Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

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 the 2022-23 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.

Details for the 2024 competition will be announced soon!

How to apply: Download the competition guidelines here!


Students who are NOT Iowa State students will need to download the packet and submit an executive summary, a one-page Business Model Canvas, and financial projections to the closest John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center to their home institution. 

Regional John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers:


Guidelines & Resources

Required downloads to compete:

2024 Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition Guidelines (PDF)

Use this guideline as an overview of 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 Iowa State 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:

Strategyzer Business Model Canvas

Business Model Canvas Poster

Financial Projections reference links:

Balance Sheet Template

Cash Flow Projections

Simple Income Statement

Please reference the Income Statement tab (3-year projections)

Fillable W9 Document 2023 (required for any finalists receiving prize money)

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

Investor Pitch Template (PPT)

10-20-30 Rule

How to Create a Pitch Deck for Investors