Application  Process

All applicants must comply with the Rules of the Competition, which are listed in the right side bar.  If eligible, interested participants may fill out the entry form through the Gust Website under Enter Now.  Please complete the entry form by the June 20th  deadline.

Step #1:  To enter the Iowa Business Plan Competition go the Gust Website and select “Submit Your Company.”  Then fill out the entry form provided.  Please also fill out and submit the Publicity and Liability Release Form to before the June 20th deadline.  The competition entry form (essentially an executive summary) will consist of the following sections:

  • Company Overview
  • Primary Location
  • Stage
  • Primary Industry
  • Pitch
  • Date Founded
  • Name
  • Company Website
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Competitors
  • Sales and Marketing Strategy
  • Customers
  • Target Market
  • Products/Services
  • Customer Problem
  • Management
  • Financials

Step #2. The judges will review the competition applications and those selected will be notified of their acceptance to compete on June 22, 2015. Those selected to enter the competition will submit a complete business plan by August 3, 2015. The complete business plan must be submitted to the Gust Website under “Business Plan”.

Previous successful business plans range from 15 – 35 pages, although you are not limited to this number of pages. We suggest being succinct with your plan. Your plan should contain:

  • Cover page with name of owner(s), company address, phone, fax, e-mail, website
  • Table of Contents (optional)
  • Business section that includes but is not limited to: type of business, products/services/proprietary information, regulations, facilities, equipment, location, operational needs, and environmental factors.
  • Management section that includes but is not limited to: ownership composition, management structure, managing personnel, key personnel, security, and consultants.
  • Marketing section that includes but is not limited to: target markets, customer segments, competition, market entry, location, industry trends, method(s) of distribution, promotion, and pricing.
  • Financial section that includes but is not limited to: three years of cash flows, income statements, and balance sheets; statement of owner(s)’ equity, and use of proceeds statement.
  • Support documents section that includes but is not limited to: resumes, licenses, and proprietary filings.
  • Format of the document shall fit the following guidelines:
    • Font size between 10 and 12 point.
    • You may use any font you like; however, using one of the following will increase the ease of readability of the plan. Recommended fonts include: Times New Roman, Arial, and Helvetica.
    • Margins no less than .75, not including header and footer.
    • All pages must be numbered after the cover page.
    • All pages must have either a header or footer stating the name of the business.

All information will be kept confidential, to the extent allowed by law, and is for the use of this business plan competition. We will not provide, sell, or distribute information about your company or your business plan to other parties or third parties.

The judges may require verification of certain information during the review of the business plan. Only complete business plans will be considered i.e. plans including the application, business section, management section, marketing section, and financial section.

Any questions regarding submission of business plans should be addressed to any Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Small Business Development Center, or Accelerator. Representatives of the Competition will not respond to direct inquiries regarding the contest other than general administrative questions. Businesses are encouraged to consult with a Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Small Business Development Center or Business Accelerator for assistance/guidance in the preparation of a business plan.

Terms and Conditions

Other Funding or Competitions. Teams that have already secured funding from any source must disclose the amounts and sources at the time of entry, or as soon as they become aware of any funding commitment during the duration of the competition. Teams that have entered a plan into any other business plan competition must disclose this at the time of entry or as soon as they enter their plan in another competition during the duration of the Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition.

Original Work of Authorship. All entries must be original and free from any claim of copyright or other restriction relating to the Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition.

Number of Entries. No individual may be included as a “team member” on more than one business plan, and no business may enter more than one business plan.

Payment of Prizes. The cash awards paid by the sponsors/judges do not constitute an investment in the winning business plans. Sponsors/judges will not receive equity in the winning companies in exchange for the prize money. Awards to the winners of the Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition will be issued in the name of the company as set forth in the plan and the sponsors/judges do not assume any liability for any subsequent distribution.

Rights Reserved. Sponsors reserve the right to change these Official Rules at any time, in its sole discretion, and to suspend or cancel the Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition or any entrant’s participation in the competition should unauthorized human intervention or other causes beyond Sponsors’ control, affect the administration, security, or proper play of the competition. No responsibility is assumed and entrants waive all claims for lost, late or misdirected entries, or for any problems of technical malfunction of any telephone or network lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry received by Sponsors on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, the website or any combination, thereof including, without limitation, any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer resulting from any causes, including without limitation downloading any materials in the promotion. Entrants who violate these Official Rules, tamper with the operation of the Contest or engage in any conduct that is detrimental or unfair to Sponsors, the Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition, or any other entrant (in each case as determined in Sponsors’ sole discretion) are subject to disqualification from entry into the competition. Sponsors reserve the right to lock out any entrant whose eligibility is in question.

Release and Waiver. By entering, participants, without limitation, release and hold harmless Sponsors, and their respective directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind in connection with the Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. By entering this competition, you agree to waive any right to claim ambiguity or error in these Official Rules or in the competition itself.