Winners announced for 12th Annual John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Winners announced in the 12th Annual John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

The 2017 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition came to a close on September 21 with the announcement of the winners at a special recognition luncheon at Drake University in Des Moines.  Twelve teams advanced to the final presentation round, and the winners were announced at the luncheon.

Gross Wen Technologies received first place and was awarded $25,000.  Gross Wen Technologies (GWT) has invented an algal based wastewater treatment process that recovers nutrients from wastewater.  The algae biomass that is produced can be used as a slow-release algal fertilizer.  GWT is headquartered at the ISU Research Park in Ames. came in second place and was awarded $15,000. is a cloud-based construction payment platform to facilitate the exchange of lien waivers, ACH payments, W9s and 1099s.  Based out of Springboard CoWorking in Sioux City, Iowa, intends to totally change the construction technology landscape by reducing paperwork and streamlining payments.

Pablow received third place and was awarded $10,000.  Pablow has created a flexible insurance policy system that gives travelers the ability to purchase vacation rental insurance on their terms and on their own timeline, better protecting the renter and the manager.

Three honorable mentions were awarded $2,000 prizes this year.  Companies receiving these awards included Colin Hurd, CEO of Smart Ag, located in Ames; Steve Brockshus, CEO of Terva Marketplace in Ames; and Seamus Roeder, CEO of ABAL Therapeutics in Iowa City.

“Special thanks to John Pappajohn, who through his unwavering commitment to foster entrepreneurship in Iowa, has again sponsored this entrepreneurial venture competition and has provided extensive support for entrepreneurship in Iowa,” said Randy Pilkington, director of the University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.

The competition is a collaborative project of the Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers located at Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.

Details about next year’s John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition will be announced in February of 2018. For additional information about the competition, visit