Share this

Top three finalists selected for John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition

September 20, 2011

Randy Pilkington, director, UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, 319-273-5732

Rebecca Schultze, communications and public relations manager, UNI College of Business Administration, 319-273-3309,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition has been narrowed down to three finalists, each of whom will present at a special awards luncheon on Nov. 16 in Des Moines.

Following a six-month long competition, where 50 business plans were submitted and reviewed, seven businesses presented to a panel of judges on Sept. 8. The judging panel included the five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) representatives from the Iowa Small Business Development Center.

The three competition finalists chosen by the panel, listed in alphabetical order:

  • M&S FlowMatics, which has developed a unique flow meter for real-time measurement of granular materials though a pipe, such as gravel, grain, sugar or sand. The company was formed in 2009 and is located in Ames.


  • Radiology Protocols, which has developed an online medical imaging process to make radiologic imaging efficient and accurate, thus lowering imaging costs. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in Iowa City.


  • VSI Aerospace, Inc., which combines software and air pressure sensors to alert pilots of trajectory changes to enhance safety and fuel savings. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in Ames.

The three winners and their final ranking will be announced at a special awards luncheon on Nov. 16.  At the luncheon, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will give a keynote address, and all three winners will provide a brief overview of their businesses. Checks of $25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second place and $10,000 for third place will be awarded, and a short video about the companies will be presented as the awards are announced.

"I congratulate each of the finalists on their outstanding business plans," said John Pappajohn. "More importantly, I hope this competition will stimulate additional entrepreneurial activity throughout the state, and that those business owners who participated will continue to access the resources of the JPECs, business accelerators and SBDCs to help them get started and accelerate their growth once they are in business."

"This has been a terrific competition, and it demonstrates that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive in Iowa," said Randy Pilkington, director of the UNI JPEC. "It will be truly exciting to watch the development and growth of these finalists and also the many other businesses that competed. In this contest, there are only winners, as the participants have dreams, built their plans and are executing on the business plans as we speak. The Iowa economy will be the eventual winner as these companies succeed and grow."

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers are located at Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers provide entrepreneurial education and business support, partnering with agencies like the Small Business Development Center, the Iowa Department of Economic Development,  Entrepreneurial Development Centers and local entrepreneurs to assist with funding and other business needs.