Entrepreneurial Competitions

Elevator Pitch Competition

Bart Schmitz, Program Manager, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
319-273-5732

The UNIEntrepreneurs, in conjunction with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, holds an elevator pitch competition early in the fall semester. The winner from the UNI competition advances to the national Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization's competition held at the CEO annual conference. Three national winners are selected.

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Global Student Entrepreneur Award (GSEA)

Bart Schmitz, Program Manager, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
319-273-5732

Undergraduate student entrepreneurs who own a "for-profit" business and have been responsible for ongoing business operations for the past six consecutive months are eligible to compete in the regional GSEA contest. Regional winners advance to the Global Finals, sponsored by the Entrepreneur's Organization (EO). The winner receives a $10,000 cash prize plus products and services donated by EO members.

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Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Laurie Watje, Associate Director, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
319-273-5732

This annual business plan competition for start-up or young Iowa business owners asks prospective competitors to submit an executive summary, business model canvas and financial information. Judges select businesses to continue in the competition, and those business owners must submit full business plans. Plans are reviewed, and up to 10 businesses are selected to make presentations to judges in the final round. The top three businesses receive awards of $40,000 (first), $25,000 (second) and $15,000 (third).

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Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute

Laurie Watje, Associate Director, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
319-273-5732

Eight UNI students, selected through essays and interviews, are grouped with 24 students from the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Buena Vista University, and Iowa Lakes Community College for one week of advanced study of entrepreneurship in the Iowa Lakes Region during the month of August. Students compete in a business simulation and also attend seminars with successful entrepreneurs and business and community leaders to enhance their understanding of entrepreneurial opportunities in Iowa. Three hours of UNI academic credit, room and board are paid by the JPEC.

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Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Laurie Watje, Associate Director, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
319-273-5732

This annual spring competition, sponsored by John Pappajohn, Equity Dynamics and the Pappajohn Centers, is for Iowa college and university students interested in starting their own businesses. Original business ideas are chosen in five regional competitions with winners advancing to the state level. Seed awards of $5,000 are given to three winners who effectively present viable business models.

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Early Founders Program

Laurie Watje, Associate Director, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
319-273-5732

Eight week summer program for UNI student entrepreneurs who want to fast-track their business development.  Students will have the ability to earn up to $5,000 while spending their summer working on their start-up.  The selection process is very competition with a limited number of spots available for the summer.

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