Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The University of Iowa’s Venture School, a nationally recognized program for entrepreneurs developed by John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, held its Venture School Launch Day event on Thursday, May 16th. This past year, 52 teams completed the intensive eight-week program with a streamlined curriculum developed by the National Science Foundation at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. Venture School Launch Day highlighted the top 8 teams from the year and awarded a total of $21,000 to these Venture School businesses during the competition.

Venture School Spring 2019 Award Winning Teams

Immersive Development Reality (IDR) | $10,000 | Iowa City | Teaches students the concepts of coding while in a virtual reality environment.

Boundry | $5,000 | Dubuque | 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.

Argrow’s House Bath and Body | $1,000 | Quad Cities | A social enterprise where women survivors of violence create beautiful bath and body products that are natural, healthy and smell wonderful.

BluJaket | $1,000 | Quad Cities | Makes mobile marketing easy and affordable for small businesses and restaurants by connecting them with consumers in the right place, at the right time.

Continuum Ag | $1,000 | Mason City | Intel processor of agriculture data and the fully transparent link between the consumer and the soil.

Grateful Graze | $1,000 | Quad Cities | Raising grass fed and finished beef in their crop rotation. Connecting farmers to families with food they can trust.

Horse Auction Block | $1,000 | Dubuque | Providing online auction styled market place for horses while assisting in both the buying and selling process to ensure both parties are honest and receive the horse they paid for.

VerdiLife | $1,000 | Iowa City | Recycling wood-waste into 100% organic fertilizers and pesticides in the form of wood vinegar and bio char – eliminating harmful agrochemicals.

From the Spring Venture School cohort in Iowa City, Immersive Development Reality (IDR), walked away with first place. Jens Zalzala, founder of IDR felt like he gained invaluable resources from participating in the Venture School program. “Venture School helped us with understanding and practicing the process of customer discovery. Customer Discovery helped us focus on product market fit and we now feel we have a clearer path forward. Venture School also taught us to make better use of the resources we have available to us. The connections we made and the meetings with the mentors to work on specific goals was invaluable, even after Venture School we’re continuing to meet with them” he stated.