Skip to content Skip to footer
7 Iowa JPEC businesses share $10,000 at undergraduate pitch competition
Seven businesses combined to win $10,250 last week at the Hawkeye Summer Accelerator Undergraduate Final Pitch competition at MERGE in Iowa City. Three University of Iowa founders won two awards apiece. The event was hosted by the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. John Hatfield of Chordaworm Lures won the First Place Investor award…
Iowa Innovation Challenge announces winners, awards $100K+ in prizes
More than $100,000 in prize money was awarded to 19 companies this week through the second phase of the University of Iowa's Iowa Innovation Challenge. S5G Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical eye drop compound that provides ocular protection, took home $25,000 for first place in the Innovation Challenge graduate/faculty/staff/incubator startup division. Winning a $15,000 second-place award in…
University of Iowa launches new incubator program for graduate students
The University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) has opened its first business incubator designed specifically for University of Iowa graduate students interested in commercializing their research. While JPEC has maintained an undergraduate business incubator for some time, this is the first designed with the needs of the university’s graduate students in mind, said Kurt Heiar,…
Iowa JPEC launches new speaker series
Iowa JPEC is launching a new speaker series this spring that will feature successful entrepreneurs who have attended the University of Iowa. The series, titled Innovation and Inspiration Speaker Series, will kick off with an initial event next week featuring SwineTech founders Matthew Rooda and Abraham Espinoza. The event will take start at 5 p.m. on…
Entrepreneurial events happening at University of Iowa this spring
Deadlines are quickly approaching for several different entrepreneurial events being hosted by Iowa JPEC this spring. Here are some of the events happening this spring. Game Changer Competition Game Changer is a new online event that provides participants a platform to develop “impact-driven entrepreneurship” that will address a United Nations Sustainable Development goal. JPEC’s Game Changer…
Middle Bit: EntreFEST returns to Cedar Rapids June 4-5, 2020
EntreFEST will return to Cedar Rapids on June 4 and 5.  The two-day conference is designed to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, with professionals at every level coming together to share ideas.  The event is expected to bring more than 500 attendees to Cedar Rapids.  “EntreFEST is an incredibly valuable experience for members…
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…
Iowa JPEC Archives | 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 mpatane@clayandmilk.com.
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now