Exterior photo of John Pappajohn Business Building
Thursday, January 26, 2017

University of Iowa students have the opportunity to compete for cash prizes while developing a business model focused on sustainability at the Frontier Co-op – Tippie Impact Competition this spring.

All University of Iowa students are eligible to participate in the competition. Participants will be asked to understand the environmental and social components factored into the long-term profitability and viability of their business.

“Students who participate will develop an understanding of how socially responsible strategies impact the business enterprise,” says Sara Maples, manager of research support and college sustainability at the Tippie College of Business.

“Developing metrics for social and environmental impact, identifying data sources, and analyzing market potential for sustainable products are just some of the key learning outcomes students can expect,” says Ion Bodi Vasi, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship and sociology. “These are all relevant in today’s business climate, and their importance will continue to increase over time.”

The competition includes three steps culminating in students pitching their ideas to a panel of judges in April. The winning individual will receive a cash prize and the potential opportunity to develop their business ideas in the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center incubator located on the UI campus. First-place prize is $2,500, second place is $1,000, and $500 for third-place finish.

Competitors must first fulfill a sustainability training session on February 19. Competitors will be evaluated on the quality of their presentations, the successful implementation of the sustainable business model canvas, and the degree to which the team is solving a significant problem.

“We care deeply about the effect our business has on the world – the people we do business with, the way our products affect the environment, and the holistic health of us all,” said Frontier Co-op Chief Executive Officer Tony Bedard. “We hope the competition inspires the next generation of business leaders to take a closer look at the role sustainability will play in their careers.”

“We are extremely appreciative of Frontier Co-op for partnering with Tippie in this competition. Their commitment and level of awareness of how business impacts the world is a great example for our students,” says Maples.

More information can be found at tippie.uiowa.edu/impactcompetition.