PowerPollen takes home $40,000 after winning 2018 Pappajohn Pitch Competition

Top three winners of the 2018 Pappajohn CompetitionPictured left to right: Chris Krone (PowerPollen), Bill Brown (Insulights), Kyle McMahon (TractorZoom), John Pappajohn, Jason Cope (PowerPollen), Chris Krone (PowerPollen), and Mark Westgate (PowerPollen).

PowerPollen was announced as the winner of the 2018 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competiton last week and was awarded $40,000.

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 competition started with 52 applications, was narrowed to 23 companies for the semifinal round, and then to 12 for the final presentation round.

The twelve finalists presented their business plan concepts to a panel of judges on August 30 at the Iowa State University Economic Development Core Facility in ISU Research Park.

The winners of the competition were announced September 13 at a special recognition awards luncheon at Drake University in Des Moines.

In total $100,000 was given out prizes to the final twelve companies, doubling the amount given out in previous years thanks to a total prize match offered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

“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.

Here are how the final 12 companies did:

1st Place ($40K) – PowerPollen

2nd Place ($25K) – Insulights

3rd Place ($15K) – Tractor Zoom

4th Place ($8K) – Smart Ag

5th Place ($5K) – Verdi Life

All other finalists received a $1K award (NanoSpy, Vet Measure, Nebullam, Safi-Tech, Impakt Athletics, SynderBio, Stover Ventures).