Surge Summit Spring 2018 Winners

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May 04, 2018
Surge Summit Spring 2018 Winners

Iowa City, Iowa – The University of Iowa’s Venture School, a nationally recognized program for entrepreneurs developed by John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, held its closing workshop, Surge Summit, on Friday, April 27th. Twelve teams completed the intensive eight-week program with a streamlined curriculum developed by the National Science Foundation at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkley. A total of $14,000 was awarded to current and alumni venture school businesses during a final pitch competition at Surge Summit.

Venture School Spring 2018 Award Winning Teams
First Place | $3,000 | Mo’ Goodness (Des Moines), creating a clean spicy food line for the specialty food market.
Second Place | $2,000 | Trigger Engineering, LLC. (Le Claire), developing an attachable interactive modular shooting system.
Third Place | $1,000 | Windsmart Systems (Des Moines), harnesses wind forces to build quantifiably superior commercial roofs.
Fourth Place | $500 | Creative Habitat (Waukee), a workspace for parents, play space for kids, and creative co-working community.
Judges Choice | $500 | Cohco Gear (Sioux City), creating medical clothing that allows patients to mitigate infection risk, heal comfortably, and live fully.
Venture School Alumni Awards
First Place | $3,000| Insulights (Sioux City), an affordable agriculture electric fence insulator that helps livestock and orchard managers protect their electric fences.
Second Place | $2,000 | Citispoon (Davenport), a community-based restaurant app that personalizes dining recommendations.
Third Place | $1,000 | FixxStick (Des Moines), a tool filled with cotton swabs pre-saturated with makeup remover to correct or touch up cosmetics.
Fourth Place | $500 | Hungry Goat (Davenport), making organic produce more accessible by sustainably growing high quality vegetables and herbs indoors.
Judges Choice | $500 | Via-Wise (Iowa City), provides truck drivers with an evidence-based weather assessment and routing recommendations to provide a safer driving environment

Other current Venture School cohort participants included: Artispreneur, Kessi Solutions, QC Open, VIVED, Road Jet,, and Silver Spaces.
Other Venture School alumni participants included: Agiloak, OVOLV3 Group, and Paradise Utopia.
Venture School is now accepting applications for the statewide fall 2018 cohort. For more information about Venture School or to apply, visit:
About the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center & Venture School:
Established in 1996, the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) is committed to teaching and supporting innovation and entrepreneurial development. Iowa JPEC is proud to play an important role in the development of Iowa-based technology and high-growth startup companies. Serving University of Iowa students, Iowa startups and businesses, and k-12 innovative youth - Iowa JPEC’s programs support entrepreneurs of all ages and experience levels. 

Established in 2013, Venture School is a program developed by Iowa JPEC. The statewide Venture School program helps entrepreneurs by accelerating the startup process while increasing their odds of success. Venture School is the state of Iowa’s only National Science Foundation I-Corps Site. For more information, please visit

Kristen Tobert, Communications Specialist
(319) 384-1968

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