Student Business Plan Competition

Sponsored by John Pappajohn, Equity Dynamics, Inc., the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is intended for college students with an interest in starting their own business. Plans are judged based on a) Content of Plan and b) Viability of Plan.  Teams in the NIACC Regional Competition will compete for one of three (3) $500 seed grants and an opportunity to advance to the statewide competition. Finalists at the statewide competition will compete for one of three (3) seed grants in the amount of $5,000.


    • Full or part-time undergraduate or graduate students registered during the fall semester at any Iowa post-secondary educational institution are eligible for the competition. High school students enrolled in college credit courses are eligible.
    • Plans may be submitted by an individual or by a team of students.
    • Teams must consist of at least one student member.
    • Teams must consist of five or fewer members.
    • Business plans must be for a start-up business only (not for an existing business).

New Venture Business Plan Competition Guidelines (pdf opens in new tab)

Competition Timeline
March 30, 2018 Initial submission of Executive Summary, One-page Business Model Canvas, Financial Projections (Income Statement), and Terms & Conditions (signed)
March 31 to April 6, 2018 Judging, Regional Competition ($500)

Each of the five regional locations will select no more than three top business plans to compete in the final competition.  Regional competitions may include personal interviews or oral presentations at the discretion of the regional centers.

April 19, 2018 Up to 15 Teams Selected to Advance
April 20, 2018 Final Statewide Competition/Awards ($5,000),
tentatively set for 8AM-1PM
Regional award winners will give a pitch presentation (including slide deck) to Equity Dynamics staff in Des Moines, IA.  Three top awards ($5,000 each) will be presented following a luncheon event.  ($5,000 winners are not eligible for the $500 regional award–only one award per team.)

Coaching is available for North Iowa area students at the Pappajohn Center. Contact kelley.o’ for more information.