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

28 Mar 2022


The 2022 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition application portal is now open.  The seventeenth annual statewide competition will award $100,000 in cash prizes to Iowa startups and entrepreneurial ventures.   

The $100,000 in seed funding includes a $50,000 contribution from John and Mary Pappajohn, matched by $50,000 from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).  The goal of this competition is 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, bio-technology, green technologies, medical, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, engineering, and education industries. 

The deadline for first round submissions is May 16, second round submissions for select applicants is July 18, with final awards announced on September 15, 2022. 

Participants will be judged first on their written submissions, and, 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 project of 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

The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is the expert in rural business innovation and success. In partnership with North Iowa’s Small Business Development Center, together we provide tools, support, and resources to Iowa’s entrepreneurs. We counsel both new and existing local businesses, from Main Street to industry leaders. We’re growing Iowa’s entrepreneurial culture through grade school initiatives, college and community programs, and business training and development. Contact the NIACC Pappajohn Center at 641-422-4111 or

North Iowa Area Community College, founded in 1918, is a nationally-recognized, two-year college located in central North Iowa.  With approximately 3,000 career and transfer students, the College has been recognized by the Aspen Institute as a leading community college in the nation.  NIACC welcomes students from across Iowa, Minnesota, the nation, and the world. The College has served as a leader in student-centered learning, community engagement, and collaborative leadership for more than 100 years. Choose NIACC First.  

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