Winners announced in the 15th Annual John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition


Judi Eyles, Iowa State University Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, (515) 296-6532
David Hensley, University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, (319) 335-1022



Winners announced in the 15th Annual John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

The 2020 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition was held virtually in September.  Twelve teams advanced to the final presentation round, and the following businesses emerged as winners of this year’s competition.

3D Health Solutions received first place and was awarded $40,000.  3D Health Solutions is commercializing 3-dimensional in vitro canine cell culture lines for therapeutic drug screening purposes in both veterinary and human health applications.  3D Health Solutions is headquartered in Ames, Iowa.
Dr. Jon Mochel, Co-Founder and CEO



FBB Biomed came in second place and was awarded $25,000FBB Biomed is harnessing the latest advancements in genetics, bioinformatics and RNA virology to develop novel approaches in combating chronic inflammatory diseases, with its first application targeting multiple sclerosis (MS) therapy. The company is concurrently applying its technology to develop its disease severity test for COVID-19 patients. FBB Biomed is located in Iowa City, Iowa.

Howard Urnovitz, CEO and Co-Founder


Roboflow received third place and was awarded $15,000.  Roboflow organizes, prepares, and improves image and annotation training data for developers.  Roboflow transforms raw images into a trained computer vision model in minutes.  Roboflow is located in Des Moines, Iowa.

Joseph Nelson, CEO and Co-Founder
computer vision developer platform

A fourth place award and three honorable mentions were awarded this year.  Receiving fourth place and a $6,000 award was OpenLoop, founded by Jon Lensing, M.D., located in Iowa City.  Two companies were awarded $4,000 honorable mention awards including Nigel Reuel, founder of Skroot Labs, located in Ames, and Jeri Frank, founder of Stratafolio, located in Cedar Rapids.  The remaining finalists each received $1,000.

“We were glad to have John Pappajohn join the awards celebration this year, even if we had to connect virtually.  John’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs in Iowa is admired and appreciated by everyone,” stated David Hensley, director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa.

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.  The Iowa Economic Development Authority provides funding to bring the total prize package to $100,000.

Details about next year’s John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition will be announced in February 2021. For additional information about the competition, visit