Tuesday, March 3, 2020

On the weekend of February 28-March 1, we had the honor of hosting the Spring 2020 Startup Games competition. This three-day event brings together students from all areas of study to pitch their ideas to have an impact.

The event started on Friday night with 44 participants and many of them pitched an idea for a business. From there, the students selected 11 innovative ideas and teams were formed to pursue the idea.

After the formation of teams, students started planning their business. On Saturday, they spent all day assigning roles within their team, doing research, customer discovery, and meeting with business coaches to gain insight. After a full day of creating their business, the 11 teams competed in front of three judges, peers, and the community at the scenic Kinnick Stadium Press Box. The top three teams were awarded cash prizes, as well as the Judges Choice and People’s Choice winners.

Our winning students represented a wide variety of academic areas and backgrounds here on the University of Iowa campus. Congratulations again to our Spring 2020 Startup Games winners!

1st Place ($2,000.00) | Travel Pro – Providing GoPros and accessories needed to capture your adventure, sent directly to your travel destination

  • Lane Dethrow, Pre-Business
  • Patrick Prosser, Finance
  • Brittany Caskey, Pre-Business

2nd Place ($1,000.00) | ReallyYou – A web platform where users can verify the identity of the person they are meeting up with

  • Ashlyn Shumaker, Marketing Analytics
  • Ethan Bennett, Computer Science
  • Mitchel Kabenda, Global Studies

3rd Place ($750.00) | Seat Hopper – Providing fans the in-game opportunity to upgrade seats, while helping venues enhance fan experiences

  • Alex Hefel, Political Science
  • James Trainor, Entrepreneurial Management
  • Andrew Gippert, Business Direct Admission
  • Blake Quarrie, Accounting
  • John Koch, Enterprise Leadership

Judges Choice ($500) | Ergo Tech Solutions – Providing technology to alleviate ergonomic risk factors in manufacturing environments

  • Zoey Slettehaugh, Biomedical Engineering
  • Carter Wolf, Finance
  • Michael Headington, Business Direct Admission

Peoples Choice ($500) | FoodCents – An educational game about nutrition for elementary school students

  • Erika Law, Entrepreneurial Management
  • Brooke Levin, Entrepreneurial Management
  • Katie Robbins, Enterprise Leadership
  • Beatriz Garnica, Pre-Physical Therapy
  • Sabrina Luongvan, Business Analytics and Information Systems

In addition to the cash awards, teams are recognized by a student group of 9 organizers who were with them the entire weekend. These students have participated in Startup Games previously and have volunteered their time to assist the teams with advice and guidance. They recognized the following teams with these awards:

Customer Discovery Award: Bloom

Marketing Award: Freedom Finance

Minimum Viable Product: Epi-Case

Pivot Award: ReallyYou

Most Committed Team: FoodCents

Iteration Award: F.O.R.E.

Sustainability: BamCraft

Most Determined Customer Discovery: ErgoTech Solutions

Social Entrepreneurship Award: Grounded

Innovation Award: Seat Hopper

Teamwork Award: TravelPro

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 any assistance.

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