Petrost Therapeutics won first place and $25,000 at the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) Innovation Challenge Awards event April 12 at MERGE in Iowa City, Iowa. A total of $125,000 was given in two divisions to support innovation across campus.
Noah Laird and Aliasger Salem are founders of Petrost Therapeutics, which aims to develop a new type of bone regenerative implant for large bone defects. They won the faculty/staff/graduate student/incubator startup division. The next four winners in that division were Scott Daly and Vamsi Karapala of Volamet Technologies (second place, $20,000), Winter Philibert and Kelsey Dawes of Relevant Methylomics (third, $15,000), Ugur Akgun of xDose Technologies (fourth, $10,000), and Madeleine Humpal-Pash, Tiffany Tran, and Garret Caltrider of Chemo Care Solutions (fifth, $5,000).
Topping the undergraduate division were Jacob Vander Sanden of Cedar Sales (first, best growth, $5,000), Ryan Gudenkauf of PTXtension (first, best technology, $5,000), Jaecee Hall and Emma Dabinett of Unbreakable Female Athlete (first, best non-technology, $4,000), Sabrina Shaw of Urban Wave Embroidery and Indya Smith-Johnson of Indya Heart Studios (first, best social impact business, $3,500), Jordan and Robert Walters of Walters and Company, John Hatfield of ChordaWorm Lures, and Jon Barns of Arblu (first, best lifestyle business, $3,000), and Andrew Lukz and Raffay Malik of AesthetixMe (best retail, $2,500).
Best overall pitch awards of $1,500 went to Isabelle Wilcox of Expeerient and Barns.
Fifty-seven University of Iowa businesses applied for the spring business model competition and 36 were selected as finalists to compete April 10 (faculty, staff, graduate students, incubator startup) and April 11 (undergraduate). An alumni division will be judged at a later date.
Iowa JPEC is the hub for entrepreneurial education and outreach at the University of Iowa. It is committed to helping students, faculty, staff, and community members launch and grow businesses.
FACULTY/STAFF/GRADUATE STUDENTS/INCUBATOR STARTUP AWARDS
1st Place Petrost Therapeutics $25,000
Noah Laird, Aliasger Salem
2nd Place Volamet Technologies $20,000
Scott Daly, Vamsi Karapala
3rd Place Relevant Methylomics $15,000
Winter Philibert, Kelsey Dawes
4th Place xDose Technologies $10,000
5th Place Chemo Care Solutions $5,000
Madeleine Humpal-Pash, Tiffany Tran, Garret Caltrider
1st Place Cedar Sales $5,000
Jacob Vander Sanden
2nd Place Robinhood $3,000
1st Place PTXtension $5,000
2nd Place Student Sublet $3,000
Nader Rahhal, Andy Lou, Gautam Sharda
1st Place Unbreakable Female Athlete $4,000
Jaecee Hall, Emma Dabinett
2nd Place Expeerient $3,000
1st Place AesthetixMe $2,500
Andrew Lukz, Raffay Malik
2nd Place Big Ass Rugs $1,500
Tristen Smith, Nathan Andrews
Best Social Impact Business
1st Place Urban Wave Embroidery $3,500
1st Place Indya Heart Studios $3,500
3rd Place Solace Biotech LLC $2,000
Keegan Fogarty, Nolan Mallery, Ethan Hassler
1st Place Walters and Company $3,000
Jordan Walters, Robert Walters
1st Place ChordaWorm Lures $3,000
1st Place Arblu $3,000
Idea Stage Award
qSensor Eric Jungers $500
Blue Heron Tessa Petersen $500
June Health Diego Sanchez $500
TeleNu Conner Boerm $500
Best Overall Pitch
Isabelle Wilcox $1,500