Frontier Co-op – Tippie Impact Competition

This competition is right up your alley if you’re interested in using business practices to help solve some of the most challenging social and environmental issues of our time. 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. Throughout the competition, consult with faculty, business owners, and sustainability professionals to work through your business model canvas. 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 14: 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Sustainability training and networking lunch
    • March 6: 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. - Pitch coaching
    • March 15: Video submission due
    • March 27: Finalists notified
    • April 17: Finals at Frontier Co-op

    Sustainability Training

    During a 2-hour workshop, students will learn about entrepreneurship and the Sustainable Business Model Canvas as well as how to identify and address key sustainability issues relevant to their business model. Students may use the 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

    Pitch Coaching

    Two weeks after the training, participants will have the opportunity to practice their pitch and receive feedback and guidance from a small team of coaches. Participants will articulate the value for the customer, value for the business, and value for stakeholders, the environment, and society.

    Video Pitch

    On March 15, submit a video recording of your pitch and a draft sustainable business model canvas. Pitches must be 3-4 minutes in length. A panel of judges will evaluate the pitches and select up to five finalists.

    Frontier Co-op – Tippie Impact Competition finals

    Finalists pitch their sustainable business model to a panel of judges on April 17 at Frontier Co-op. The winning individual or team will receive a cash prize and an opportunity to develop their business in the Iowa JPEC incubator. 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 sustainability challenge. Winning participants will demonstrate the ability to act on their sustainable business model.


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

    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.