Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Entrepreneurial events happening at ISU this fall

The ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship is hosting several events this fall for student entrepreneurs.

Here are some the entrepreneurial events happening at Iowa State University this fall:

Business Model Canvas Competition (Sept. 18)

Students will learn how to present their business idea using the Business Model Canvas, a one-page business plan, and will have the chance to win one of three $500 cash prizes.

The First Round will be an online application due September 13 at 11:59 pm. On September 16, fifteen finalists will be notified that they have advanced to the Final Round. The Final Round will take place on September 18 from 2 – 4 pm via Zoom. Finalists will have 5 minutes to present their Business Model Canvas to a panel of judges, with 2 minutes for questions.

The deadline to submit an application is September 13 by 11:59 pm.

Flagship Fridays What IF — Innovators Forum (Every Friday)

Beginning Sept. 11, Iowa State University will be hosting a series of online innovation forums for students. The “Flagship Fridays: Innovators Forum” series will feature interviewer moderated, online conversation sessions with leaders representing a diverse scope and scale of innovation. 

A total of 16 sessions have been scheduled for each Friday throughout the Fall semester.

Reiman Speaker Series: Alex Timm (Sept. 29)

ISU JPEC is hosting the Reiman Speaker Series with Alex Timm, founder and CEO of Root Insurance. Alex founded Root Insurance on the principle that rates should be based on driving behaviors, not demographics. As Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Root, Alex leads the company in revolutionizing this outdated industry, using mobile technology and data science to offer personalized auto insurance rates to good drivers.

Startup Pitch Event (Oct. 1)

The Startup Pitch Event is hosted every fall by the Iowa State Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. Students have the chance to pitch their business concept or idea in a 90-second elevator pitch to a panel of judges.

Registration is limited to the first 24 Iowa State University students to apply.

Smart Start Workshop (Oct. 10)

The ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and the Ames Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a “crash course” workshop for anyone who has ever considered starting a business.  You will learn various topics such as insurance, intellectual property, business organization, registration, and operations.  Topics will be presented by local business professionals.  Smart Start provides information as well as the opportunity to ask questions on topics such as paying taxes, applying for a business loan/grants, preparing a cash flow, applying for a patent, finding resources, forming a partnership, and more.

Women Who Create Conference (Oct. 22)

The Women Who Create Conference brings together women entrepreneurs, women business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and individuals of all genders who support women entrepreneurs for a full day of workshops and speakers aimed at growing their business.

ISU Innovation Prize (Nov. 6 – Nov. 7)

The ISU Innovation Prize is an incentive competition at Iowa State University on the weekend of November 6-7, 2020.

The competition theme for the third annual event is Innovation at Iowa State.  There will be three focus areas for participants to solve: AgTech, EdTech, and Global Impact.

Previous coverage

ISU to host series of innovation forums this fall -Aug. 25, 2020

ISU Student Innovation Center will bring together students across campus -July 22, 2019

Entrepreneurship among top priorities for ISU President Wendy Wintersteen -Nov. 21, 2018

Entrepreneurial events happening at ISU this fall | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now