The Iowa Award Goes to John Pappajohn

Aug 25, 2016

The next recipient of the state’s highest award for an individual will be Des Moines philanthropist John Pappajohn.

Philanthropist John Pappajohn supports Iowa's entrepreneurial community in a big way.
Credit Rob Dillard

At a luncheon to honor entrepreneurs, Governor Terry Branstad announced Pappajohn would receive the Iowa Award.

Pappajohn is known for his financial support of start-up companies and for the arts as seen in the downtown Des Moines sculpture park that bears his name.

“Those of you who know me know I’m a dreamer," Pappajohn says. "I’ve always been a dreamer. I still dream at 88-years old, and I hope I have the time and the wherewithal to accomplish more of my dreams.”

There have been 23 Iowa Award recipients since the first one was given to Herbert Hoover in 1951. The last honoree was World Food Prize President Kenneth Quinn in 2014.

The top monetary award in the annual Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is going to an Osage-based start-up.

Performance Livestock Analytics is developing software to help livestock farmers operate more efficiently.

Company Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Dane Kuper says the $25,000 check will enable him to focus on sales.

“Our system is getting deployed across a lot of large operations," he says. "So, I think it will allow us to scale our sales effort and truly make ourselves more viable as a business.”

The Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is in its 11th year. 

It has handed out 600-thousand-dollars to support start-up companies since its inception.