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NIACC Student Catherine Dow wins top prize  at 2024 Pappajohn student business competition

Catherine Dow is currently a freshman at NIACC where she is studying Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management. She was awarded one of three $5,000 prizes.

MASON CITY — North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) student Catherine Dow was named one of the top three winners at The Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition, sponsored by John Pappajohn, Equity Dynamics, Inc. Catherine was awarded one of three $5,000 prizes. Catherine is currently a freshman at NIACC where she is studying Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management. She is also a member of the NIACC College Entrepreneur Organization (CEO) Club where she serves as Secretary.

The Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is held every spring and is open to Iowa university and college students, including private and community colleges, with an interest in starting their own business. A total of 15 student businesses competed as regional finalists selected from each of the five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers: North Iowa Area Community College, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, University of Iowa, and Drake University. The statewide finals were held at the University of Iowa Pappajohn Higher Education Center in downtown Des Moines on Monday, April 22, 2024. Each regional finalist was awarded $500 if not selected for the top award.

The competition is a collaborative effort among the Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers located at Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa. The competition was founded by John Pappajohn to help student entrepreneurs in pursuing their business ideas while at college in Iowa. Over $300,000 has been awarded to student entrepreneurs over the last 20 years.

The three winners from the state competition are:

Instatat — Catherine Dow, North Iowa Area Community College (Clarksville, IA)
Instatat revolutionizes the tattoo industry by offering a user-friendly platform for semi-permanent tattoos, integrating advanced AI technology to instantly create the perfect design. Combining this innovative approach with premium materials like GPE, Instatat ensures vibrant and long-lasting designs without the lifelong commitment of traditional tattoos. This unique blend of AI and premium ingredients allows for easy customization, empowering individuals to express their authentic identities effortlessly and conveniently.

DC Outdoor Services— Davan Crooker (University of Northern Iowa)
DC Outdoor Services is a landscaping construction company whose mission is to provide high-quality landscaping services with the utmost integrity. They offer patio installations, retaining wall installations, as well as general landscaping. Equipped to do projects of any size, DC Outdoor Services is your go-to landscaping provider.

Regain Orthotics — Joy Clark (Drake University)
Regain Orthotics provides a low-cost functional prosthetic to individuals living with above-elbow limb loss. Each A.R.M Device is sold as a kit, designed for fabrication on site without the need for a skilled prosthetist, allowing the end-user to customize, maintain, and repair their device with common household or hardware store materials. At less than 1% the price of a conventional prosthetic, the unique design combines practicality, affordability, and accessibility, putting the A.R.M Device within reach of patients in need globally, from war-torn Gaza to a United States trauma center.

SBPVC Winners from left: Davan Crooker, Catherine Dow, Joy Clark, via NIACC

Regional winners from the NIACC Pappjohn Center were awarded $500 for their business concepts on April 6, 2024 at NIACC. The NIACC regional winners are:

Renner Ag Solutions – Caleb Renner (Klemme, IA)
Renner Ag Solutions is a new start-up company aiming to add efficiency and safety to your farming operation. Renner Ag Solutions is developing an alternative to the bin sweep which will eliminate the need for farmers to enter the grain in during the clean-out process. This product is patent pending.

KÜLBOX – Elic Fjetland (Clarion, IA)
KÜLBOX is a lip care and cosmetic insulator device. Customizable, compact, and versatile product to protect your lip balm, sunscreen, or insulin. Leave it in the car, purse, or tackle box to make melted messes a problem of the past.

NIACC staff & student entrepreneurs from left: Ashley Page, Caleb Renner, Elic Fjetland, Catherine Dow, Candi Karsjens, Kelley O’Rourke, via NIACC

(TOP PHOTO: NIACC Student Catherine Dow and NIACC Pappajohn Center Director Candi Karsjens, via NIACC)

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