Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship to host pitch competition


Jack McClellan

The Student Innovation Center is home to eight different Makerspaces, which students can use to practice innovating and fabricating their various ideas.

Contestants interested in presenting their entrepreneurial pitches will compete next week for a cash reward in the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship’s fall Startup Pitch Competition.

The Fall Startup Pitch Competition starts its contest Monday, where Iowa State students are invited to present their entrepreneurial pitches. The top three contestants in each category will be awarded a cash prize.

A total of 25 contestants will compete Monday and Tuesday within two categories: existing business ideas or new ideas. The existing business ideas are defined as beyond concept, with existing products and already some revenue. The new ideas are defined as currently in the idea stage with no product or revenue.

The Iowa State Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship will be hosting, with Program Coordinator Megan Graettinger, among the team setting up the event.

“The goal is to give feedback to the students,” Graettinger said. “We want them to build their confidence, their public speaking and these other skills. If people don’t feel like they’re ready, we also have office hours where students can meet with our team to run their pitches with us.”

Each pitch will be allotted 90 seconds, followed by two minutes for judges to ask the presenters questions. The top three for each category in the initial rounds will win $500 for first place and $250 for second and third while also qualifying for the final round.

Three winners from every category each day will proceed to the next round Thursday. In total, 12 contestants will compete in the last round. The final round will award $3,000 to the first-place winner, $1,500 to the second and $500 to the third.

All 25 places have been filled; however, Graettinger still encourages people who are interested in participating to sign up.

“We have a waitlist, so if anyone drops up to the day of the competition, someone from the waitlist could get the opportunity to present,” Graettinger said. “Normally, we do have a few people drop, so it is worth a shot.”

This event is open to any Iowa State students, whether undergraduate or graduate, and is an opportunity to get their ideas out there and potentially funded.

The event will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Student Innovation Center, room 3231. The last round will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday in the Student Innovation Center Launch Pad. The initial rounds and the finale will also be live-streamed from the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship Facebook page for anyone interested in viewing.