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 at the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center award’s event April 13 at MERGE in Iowa City, Iowa.
More than $135,000 in prize money was awarded. S5G was one of 19 winners from the 31-pitch competition that was held April 11 (for graduate/faculty/staff/incubator startup) and April 12 (for undergraduates).
Winning a $15,000 second-place award in the graduate/faculty/staff/incubator startup division was PheeMed Industries (an at-home Pap test). The surgical simulation platform FX Systems, won $10,000 for third place.
In the undergraduate competition, a $7,500 first-place award in the innovative online business category went to Cedar Sales, a sales company through Amazon that utilizes wholesale techniques and pricing technologies. Winning $7,500 for first place in the best retail business category was ChordaWorms, a company that makes durable fishing lures. Two other first-place winners received $5,000 apiece: Simple Studios in the high growth potential category and Pitcher’s Plate in the best active lifestyle business category.
Simple Studios is a blockchain gaming studio, and Pitcher’s Plate is a product that records, displays, and stores data for baseball pitching practices.
Other $5,000 winners were the travel-planning digital platform Common Ground (fourth place, graduate/faculty/staff/incubator startup), Robinhood (second place, undergraduate innovative online business), Urban Waves Embroidery (second place, undergraduate best retail business), and StuTote (undergraduate best social impact).
Robinhood provides solutions for small businesses with wholesale inaccessibility through automated acquisition software and targeting product purchasing. Urban Waves is a custom clothing company that does small-batch custom embroidery, and StuTote creates durable, portable reusable bags.
Kristoff Poole received $2,500 for best pitch of his candle company, Renovaré.
Since the Fall of 2019, the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center has awarded more than $750,000 in seed money in Innovation Challenge competitions.
Following is a list of all Spring 2022 award-winners:
Graduate/Faculty/Staff/Incubator Startup Division
First $25,000 S5G Therapeutics, Inc.
Second $15,000 PheeMed Industries
Third $10,000 FX Systems, LLC
Fourth $5,000 Common Ground
Honorable Mention $2,500 X-Ray Vision
Honorable Mention $2,500 Helios Loupes
High Growth Potential
First $5,000 Simple Studios
Second $3,000 Callisto Vision
Innovative Online Business
First $7,500 Cedar Sales
Second $5,000 Robinhood
Best Retail Business
First $7,500 ChordaWorms
Second $5,000 Urban Waves Embroidery
Third $1,500 Skunk Aid
Best Social Impact
First $5,000 StuTote
Best Active Lifestyle Business
First $5,000 Pitcher’s Plate
Second $3,500 Actively
Third $2,500 PTXtension
Fourth $1,000 Casmium, LLC
First $2,500 Kristoff Poole, Renovaré