Startup Iowa Awards FAQ

How will the Startup Iowa Awards work?

Nominations will be accepted until Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 at 11:59 pm. The top five nominees from each category will be recognized on Jan. 15, and winners of the Startup Iowa Awards will be announced during the final week of January. All winners will be decided on by an independent panel of judges.

All finalists will receive a Startup Iowa Awards trophy and a feature story in Clay & Milk!


Yes! We strongly encourage all interested organizations/individuals to nominate themselves.

What are the judging criteria?

Depending on the award you’re applying for, nominations will be judged according to the following criteria. Please do your best to address these criteria when filling out your nomination form.

  • Quality of business idea and plan
  • Strength of the founding team and their ability to fund initial operations
  • Company’s overall impact on Iowa’s startup ecosystem
  • Level of support and mentorship provided to startups and early-stage companies
  • Success of portfolio companies
  • Scope of individual’s work and effort

Does my company have to have a physical address in IOWA, or can we plan to do business there?

Yes. All nominees must be based in and active in Iowa.

is there a submission fee?

There is a $15 fee per submission. All proceeds from the awards will go toward supporting Clay & Milk. We are the only news source that covers the startup, technology and innovation community in Iowa on a daily basis, and funding from events like this goes a long way toward making Clay & Milk a self-sustaining publication.

CAN my company sponsor this event?

Yes, we are currently looking for sponsors for the awards. If interested, send an email to

Have a question that wasn’t answered above? Send an email to