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2013 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Awards at Drake University

October 24, 2013

Drake University recently hosted the 2013 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition Awards Luncheon for the third year in a row. The five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurship Centers located in Iowa collaborated for this competition, which aims to stimulate entrepreneurial activity and create a greater awareness of resources available for startup businesses in Iowa.

The 2013 award winners, R-pipe, Memcine Pharmaceuticals, and Scout Pro, were announced at the luncheon.

R-pipe received the first place award of $25,000. The civil engineering company uses recycled plastic soda bottles to create lighter, more durable, and less expensive sewer pipes that are equally strong as traditional pipes. The company is based in Ames, Iowa and was established in 2013.

Memcine Pharmaceuticals Inc. took second place along with $15,000. Memcine Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to enhancing vaccine efficiency for infectious diseases as well as working with breast cancer therapeutics.

ScoutPro Inc. was the recipient of the third place prize and $10,000. ScoutPro was founded in 2011 by former childhood crop scouter Michael Koenig. The technology works with smartphones and tablets to increase the efficiency of crop scouting, identifying weeds, insects, and crop diseases.

To be considered for the competition, judges comb through dozens of applications and whittle down the number of competitors to approximately 15. Then, judges take a closer look at companies and the qualifications they have to decide the top ranking competitors.

“We’re seeing a diverse set of applicants,” says Thomas Swartwood, assistant professor of practice in entrepreneurship at Drake University, who aided in judging the competition. “Most represent feasible, sustainable business proposals.”

In order to be eligible for the award, companies must have an original idea and business operations must be in Iowa. Further rules and regulations can be found on the John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition website.

Judging the competition alongside Swartwood was another Drake faculty member, Deb Bishop, associate professor of practice in management and international business, whose willingness to coordinate the event has been fundamental in Drake’s recurrent involvement.

For more information contact Debra Bishop, associate professor of practice in management and international business at or 515-271-3818