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Competitions Help Aspiring Entrepreneurs Get Funding

During the year, the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) and its partners offer several opportunities for students to raise money to start or grow their business while in college. Annually, JPEC awards more than $60,000 in cash prizes through its business plan and elevator pitch competitions. JPEC's goal is to help foster and grow the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders. Check the JPEC homepage for dates and program details about these competitions.

The Rose Francis Foundation Elevator Pitch Competition

Sponsored by David and Monica Nassif, the Rose Francis Foundation Elevator Pitch Competition gives any University of Iowa undergraduate student the opportunity to pitch his or her business idea to a panel of judges to win up to $2,500. Students present a two-minute pitch and have up to five minutes of Q&A.

Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition

In September 2000, John Pappajohn created a statewide business plan competition to encourage and help Iowa college students pursue their interests in starting their own companies. Regional competitions are held at each of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers in Iowa. Regional finalists present their plan to John Pappajohn and his staff at Equity Dynamics Inc. Three awards of $5,000 each are awarded to the top teams. Intent to Compete forms are due Friday, February 11, 2011. Download information about the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition.

Merle Volding Business Plan Competition

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at The University of Iowa sponsors the Merle Volding Business Plan Competition for all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at The University of Iowa. The event allows aspiring student entrepreneurs to compete for seed money to assist them in starting their new companies.

Student teams will compete for up to $7,500 in seed grant awards. In addition to the cash prize, teams will receive ongoing support from JPEC. View a suggested business plan format. Intent to Compete forms are due Friday, April 1, 2011.

New Venture Challenge

The purpose of the IOWA Centers for Enterprise New Venture Challenge is to encourage new, original ideas or start-up business opportunities. The contest permitsall University of Iowa faculty, staff, and students, as well as start-up companies whose principal address is at the UI Research Park, to take their first steps toward turning an idea or opportunity into a viable business. The spirit of the contest is that it is both an educational experience and a potential launch pad for those who wish to start a business or are currently in the process of starting a business. Registration for the 2011 competition is now closed.

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