Friday, April 12, 2024

SteerClear Mirrors (Iowa City/Cedar Rapids), the AgriNet (Mason City), and Act Write Here (Des Moines) were first-place winners when three Venture School cohorts around the state of Iowa held final pitches April 9-11. 

A total of $10,500 was awarded to 14 entrepreneurs.

SteerClear, founded by Courtney McClellan and Mike Flynn, is an after-market sideview mirror for skid steers. The AgriNet, founded by Caleb Renner, is a safe alternative to grain bin sweeps that saves farmers their fingers and lives. Act Write Here, founded by Laney Kraus-Taddeo, is a virtual playhouse for creatives that matches actors and writers for screen reads. 

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 Fall with cohorts tentatively scheduled to begin mid-September. 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.

1st PlaceAct Write HereLaney Kraus-Taddeo$1,500
Honorable MentionPescheTaylor Grasso/Zach Grasso$300
Honorable MentionFuture Stars Software AcademyRusty Davis$300
Best PivotClear Specter Audio AnalyticsRob Walczak$400
1st PlaceSteerClear MirrorsCourtney McClellan/Mike Flynn $2,400
2nd PlaceSite SideKickNash Altman/Tom Altman$1,200
3rd PlaceIV Co-PilotKatelyn Anderson$700
Best PitchGrowing EffectsGrace Kerns$700
1st PlaceRenner Ag Solutions and the AgriNetCaleb Renner$1,500
2nd PlaceThe PlayBarnSherri Stensrude$1,000
3rd PlaceJourney WellnessSarah Innis$500