Four UW-Green Bay students helped pitch their teams’ ideas at Demo Day in Milwaukee as part of The Commons Fall 2018 cohort, recently. Students applied to the program then spent a weekend plus nine Tuesday nights in Milwaukee working on either a real corporate innovation challenge or on a startup in order to accelerate their entrepreneurial skills. Students are placed on teams via their project preferences but are matched with other Eastern Wisconsin college students
Senior Laura Van Remortel (Business Administration) worked on a team for startup Green Earth Terrarium. Milwaukee county social entrepreneur Cole Compton founded the company when he was 14. Now a college student, Compton designates 15% of proceeds from the high quality, lower cost terrariums to non-profit organizations that are dedicated to community, collaboration, and positive change. The team focused on better identifying Green Earth Terrarium’s ideal customers.
Senior Zeeshan Ali (Accounting) and freshman Ryan Kroll (Business Administration) worked on corporate innovation project “Silver Lining” for West Bend Insurance. The team created a an app to help potential West Bend insurance customers understand different types of coverages, connecting them to a West Bend Insurance agent for help if needed.
Freshman Amanda Leigh (Accounting) worked on corporate innovation project “We Power the Future” for WEC Energy Group to help them identify how to communicate with job seekers the variety of career tracks available at We Energies. Amanda lead off her team’s pitch at Demo Day.
Other projects presented included corporate innovation challenges from Kohl’s, MMSD (Metro Milwaukee Sewer District), and Sartori (focusing on Sheboygan County’s workforce development) as well as startups solving the problems of dangerous open air coal-fueled cooking in Uganda, goal-setting with accountability and community, keeping up your proficiency in American Sign Language, and video-based (as opposed to text-based) work productivity (think: a better Slack).
Past UW-Green Bay students who participated in The Commons programs have included majors in Computer Science, Psychology and Engineering. However, The Commons does not ask students for their major or minor courses of study nor GPA in the application process.
UW-Green Bay students on all campuses can apply to the spring 2019 cohort of The Commons or contact Ryan Kauth, firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Companies who would like to join other companies leading innovation in Northeast Wisconsin (such as Acuity, Ansay, Aurora Health Care, Direct Supply, Feeding America, Godfrey & Kahn, Graef, Kohler, Kohl’s, Northwestern Mutual, Sargento, Sartori and WEC Energy Group) by partnering with The Commons to sponsor a team of college students to work on one of their corporate innovation challenges can contact Kauth or contact Joe@TheCommonsWI.com.