Kick Rocks Athletics (Mason City), Innovation Surgical (Iowa City), Invasive Removal Bot (Des Moines), and Ossarocco (Quad-Cities) were first-place winners when four Venture School cohorts around the state of Iowa held final pitches Nov. 14-16.
A total of $15,500 was awarded to 14 entrepreneurs.
Kick Rocks Athletics, founded by Matthew Evans, is software that provides a user-friendly solution for golf tournament management. Innovation Surgical, founded by Maria Iliakova, solves surgical bottlenecks including robotic technology and process optimization. Invasive Removal Bot, founded by Mark Vande Haar, is an AI robotic device that will go into woods and cut and spray invasive species. Ossarocco, founded by Osarodion Aigbogun, converts ambient atmosphere into electricity.
The seven-week Venture School is sponsored by the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) and includes hub locations in Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, Mason City, Sioux City, and the Quad-Cities. The statewide Venture School training program focuses on real-world experimentation, customer discovery, and Lean LaunchPad methodologies. Partnering with Iowa JPEC for Venture School are the University of Iowa Small Business Development Center, Eastern Iowa Community College, North Iowa Area Community College, Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa’s West Coast Initiative, and The Innovation Lab Dubuque.
Venture School returns in the Spring with cohorts tentatively scheduled to begin the week of Feb. 20. For more information click HERE.
About Iowa JPEC: Iowa JPEC fosters entrepreneurship and innovation across the state of Iowa by providing a range of educational and training programs and support services for entrepreneurial ventures and existing small-to-medium size businesses. Iowa JPEC is dedicated to nurturing the growth of new ventures and assisting them in reaching their full potential.
|DES MOINES COHORT|
|1st Place||Invasive Removal Bot||Mark Vande Haar||$1,200|
|2nd Place||ITE Solutions||Ben Pierson||$800|
|3rd Place||Tumbleweed||Colleen Kinsey/Paul Richardson||$500|
|IOWA CITY/CEDAR RAPIDS COHORT|
|1st Place||Innovation Surgical||Maria Iliakova||$2,000|
|2nd Place||EHS Support Source||Linden Terpstra||$1,500|
|3rd Place||CenterEd Learning Environments||Amy Crowell||$1,000|
|Customer Discovery||Community Wellness Center||Amy Stucky||$500|
|MASON CITY COHORT|
|1st Place||Kick Rocks Athletics||Matthew Evans||$2,500|
|2nd Place||Digital Reimagining||Ian Nelson||$1,500|
|3rd Place||Still Waters Day Spa||Megan Dennis||$1,000|
|4th Place||Hertel Custom Builders||Jackson Hertel||$500|
|QUAD-CITIES/SIOUX CITY/DUBUQUE VIRTUAL COHORT|
|1st Place||Ossarocco||Ossie Aigbogun||$1,200|
|2nd Place||Willey Bandz||Julie Willey||$800|
|3rd Place||The Giving Universe||Evan Hudson||$500|