Frontier Co-op – Tippie Impact Competition

This competition is right up your alley if you’re interested in sustainability issues facing our society, specifically in the business environment. Learn how to develop a sustainable business model and identify environmental and social components that factor into the long-term profitability and viability of your business. During the finals, pitch your sustainable business concept to a panel of judges. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners, as well as an opportunity to develop your business inside the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory (BELL).

    Competition timeline

    • February 10 from 10:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. in W401—Sustainability half-day training
    • February 27—Sustainable business model canvas draft due 
    • April 21 from 9:00–11:00 a.m. in the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU), 3rd floor—Frontier Co-op – Tippie Impact Competition finals  

    Sustainability half-day training

    During a half-day workshop on February 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (W401), you will learn about entrepreneurship and the business model canvas as well as how to identify and address key sustainability issues relevant to your business model. Use the half-day training session to brainstorm business ideas and meet with other potential partners. All participants must have the intent to develop a sustainable business model. All University of Iowa students are eligible to participate in the competition.

    Register for the training

    Business model canvas

    On February 27, indicate your intent to compete in the Frontier Co-op – Tippie Impact Competition by submitting a draft sustainable business model canvas. In addition to the template outlined in “The Startup Owner’s Manual,” by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf, include two additional “boxes”—societal costs and societal benefits. Articulate the value for the customer, value for the business, and value for stakeholders, the environment, and society.

    Frontier Co-op – Tippie Impact Competition finals

    Pitch your sustainable business model to a panel of judges on April 21 from 9:00–11:00 a.m. in the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU), third floor. The winning individual or team will receive a cash prize and the potential opportunity to develop their business in the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory (BELL). Judges will evaluate teams based on 1.) quality of presentation, 2.) successful implementation of the sustainable business model canvas, and 3.) the degree to which the team is solving a significant problem. Winning participants will demonstrate the ability to act on their sustainable business model.


    1st place—$2,500
    2nd place—$1,000
    3rd place—$500

    If you have questions, please contact Sara Maples

    Frontier Co-op

    Frontier Co-op™ offers a full line of natural and organic products under the Frontier Co-op, Simply Organic®, and Aura Cacia® brands. Their products include culinary herbs, spices and baking flavors; and natural and organic aromatherapy products. Frontier Co-op’s goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality organic and natural products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility.

    Frontier Co-op cares deeply about the effect our business has on the world—the people and communities they do business with, the way the production of their botanical products affects the environment and the holistic health of us all. Their operating framework involves a focus on core business activities, creating social and environmental value whenever possible, and minimizing our footprint elsewhere.