UI presents startup cash prizes to entrepreneurs

UI presents startup cash prizes to entrepreneurs

More than $159,000 in cash was awarded to University of Iowa entrepreneurs who participated in the Iowa Innovation Challenge in April, sponsored by the Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC), UI Office of Vice President for Research, UI research Foundation, and UI Ventures.

The prizes were awarded to student, faculty, staff, alumni, and incubator startups. Winners in each category include:

Undergraduate Student Awards

Best Tech/High Growth
First Place ($10,000): Track My Tummy, by Farhanudin Syed
Second Place ($4,000) tie: Avarupt by Caleb Marting and Palate Pal by Ally Carey, Jennifer Mount, Hannah Drkulec, and Taylor Deutsch

Best Non-Tech Business
First Place: ($3,500): CapturePro, by Patrick Prosser, Lane Dethrow, and Brittany Caskey
Second Place ($2,500): Funny Nuggets, by Jade Peterson
Third Place ($1,000): Kimik Sustainable Solutions, by Trent Katz

Best Retail Business
First Place ($3,500): Schneider Custom Designs, Blane Schneider
Second Place ($2,500): Fruit for the Earth, by Blake Quarrie
Third Place ($1,000): FoodCents, by Erika Law

Best Social Impact
First Place ($3,500): HeadsIn, by Matt Lewis
Second Place ($2,500): Assistance Technologies, by Michael Westphal, John Tian, and Zach Combs
Third Place ($1,000): Sociallite, by Ethan Bennett

Best Lifestyle Business
First Place ($3,500): FestPlug, by Michael Dankanich
Second Place ($2,500): Eagers, by Katy Misel
Third Place ($1,000): Sunflower Mobile Dentist, by Anna Fox

Best Overall Pitch
Context, by Stewart Knights

Honorable Mention ($2,500 each)
Golden Gloss Auto Detailing, by Matthew Nicholson
Ergo Tech, by Zoey Sletterhaugh 
PTXtension, by Ryan Gudenkauf 

Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students, and Incubator Startup Awards

First Place ($25,000): CartilaGen, by Jaison Marks
Second Place ($15,000): VerdiLife, Mahdi Eghbali
Third Place ($10,000): Apollo, Jon Lensing
Fourth Place ($5,000): Firefly Photonics, Fatima Toor, John Prineas, Michael Jones

Honorable Mention ($2,500 each)
Cardio Diagnostics, by Meesha Dogan
PaniClean, by Joun Lee
Graze Analytics, by Daniel Machlab

Alumni Division

Top Finalists ($10,000 each)
Apollo Technologies, by Jon Lensing
Skilled Day, by Megan Zalzala
Trigger Interactive, by Tyler Brockel

Runners Up ($5,000 each)
Dhakai, by Russel Karim
Goldfinch Health, by Brand Newland
Theion Agriculture, by Justin Carter
Speeko, by Nico Aguilar

Best Overall Pitch ($2,500)
Vertical Golfing, by Brady Trent


Tom Snee, Office of Strategic Communication, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell)