Iowa Innovation Challenge awards $81,000 to UI startups

The first phase of the University of Iowa’s (UI) new Iowa Innovation Challenge took place earlier this week and awarded a total of $81,000 to 27 different startups.

The three-day competition was split into two different sections—one for undergraduate students and an other for UI graduate students, faculty and staff. In total, 65 different UI businesses pitched their ideas as a part of the elevator pitch competition.

CartilaGen was the biggest winner of the competition, taking home $20,000 for winning the faculty, staff and graduate student portion of the competition. CartilaGen is a medtech startup that is developing an intra-articular injection of a drug capable of preventing post-traumatic osteoarthritis. In September, the company came in second place at the Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition and received a $25,000 prize.

The Iowa Innovation Challenge will award over $225,000 over the course of the 2019-2020 school year. The second phase of the competition will be a Business Model Competition held in spring 2020 and will award $150,000 in additional prizes.

Below is a list of the startups that took home prize money from this week’s competition. You can find out more about each businesses and its team at the following link.

Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students, and Incubator Startup Awards

Best Technology:
  • 1st Place, $20,000 | CartilaGen
  • 2nd Place, $10,000 | Pani Clean
  • 3rd Place, $5,000 | Juggernaut Life Sciences/ArtuDetu

Best Non-Technology:

  • 1st Place, $5,000 | VerdiLife
  • 2nd Place, $3,000 | No Limbits
  • 3rd Place, $2,000 | Apollo

Additional Awards:

  • Best Pitch – $2,000 | Comigo
  • Best Social Impact – $2,000 | Iowa Mobile Clinic
  • Judges Choice – $1,000 | CartilaGen 

Undergraduate Student Awards

Best Technology:
  • 1st Place, $5,000 | Body Betty
  • 2nd Place, $2,500 | HeadsIn
  • 3rd Place, $1,000 | Assistance Tech

Best Non-Technology:

  • 1st Place, $5,000 | Funny Nuggets
  • 2nd Place, $2,500 | Franklin
  • 3rd Place, $1,000 | Wanderlust Wraps

Best Pitch:

  • 1st Place, $1,000 | Wanderlust Wraps
  • 2nd Place, $500 | FEM Power
  • 3rd Place, $250 | Level Up Sports

Best Social Impact:

  • 1st Place, $1,000 | Palate Pal
  • 2nd Place, $500 | Ethi-Gal
  • 3rd Place, $250 | Kimik Sustainable Solutions

Best Lifestyle Business:

  • 1st Place, $1,000 | Golden Gloss Auto
  • 2nd Place, $500 | Hawkeye Outdoor Maintenance Enterprise
  • 3rd Place, $250 | Schneider Custom Designs

Best Retail Business:

  • 1st Place, $1,000 | Wanderlust Wraps
  • 2nd Place, $500 | FEM Power
  • 3rd Place, $250 | Sugar Fiend Sweets

Judges Choice:

  • $1,000 | Asonus Tech
  • $1,000 | Amateur Caddie
Keith A Starman Entrepreneurship Awards:
  • $2,500 | Avarupt
  • $2,500 | FEM Power 

Previous coverage

New Iowa Innovation Challenge will award $225,000 in funding -Oct. 16, 2019