Rose Francis Elevator Competition set for November 13-14

The Rose Francis Elevator Pitch Competition is open to all University of Iowa students who are interested in starting and growing a business. (Photo courtesy of Iowa JPEC).

The Rose Francis Elevator Pitch Competition is set to take place on November 13 and 14.

The annually held competition is open to all University of Iowa students serious about starting and growing a business. Student presenters will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to a group of business professionals and receive feedback.

There are two days of competition, with the early stage companies pitching the first day and the companies with more traction pitching the second day.

“In addition to the competition, the university is having a workshop this Friday for students go over the rule and best practices on how to pitch,” said Lynn Allendorf, Director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. “And then we’re also, the week after that, having practice sessions so students can come in and sit down with an SBDC counselor or someone on the JPEC staff and practice their pitches.”

A total of $50,000 in cash prizes will be awarded throughout the two-day competition, $10,000 on the first day and $40,000 on the second day.

Prize money is intended to be used to support the business, not the individual. Winners on Day 2 may be required to complete a high-level plan for how the money will be used. Leaders of Iowa JPEC  will be following up with winners to ensure and enable the effective use of the seed capital. For some of the larger awards, half of the money may be awarded soon after the competition and the other half awarded after initial milestones are met.

Allendorf told Clay & Milk she expects somewhere between 30 and 50 people to participate in the competition.

Unlike previous years, the competition will now have a broader range of categories in which companies can win prizes.

“In year’s past, we’ve had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. We feel like we’ve been too focused on high-growth, high-opportunity businesses,” Allendorf said. “This year, we’re adding other categories like best social impact business and best lifestyle business so we can be more inclusive of all types of businesses.”

The deadline to register for the competition is Monday, November 5.