Monday, October 7, 2019

The week of September 30-October 3 the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) had the privilege of hosting three uniquely focused IdeaStorm competitions across the University of Iowa campus.

IdeaStorms are entry-level pitch competitions open to all UI students. These competitions are designed to introduce students to innovation by encouraging them to share their idea in two minutes or less with their peers and a panel of judges. Students do not need a business plan, prior pitching experience, or a presentation to pitch - this allows students to have a soft introduction to the world of entrepreneurship.

A total of 95 individuals joined us at these competitions where they heard pitches for nearly 50 new business ideas. These students represented a variety of majors and areas of study making these competitions a great example of multidisciplinary innovation across UI's campus. The top four ideas selected by judges were awarded cash prizes at each competition, as well as a People's Choice award that was selected by students who attended the event.

As you will see below this semesters winning students represented a wide variety of academic areas. Congratulations once again to our Fall 2019 IdeaStorm winners!

Health Initiatives IdeaStorm - September 30 - Hosted in the Iowa College of Public Health students shared ideas that aim to help create better well-being through health care innovation

  • 1st Place, $500 | Ashley Davis (Engineering)
    • Walker Stabilization - uses gyros, accelerometers, and straps to stabilize and improve a walker.
  • 2nd Place, $400 | An Gie Leong (Grad Student, Business Analytics)
    • Nurses Checklist - a checklist to standardize nursing workflow.
  • 3rd Place, $200 (tie) | Michael Westphal (Pre-Medicine)
    • Patient RFID Bracelet Key - the product uses RFID to gain entrance into patient rooms. Durable enough to prevent patient loss, it allows for a master key and removes the risk of patient lock-in.
  • 3rd Place, $200 (tie) | Jon Lensing (College of Medicine)
    • Apollo - hiring platform for healthcare staff.
  • People's Choice, $150 | Nora Bensellam (Enterprise Leadership)
    • Power Buoy - motorized orange safety buoy to save a drowning person.

Common Good IdeaStorm - October 2 - Hosted in the Seamans Center | students shared ideas that inspire change through social and sustainable solutions that benefit the common good

  • 1st Place, $500 | Ryann Getz (CLAS/Arts Entrepreneurship Certificate/Event Management)
    • Deaf Art - an art studio where classes are taught in American Sign Language. Allows deaf children to participate in art classes without an additional interpreter.
  • 2nd Place, $400 | John Ross (Enterprise Leadership)
    • Academy for Scientific Advancement - a nonprofit that will provide STEM resources to young African American students with a goal of diversifying workers in STEM fields in the future.
  • 3rd Place, $300 | Kenzie Curran (Chemical Engineering)
    • Raise Your Hand - an app allowing students to submit questions to professors during lecture that can be viewed live. Eliminates interruptions and fear of speaking out.
  • 4th Place, $200 (tie) | Quinn Herbert (Business Direct Admission)
    • Rage Magazine - fashion, beauty, lifestyle magainze dedicated to enhancing the educational experiences of any student interested in fashion marketing, advertising, journalism, photography, and design. Aimed toward those with limited resources to experience in larger communities.
  • 4th Place, $200 (tie) | Eric Thomas (Microbiology)
    • Protein powder made of insects/super worms.
  • People's Choice, $150 | Spencer Franke (Cinema)
    • Adding geolocation capabilities to weapons to ensure the safety of citizens in the United States.

Consumer Solutions IdeaStorm - October 3 - Hosted in the Pappajohn Business Building | students shared ideas that explored solutions to everyday problems through new products or services

  • 1st Place, $500 | Spencer Collison (Business Direct Admission/Computer Science)
    • ​​​​​​​SafeWalk - a mobile app similar to Google maps but utilizes crime databases to give people's routes a safety rating.
  • 2nd Place, $400 | Blake Whitten (Entrepreneurial Management)
    • Alternative Education Financing - a marketplace that invests in human potential.
  • 3rd Place, $300 (tie) | Ayotoluwafunmi Ogunwasi (Journalism and Mass Communication)
    • Of Kings and Queens - fashion show and design that puts African shows, designers and models in a new and more entertaining light.
  • 3rd Place, $300 (tie) | Zoe Hermsen (Art/Printmaking MFA)
    • ​​​​​​​Freelance Finance - an app that helps freelancers with finances and pricing.
  • People's Choice, $150 | Morgan Paynter (Marketing)
    • ​​​​​​​Instagram Caption Consulting - help people/businesses flesh out their ideas and express their personalities in Instagram captions.

Iowa JPEC is committed to helping students, faculty, staff, and community members launch and grow businesses. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you think we can be of assistance. To find out additional information about other opportunities available to students of all areas of study, please visit our website.

Congratulations once again to all students and colleges who had students pitch in these competitions!