Upcoming Events

Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Date & Time Wednesday, April 28 8:00am-1:00pm
Contact Diana Wright, dkw@iastate.edu

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 2020-21 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, 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.

Regional John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers:

Application for Iowa State students:

ISU Application: Student Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Timeline of Competition

April 4th, 2021–All applications due

Business documents due to respective John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (by midnight): Application Form, Terms & Conditions, Executive Summary, Business Model Canvas, Financial Spreadsheet(s), and W-9 form (preferred payment to individual, not business).

April 5-14, 2021–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 interviews or presentations at the discretion of the regional centers.

April 16, 2021–Up to 15 Teams Selected to Advance

Communication sent to each finalist with specific instructions for submitting pitch decks and video pitches.

April 28, 2021–Final Statewide Competition/Awards ($5,000), tentatively set for 8AM-1PM

Finalists will give a pitch (including pitch deck) to John Pappajohn and his senior advisors at Equity Dynamics in Des Moines, Iowa.  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.