Venture School Companies Make Their Pitch at Launch Day



Five companies participated in the Innovation Lab’s fall cohort of Venture School, a seven-week accelerator program offered in partnership with the University of Iowa and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurship Center. On November 10, the program culminated in Launch Day where the participants made their final pitches in a bid to win prize money for their business.


Launch Day featured ‘shark tank’ style pitches from the five startups. Each team pitched to a panel of judges for a chance to win $3,000 in prize money for their business. Judges included Tom Trone, an entrepreneur from the Quad Cities, and Andrea Olson, an entrepreneur from the Iowa City area. Each also served as an instructor during the seven-week program. The event was attended by about 30 entrepreneurs and business leaders who were interested in learning about the startups.


Teams included:

  • RH Prints, a contract t-shirt printing broker that is developing a software platform to streamline t-shirt production by connecting printers, brokers, and customers.

  • Haggle, a blockchain-enabled marketplace and peer-to-peer lending experience dedicated to agriculture.

  • BKB Musix provides lessons, practice spaces, and technical assistance to musicians.

  • Unfiltered Brown Girl, an online fashion brand that sells statement piece accessories designed to celebrate underrepresented cultures.

  • Bottle Blender has a better way to blend and drink healthy beverages through a unique combination of a reusable straw and blender tool.

RH Prints took home the top prize of $1,000 for the best pitch, while other teams took home prizes for the best pivot, best customer discovery, and best business model canvas.


“Venture School is exactly what we needed, we would not have accomplished the customer discovery without Venture School,” said Riley Hasken from RH Prints.


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