North Iowa Entrepreneurs Win at 2022 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

North Iowa Entrepreneurs Win at 2022 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition Main Photo

26 Aug 2022


Winn-Worth Betco continues to offer scholarships to entrepreneurs for Venture School.  Many entrepreneurs have continued on to state.  Read here on this year’s success stories.  If you are interested in Venture School, contact WWB’s Executive Director, Melissa Michaelis at or 641-592-0800.  For more information on WWB’s Scholarship visit:


Mason City, Iowa – The sixteenth annual John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition awarded $100,000 in cash prizes to nine Iowa ventures Friday, August 12. The $100,000 in seed funding consists of a $50,000 contribution from John Pappajohn and a $50,000 match from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The goal of this competition is to support Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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

3 North Iowa entrepreneurs made it to the final round: Mitchell Hora of Continuum Ag (Washington, IA), Jayson Ryner of ReEnvision Ag (Nora Springs, IA), and Jill Ihrke of Easy2Show (Sheffield, IA).

Participants were judged on written submissions, and those who advanced to the final round of the competition presented to a panel of judges. $40,000 was awarded to first place winner Mitchell Hora of Continuum Ag; $25,000 to second place winner Ray Schmidt & Jessica Vlastaras of Farm Story Meats; and $15,000 to third place winner, Kyle Gernhofer and Charlie Hubbard of DenScore.

Honorable mention awards amounting to $20,000 were given to Jayson Ryner of ReEnvision Ag Inc ($5,000); Dr. Sandeep Laroia of Juggernaut Life Sciences LLC ($5,000); Dr. Shan Jiang and Yifan Li of Janas Materials Inc. ($4,000); Jill Ihrke of Easy2Show ($2,000); Emily Steele of The Hummingbirds ($2,000); and Dakota Hoben of Farmers Risk ($2,000).

Applications for the 2023 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition will open in Spring 2023. For more information 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

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