Iowa State University Innovation Prize

Activity Description

The ISU INNOVATION PRIZE is an incentive competition at Iowa State University that takes place on campus Students, faculty and staff, and the entrepreneurial community are invited to participate!  The Iowa State Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship and Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative co-host the event.

The competition theme for the sixth annual event is Innovation at Iowa State.  There will be three focus areas for participants to solve:

  • AgTech:  How do we increase the productivity of the global agricultural system with a less negative impact on land, energy, water, and Mother Earth?


    • Possible focus: Food Security; Food Waste; Water Quality & Availability; Keep Life Below Sea Habitable for Humankind; Combat Deforestation & Life on Land; Sustainable Agricultural; Renewable Energy in Wind, Solar, Hydropower; Energy Crops; Carbon Sequestration; New Public Policy; and Private Investment Options.
  • EdTech: How do we design & reinvent learning for a better experience (quality & value) in an age of accelerating technology?


    • Possible focus:  Nontraditional Classroom Experiences & Models; Breakthrough Experiential Learning; Latest Brain Science & Learning Technologies; Innovative Funding Formulas; Offline & Online Learning–New Technologies, Analytics, & Robotics; When and When Not to use Assessments; Great Transformations–Shrinking Demographics in Local Schools; Life-Long Learning.
  • Global Impact: How do we improve the quality of life and continue to help solve urgent issues all around the globe?


    • Note: This category is meant to be broader and to challenge yourself to think big!  Possible focuses:  Fighting Poverty & Reducing Inequalities Within Developing Countries; Ensure Healthy Lives & Well-Being; Achieve Gender Equality & Empower All Women and Girls; Ensuring Affordable & Clean Energy to Transform Lives, Economics & the Planet; Overcome Urban Cities Congestion & Shortage of Adequate Housing & Declining  Infrastructure; Sustain Life on Land & Combat Deforestation.

Register for the Event

What to Expect?

During the event, participants will form in small groups, based on their interests and abilities, then choose one of the three Bold Challenges.  Why small groups?  With little to lose, entrepreneurial small teams are able to brainstorm and consistently outperform large groups when it comes to innovation.  Incentive prizes are perfectly designed to harness this energy!


FRIDAY 11/12/2021

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Kick-off

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM | Creative Session

7:30 PM – 8:00 PM | Team Formation

8 PM  | Team Kick-off + Active Work (building closes at 11:00 PM)

SATURDAY 11/13/2021

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM | Group Instructions

10:00 AM- 12:00 PM | Group Work Time

12:00 PM | Boxed Lunches

12:00 PM – 12: 30 PM | How to Pitch Like a Pro

12:30 PM – 2:30 PM | Pitch Refinement + Active Work (mentors available for virtual help)

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM  | Instructions for Final Presentations

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Final Presentations

4:00 PM | Judges & Awards

Register for the Event