Middle Bit: Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition to award $100,000 in prizes

Applications for the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Venture Competition are now being accepted.

The fourteenth annual statewide competition will be awarding $100,000 in cash prizes.

The $100,000 in seed funding consists of a $50,000 contribution from Pappajohn Center and a $50,000 match from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).

Iowa businesses that have been in operation for four years or less, or are not yet cash flow positive are eligible to apply.

Participants will initially be judged on written submissions. Those who advance to the final round of the competition will present to a panel of judges.

First place will be awarded $40,000, second place $25,000, and third place $15,000. Awards for other categories will total $20,000.

Applications for the competition are due Monday, May 20.

What else is happening?

Illinois

BriteCo, an Evanston, Illinois-based startup that partners with jewelers to help consumers insure fine jewelry and watches within minutes of purchase, today announced a seed-round raise of $2 million. The round’s investors include Brian Spaly, the founder of Trunk Club, and Jeff Taylor, the former chairman and CEO at Cole Taylor Bank. -Silicon Prairie News

Minnesota

Toymaker Lego and the toolmaker Stanley Black and Decker have invested $19 million in Minnetonka-based Evolve Additive Solutions in the hopes of commercializing a faster 3-D printing robot that can mass-produce goods. Evolve had been a small research department within Stratasys until its 3-D printing capability advanced and the unit was spun off into a separate company in April. -Minneapolis Star Tribune