable to the other regional Pappajohn Centers and post-secondary applicants.

Executive Summary reference links:

Executive Summary Guidelines (PDF)

Business Model Canvas reference links:

Business Model Template (PPT)

Financial Projections reference links:

Pitch Deck reference links (required of finalists in Round 2):

Investor Pitch Template (PPT)





2016 Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Please fill out all fields in this application. You may save & continue at anytime before the deadline. Please note: students submitting online applications at ISU Pappajohn Center need to be from Iowa State University or at a post-secondary school nearby.
  • NameEmail AddressStudent (Y/N)Major/Year 
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  • NameEmail AddressStudent (Y/N)Major/Year 
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  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx.
    Please prepare a 1-3 page executive summary based on the format provided through the Business Model Canvas tool. Refer to reference links above.
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: docx, doc, pdf.
  • Drop files here or
    Please prepare a set of financial projections (three years preferred) for your business model. Your projections should reflect anticipated monthly revenues & expenses for your business model. Please reference tools above or by reaching out to the ISU Pappajohn Center for guidance or templates.
  • All team members must sign the 2016 Terms & Conditions for the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. Please refer to Competition Guideline & Resources above for this form '2016 Terms & Conditions (Adobe PDF). Upload the completed form here.