Eight startups take home $21,000 at Venture School Launch Day

Jens Zalzala of Immersive Development Reality presents at Venture School Launch Day. IDR won first place took home a $10,000 cash prize.

The University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) held its Venture School Launch Day event in conjunction with EntreFEST last night.

Venture School Launch Day highlighted eight standout Venture School alumni from the 2018/2019 year. The eight startups each had six minutes to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges followed by a four-minute Q&A.

Here are the eight companies that presented:

Argrow’s House Bath and Body (Quad Cities)
Argrow’s House is a social enterprise where women survivors of violence create beautiful bath and body products that are natural, healthy, and smell wonderful.

BluJaket (Quad Cities)
BluJaket makes mobile marketing easy and affordable for small businesses and restaurants by connecting them with consumers in the right place, at the right time, for a mutually beneficial engagement.

Boundry (Dubuque)
Boundry helps dog owners keep their pets safe with a simple, humane, and portable dog fence solution built on positive reinforcement, superior training, and GPS perimeter technology.

Continuum Ag (Mason City)
Continuum Ag is the intel processor of agricultural data and the fully transparent link between the consumer and the soil. Their business works with farmers, ag companies, and food organizations, around the world, to quantify and improve soil health.

Grateful Graze (Quad Cities)
Grateful Graze stands out from the typical farm of corn and soybeans by raising grass-fed and finished beef in their crop rotation along with lamb and pastured chicken. Their mission is connecting farmers to families with food they can trust – raised in a way that is best for the animal, the environment and people.

Horse Auction Block (Dubuque)
Horse Auction Block is providing an online auction styled market place for horses. Their business assists in both the buying and selling process to ensure that both parties are honest and receive the horse that they paid for.

Immersive Development Reality (Iowa City)
Immersive Development Reality (IDR) teaches students the concepts of coding while in a virtual reality environment. As middle schools struggle with participation in computer science, IDR looks to garner student interest and create continuous engagement, while teaching valuable skills.

VerdiLife (Iowa City)
VerdiLife strives to make the Earth a healthier planet by replacing harmful agrochemicals with an all- natural solution. Their business focuses on recycling wood-waste into 100% organic fertilizers and pesticides in the form of wood vinegar and biochar.

Contest winners

First place was given to Immersive Development Reality who took home the $10,000 first place prize. Second Place was given to Boundry who took home $5,000. The six other startups that pitched each received $1,000.


Previous coverage

Shaking Earth Digital: the cutting edge of app development -Oct. 1, 2018

BluJaket: Providing a platform for companies to send you deals -April 9, 2018