Iowa State University using 11-day State Fair to showcase its start-ups

File this one under the category of very novel ways to expose technologies to the masses in a largely rural region.

When the Iowa State Fair starts today, it will include an exhibit area with the title of “The Great Iowa State Pitch Off: STANDING InnOVATION!” that will feature more than 150 Iowa State University (ISU) entrepreneurs. According to this article, the event that runs throughout the 11-day fair will work as follows:

  • Students from every ISU college, as well as ISU Extension and Outreach and recent alumni, will compete in the pitch-offs, which will occur from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each of the first eight days. There will be 14 pitches – two per hour – every day, and each entrepreneur will have up to five minutes for the presentation followed by a five-minute Q&A with the audience. Fairgoers visiting the ISU exhibit will vote for participants to move to the semifinals by dropping a soybean into a Mason jar.
  • From the daily competitions, 56 semi-finalists will be selected to compete in front of a panel of judges on days nine and 10 with four semi-finalist pitches per hour.
  • Seven winning pitches will be announced on the last day of the fair which is August 18. ISU President Wendy Wintersteen and Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert will present awards to the winners.

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