Friday, April 28, 2023

Two University of Iowa businesses placed first and won $5,000 each at the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition held virtually April 28.

Michelle Higgins won the Medical Technology division with her business, AugmENT. AugmENT is a simulation technology company that advances the skills of ear, nose, throat, and head and neck surgeons for enhanced confidence, competence, and patient outcomes.

Jon Barns won the Interstate Commerce division with his business, Arblu. Arblu created a telescoping ski pole that snowboarders extend when they need to maintain momentum in flat areas. When it isn’t needed, the pole retracts to be stored on a forearm or thigh.

We are very proud that two University of Iowa students won awards,” said Lynn Allendorf, director of the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC). “Although it is bittersweet that the competition was held on the day of John Pappajohn’s memorial service, no doubt he would have been impressed by the passion of two more entrepreneurs from his alma mater as they continue their entrepreneurial journey.”

Seventeen individuals from the University of Iowa, Northern Iowa University, Drake University, Iowa State University, and North Iowa Area Community College participated in the event. Winning the award in the Localized Business category was Marketia Moore from Northern Iowa. Her business is Momma ‘Nem Soul Food and Catering.

Iowa JPEC is the hub for entrepreneurship education and outreach at the University of Iowa.