Students Win Prizes in Frontier Co-op - Tippie Impact Competition

Jun 06, 2017

Students Win Prizes in Frontier Co-op - Tippie Impact Competition


University of Iowa students recently presented their sustainable business ideas for a chance to win cash prizes at the Frontier Co-op – Tippie Impact Competition.

Mahdi Eghbali, a PhD candidate in Economics, took first place and won $2,500 for his business idea to replace chemicals used in agriculture with wood vinegar. Wood vinegar is produced using wood waste in a unique smokeless system and is an organic fertilizer, pesticide and fungicide.

“It was a great opportunity to participate the competition. I learned how to introduce my business better. The judges gave me great feedback and helped expand my connections to farmers in Iowa,” said Eghbali.

The second place winners Sena Chae, PhD candidate in the College of Nursing, and Kangsan Lee, a master’s student in Geographical and Sustainablity Sciences, won $1,000 and developed an advertising mechanism for funding PVC free medical bags. The revenue from advertising on the medical equipment would be used to purchase PVC free products to reduce carcinogenic risk generated by PVC containers.

The $500 third place prize was awarded to three undergraduate students, Zachary Audy, Tippie Collee of Business, Lucas Meyer, Tippie College of Business, and Stephen Lube, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The students developed Greenbox, a subscription service that delivers customers a box each month that is filled with eco-friendly items designed to help them live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

During the Hawkeye Innovation Expo held April 21, 2017 at the Iowa Memorial Union, competitors pitched their business models to a panel of judges. Teams were evaluated on the quality of their presentations, the viability of their business idea, and the degree to which the business idea addressed a sustainability challenge. One of the judges, Senior Associate Dean Kurt Anstreicher, commented on the quality of the business proposals. “The winning proposals considered not only sustainability and environmental benefits, but financial viability. These initiatives all successfully addressed the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.”

All University of Iowa students were eligible to participate in the competition. The competition had three steps culminating in students pitching their ideas to a panel of judges in April.

More information can be found at

Students Win Prizes in Frontier Co-op - Tippie Impact Competition