Applications Now Open for the Annual John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

The 2024 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition application portal is now open. The nineteenth annual statewide competition will award $100,000 in cash prizes to early stage Iowa startups and entrepreneurial ventures that intend to scale operations in Iowa.

The $100,000 in seed funding includes a $50,000 contribution from the late John Pappajohn, matched by $50,000 from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). This competition aims to support Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by assisting entrepreneurs.

Iowa businesses that have been in operation for four years or less or are not yet cash flow positive are eligible to apply. This competition is open to businesses including, but not limited to, technology, biotechnology, green technologies, medical, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, engineering, and education industries.

The deadline for first-round submissions is May 13, and second-round submissions for select applicants is July 15, with final awards announced on August 22, 2024.

Participants will be judged first on their written submissions; those who advance to the final round of the competition will give a formal presentation to a panel of judges. First place will be awarded $40,000, second place $25,000, and third place $15,000. Awards for other honorable mention categories will total up to $20,000.

The competition is a collaborative program among the Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers located at Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa. The Iowa Economic Development Authority provides funding to bring the total prize package to $100,000.

For additional information about the competition or to apply, visit

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