Disability-Driven Innovation Summit Business Pitch Session

On May 10, the Disability-Driven Innovation Summit will host an in person and virtual session for entrepreneurs and small business owners that embody the best of disability-driven innovation. Ideal participants are small business owners wanting to increase product distribution/scale their business model, entrepreneurs, and innovators who have developed – or are developing a product or service that: 

    • Allows persons with disabilities to more fully participate in the workforce or communities in which they live; or 
    • Allows non-disabled persons to better engage and collaborate with persons with disabilities across all sectors of society. 

The session is meant to offer an opportunity for participants to showcase their business, its innovation, and its impact to attendees of the Summit. The presentations can be made in person at the Tom and Ruth Harkin Center at Drake University or virtually through a Zoom portal. 

Applications are due by May 2, and those selected to present at the Summit will be notified by May 6. 

Selected entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to receive consultation and guidance in scaling their business or product line with the support of local and nationally recognized companies and brands. Attendees will have the opportunity to support small business owners and entrepreneurs through a variety of options including financial investment, mentorship and promotional support.   

Submission Materials

Each applicant will be required to complete a brief, online application through a secure log-in on The Harkin Institute website. Please submit a PowerPoint presentation with a limit of 10 slides that will include the following information: 

    • The company’s mission  
    • The problem being addressed, and why it matters 
    • The research and development used to address the problem 
    • The demographic who will buy/use the product or solution (including the potential to scale to markets beyond persons with disabilities) 
    • The reason this concept needs to come to market now 
    • The business model 
    • Market competition 
    • The team 

 Optional supporting attachments can be included. They can be as follows:  

    • Business Plan or Business Canvas Model  
    • Additional materials such as videos or features of your business  
    • Targeted Small Business, Veteran Owned Certificate or Disabled Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE) Certificate through DisabilityIN 


Thank you to our sponsors!