Iowa Startup Contest

Iowa Student With Swine Startup Wins Global Startup Competition

SwineTech Wins National Startup Competition and Will Represent The US At Global Finals In April

SwineTech-top Iowa Student With Swine Startup Wins Global Startup Competition

The company founded by Matthew Rooda helps sow farms in the pork industry better manage and monitor their herds. The company helps reduce the amount of piglets that die on farrowing facilities because they are crushed by sows. They use technology to do this and improve the overall success of the herd, thus improving the profitability of the sow farm.

A combination of Bluetooth wearables along with cloud based big data systems give the average farmer an advantage. They also keep the data jargon and complexity down so that farmers don’t have to learn a new language to implement SwineTech’s system.

The Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) recently named Rooda and SwineTech as the National Winner In the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.

An EO program, GSEA is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a for-profit business while attending college. The competition took place March 6-7 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center in Kansas City. Throughout the stages of the competition, 48 members of various EO chapters served as judges, looking for originality and leadership skills, as well as a successful business model and sales.

As the national winner, Rooda received a $10,000 cash prize and will attend the GSEA global finals in Frankfurt, Germany in April to represent the U.S. in competing against the top student entrepreneurs from around the world. The winner of the global finals will be named the EO Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year and will receive a $20,000 cash prize, as well as invaluable in-kind business services provided by EO members.

“I’m so honored to have been named the national U.S. winner for GSEA this year. At each stage of the competition, I was able to learn from the mentorship of EO members and judges. I’m excited that I was able to impress them with SwineTech,” said Rooda. “It really is an honor to represent the University of Iowa and our nation at the global finals to compete against the best student-run businesses in the world.

Johnny Fayad, a student at Northeastern University and founder and CEO of New Grounds Food, received second place. The rest of the finalists are listed below:

Student Name

Company Name

Morgan Barse


David Butcher

Flyby BBQ

Alex Coren


Angelo Damiano


Jordan DeCicco

Sunniva Caffe, Inc.

Joshua Doering

Seed Slide

Johnny Fayad

New Grounds Food

Vincent Forand

Period. The Menstrual Movement

Santiago Gallardo

Logistics Identity and Technology

Kayla Jackson

PeduL, Inc.

Kevin Kassel


Andy Kieatiwong

Additive Rocket Corporation

Jonny May

Piano With Jonny

Fiona McCormac


John Mullin


Senthil Natarajan

Ziel Solutions

Swarnav Pajari

TouchLight Innovations, Inc.

Nick Parinella


Matthew Rooda

SwineTech, Inc.

Kostas Sousoulas

Yimello Smoothies

Ashley Steiner

Ashley Ink & Paperie

Kalin Uluave

Tahitian Treasures

Isaac Wittenstein

TEQ Charging, Inc.

Emily Yoder

Earth Energy Sustainable Treats

Judy Zhu


To qualify as a U.S. National finalist, students had to earn first place in their local GSEA competitions.

Competition guidelines required that applicants be actively enrolled as an undergraduate at a recognized college or university. The applicants’ businesses must be structured as for-profit or social enterprise, been in operation for at least six months, and have generated at least $500 in revenue or received $1,000 in investments at the time of application. 

You can check out SwineTech here.