Thursday, April 14, 2022

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

Undergraduate Division

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

Best Pitch

First                                         $2,500          Kristoff Poole, Renovaré