IdeaStorm Competition Results

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October 08, 2019
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This last week (September 30-Oct 3) we had the privilege of hosting three uniquely focused IdeaStorm competitions in various locations across campus.


IdeaStorms are entry-levels pitch competitions open to all UI students. These competitions are designed to introduce students to innovation by encouraging them share their idea in two minutes or less with their peers and a panel of judges. Students do not need a business plan, prior pitching experience, or a presentation to pitch – this allows students to have a soft introduction to the world of entrepreneurship.


A total of 95 individuals joined us at these competitions where they heard 42 UI students pitch their creative ideas. These students represented a variety of majors and areas of study making this competition a great example of multidisciplinary innovation across UI’s campus. The top four ideas selected by judges were awarded cash prizes at each competition, as well as a People’s Choice award that was selected by students who attended the event.


As you will see below, this semesters winning students represented a wide variety of academic areas. Congratulations once again to our Fall 2019 IdeaStorm winners!

Health Initiatives IdeaStorm – September 30 Hosted in the Iowa College of Public Health
Students shared ideas that aim to help create a better well-being through health care innovation.

  • 1st Place, $500 | Ashley Davis (Engineering )Sergeant Bluff, IA
    Walker Stabilization – uses gyros, accelormeters and straps to stabilize and improve a walker. 
  • 2nd Place, $400 | An Gie Leong, (Grad Student, Business Analytics) Malaysia
    Nurses Checklist – a checklist to standardize nursing workflow. 
  • 3rd Place, $200 (Tie)| Michael Westphal  (Pre Medicine)  Urbandale, IA
    Patient RFID Bracelet Key – Product uses RFID to gain entrance into patient rooms.  Durable enough to prevent patient loss, it allows for a master key and removes the risk of patient lock-in
  • 3rd Place, $200 | Jon Lensing  (College of Medicine) Otley, IA
    Apollo – Hiring platform for healthcare staff
  • People’s Choice $150 | Nora Bensellam (Enterprise Leadership) Ames, IA

Power Buoy – motorized orange safety buoy to save a drowning person

Creative Concepts IdeaStorm – October 1 – cancelled due to low registration, participants rescheduled to other nights

Common Good IdeaStorm – October 2 -  Hosted in Seamans Center

Students shared ideas that inspire change through social and sustainable solutions that benefit the common good.


  • 1st Place, $500 | Ryann Getz (CLAS/Arts Entrepreneurship Certificate/Event Management) Urbandale, IA
    Deaf Art – an art studio where classes are taught in American Sign Language.  Allows deaf children to participate in art classes without an additional interpreter. 
  • 2nd Place, $400 | John Ross (Enterprise Leadership) Cedar Rapids, IA
    Academy for Scientific Advancement – A nonprofit that will provide STEM resources to young African American students with a goal of diversifying workers in STEM fields in the future.
  • 3rd Place, $300 | Kenzie Curran  (Chemical Engineering) Davenport, IA
    Raise Your Hand – An app allowing students to  submit questions to professors during lecture that can be viewed live.  Eliminates interruptions and fear of speaking out.
  • 4th Place, $200 | Quinn Herbert (Business Direct Admission) West Des Moines, IA

Rage Magazine  - Fashion, beauty, lifestyle magazine dedicated to enhancing educational experiences of any student interested in fashion marketing, advertising, journalism, photography and design.  Aimed toward those with limited resources to experience in larger communities. 

  • 4th Place, $200 (Tie) | Eric Thomas (Microbiology) Iowa City, IA

Protein powder made of insects/superworms

  • People’s Choice | Spencer Franke (Cinema) Wood Dale, IL

Adding geo-location capabilities to weapons to ensure safety of citizens in US

Consumer Solutions IdeaStorm – October 3 – Hosted at Pappajohn Business Building
Students shared ideas that explored solutions to everyday problems through new products or services.

  • 1st Place, $500 | Spencer Collison (Direct Business Admission/Computer Science) Johnston, IA
    SafeWalk – Mobile app similar to Google maps but utilizes crime databases to give people’s routes a safety rating
  • 2nd Place, $400 | Blake Whitten (Entrepreneurial Management) Hiawatha, IA  
    Alternative Education Financing – marketplace that invests in human potential.
  • 3rd Place, $300 | Ayotoluwafunmi Ogunwasi  (Journalism and Mass Communication) Grayson, GA
    Of Kings and Queens – Fashion show and design that puts African shows, designers and models in a new and more entertaining light
  • 3rd Place, $300 (tie) | Zoe Hermsen  (Art/Printmaking MFA) Dubuque, IA  
    Freelance Finance – an app that helps freelancers with finances and pricing   
  • People’s Choice, $150 | Morgan Paynter (Marekting) Falls Church, VA
    Instagram Caption Consulting – help people/businesses flesh out their ideas and express their personalities in Instagram captions. 

Iowa JPEC is committed to helping students, faculty, staff, and community members launch and grow businesses. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you think we can be of any assistance. To find out additional information about other opportunities available to students of all areas of study, please visit


Congratulations once again to all colleges who had students pitch in these competitions!