University of Northern Iowa

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Empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

The Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is sponsored by John Pappajohn, Equity Dynamics, and the Pappajohn Centers. This competition is intended for Iowa university and college students with an interest in starting their own businesses. Three seed grants in the amount of $5,000 each will be awarded to the top three business plans who submit and present in the final competition. Regional winners who advance to the finals but do not win the top awards will receive $500 per team. Plans will be judged based on a) Content/Concept of Plan and b) Viability of Plan. Click on "Guidelines" below to find application materials, eligibility requirements, and guidelines or stop by at the UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center in Business and Community Services Building, Suite 128.  



Full or part-time undergraduate or graduate students registered for the 2019-2020 academic year at an Iowa post-secondary educational institution are eligible for the competition.
Plans may be submitted by an individual or by a team of students.
Teams must consist of at least one student member.
Teams must consist of five or fewer members.
Business competition applications must be for a start-up or new business only (not for an existing business). Regional directors will subjectively determine eligibility.


March 27, 2020 – Round 1 submissions due; must include: Executive summary, Business Model Canvas, Financial projections, Signed Terms and Conditions. Please e-mail to or share as a google doc with
March 28 - April 3, 2020 – Round 1 Judging, Regional Competition; Businesses advancing to the final round will be announced by email on April 3.
April 9, 2020 – Round 2 final plan submission; must include:  Executive summary, Business Model Canvas, Financial projections (3 years), Slide deck and completed W-9 document. All submissions will be mailed to John Pappajohn and his team at Equity Dynamics.

May 1, 2020 Final award winners will be announced by email.