2022 Winner Announced

We are pleased to announce the winners of the first inaugural InnoVenture Challenge, Hawkeye Surgical Lighting.

Hawkeye Surgical Lighting is an advanced manufacturing startup that has developed the world’s first voice and motion controlled surgical headlight. It is less than half the weight of the nearest competitor and nearly twice as bright, attaches directly to a surgeon’s glasses (loupes), integrates seamlessly with an IOS app through Bluetooth and can toggle between white light and UV wavelengths to illuminate the borders of normal tissue against tumors. Dr. David Christianson is the Co-Founder and CEO of HSL, and Manny Ray is the COO.

We had so many qualified, competitive applicants for last year’s InnoVenture Challenge – narrowing down the pool from nearly 100 startups to just three felt (at times) like an impossible task. Our team wants to extend a sincere thank-you to everyone who took the time to apply. Please know that we pored over every submission, made a few tough calls, and ultimately turned down a number of high-quality companies.

The finalists who made it through this rigorous process were three outstanding startup companies, led by motivated, resilient founders: The Hummingbirds, Clayton Farms and, of course, Hawkeye Surgical Lighting. Our judges reviewed all three companies’ original applications and heard each company deliver a 5-minute pitch on-stage, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. They deliberated back-stage while the audience mingled for a brief intermission before announcing the grand prize winner on-stage (and hand delivering the $100,000 check).

It is a joy to see this much entrepreneurial activity happening in our state, and we hope you will consider joining us in supporting all Iowa companies at the next upcoming InnoVenture Challenge, which will take place in early December 2023.