Student Maria Arunkumar continues legacy of female college entrepreneurs from UW-Green Bay

Maria Arunkumar

Arunkumar has been selected as a semi-finalist in the Draper Competition

For three years running, a UW-Green Bay student has been selected as a semi-finalist in one of the nation’s Top 10 largest collegiate entrepreneurship competitions—the Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs. This year, Maria Arunkumar (Business Administration) is competing virtually on April 7, 2021 in the Draper Competition with her business idea, Build-a-Wedding.

Build-a-Wedding guides couples through a comprehensive set of questions to determine exactly what is needed to plan their special day. The online service feeds answers into an algorithm which provides the couple with a personalized set of options that meets all their requirements.

In 2020, alumna Marissa Dyess ’20 (Business Administration) competed with concept “Hempire Style,” a business that allows customers to create their own custom hemp-based lotions and bath-bombs that provide DIY skin treatment and relaxation through aromatherapy.

Leading this legacy is alumna, Jennifer Nowicki ’19, (Business Administration) who was the only college student from Wisconsin chosen to compete that year. Nowicki was selected to compete with her business, tea specialty shop Cultivate Taste, at the 2019 Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs at the Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center at Smith College in Northampton, MA.

Semifinalists compete with 70 other women entrepreneurs for a spot in the Top 10, who then compete for $100,000 in cash and $100,000 of in-kind services. The Draper Competition is a selective application-based competition that is an on-ramp for undergraduate women seeking access to entrepreneurship opportunities, capital and networks. The competition started in 2013 to level the playing field for aspiring undergraduate female founders.

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