Pitch your next innovative idea to our panel of judges and win $1,000 or $500 for your idea.


The Conference: Innovate


November 8, 2019

9 AM - 12 PM


Jeff & Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center

2508 Mortensen Rd

Ames, IA 50014


To learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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© 2019 by EVENT 486X: Advanced Event Productions at Iowa State University.


$1,000 Grand Award Pitch Competition, 

Keynote Speakers, Interactive

Workshops, and More.

Opening Remarks

9:00 AM

What is innovation? Iowa State University's President, Wendy Wintersteen, will kick off The Conference: Innovate by discussing what it means to innovate, think outside of the box, and take risks. Innovation is a variable term that means something different to everyone, and President Wintersteen will provide attendees with insightful commentary regarding her own perspective. 

Wendy Wintersteen

President of Iowa State University

Breakout Session #1

Choose between 2 options

#1: Pitch Competition

9:20 AM

Think you have the next bright idea? Let’s hear it! Judges from the ISU PappaJohn Center for Entrepreneurship are awarding a $1,000 first place and $500 second place prize to two innovative winners. Register to pitch your idea after you register for The Conference: Innovate OR watch the finalists pitch their ideas to the judges! Who knows? Maybe your peers may inspire you to start your next great idea! 

Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship

Campus Resource

#2: Innovative Eats

9:20 AM

Join us as Chef Sean and Cheryl Lounsberry from Iowa State University Catering demonstrate the most recent trends in food and beverage! You will have the opportunity to enjoy some unique snacks while hearing their advice about finding creative space in a such a defined industry.

Iowa State University Catering

Local Business

Breakout Session #2

Choose between 2 options

#2: Sketch It Out

10:10 AM

In this hands-on workshop for creatives, attendees will experience sketchnoting, a visual thinking technique that inspires creativity, enhances focus, and boosts memory. Jen McClung, ISU Associate Teaching Professor for American Indian Studies and English, will teach you how to doodle your notes in real time in a way that helps you remember important content. This technique is special because it is completely unique to how you think!  Materials provided. No drawing experience necessary!

#1: Let's Get Started

10:10 AM

Calling all young business professionals! Register for this session and learn how to bring a dream to life. Nadav Mer, local entrepreneur and business professional, will speak about his business, Morning Bell Coffee Roasters. Learn the ins and outs of starting your own business as Nadav takes us through his journey of founding, operating, and expanding Morning Bell Coffee Roasters.

Morning Bell Coffee Rosters

Nadav Mer, Owner

Sketchnoting Workshop

Jen McClung, ISU Associate Teaching Professor for American Indian Studies and English

Keynote Presentation:

Personal Branding with Kyla Studios 

Personal Branding

11:00 AM

Learn more about personal branding from Kenzie Achterhoff and Mikayla Allender from Kyla Studios. Read on to learn more about our innovative, passionate keynote speakers:

Kenzie Achterhoff: "I've been surrounded by entrepreneurship my whole life. Growing up, I watched my parents manage, innovate, and dream up new business ideas as they successfully ran their own. From the very beginning, my heart was set on creating. In college, I learned that my passion to create was found in photography and visual communication, which led to an interest in all things digital marketing. My soul is set on fire by the idea of walking with others in their journey to reach their dreams, and I'm in love with that playing out through entrepreneurship."

Mikayla Allender: "Growing up in a creative home, I spent my free time painting or making “art” out of items found in the recycling bin. Creativity followed me in high school, as I spent hours in the art room or covering my notebooks with doodles in class. I graduated college with a degree in Visual Communications, specializing in graphic design. I currently love my job as a graphic designer in the entrepreneurial world. I’m constantly learning the freedom art brings, which ultimately comes from the One who’s creation inspires me greatly."

Closing Remarks

11:45 AM

The Conference: Innovate will conclude at 12 PM, but first, we will announce the winners of the Innovate Pitch Competition! Hear from our judges and learn more about what it takes to be truly innovative.

The Conference: Innovate Staff

Event Organizers