Business Idea Competition Participants

Mathematics major Sam Hunt wins pitch contest with golf training tool

UW-Green Bay Mathematics major Sam Hunt (center in photo) won UW-Green Bay’s second annual Student Business Idea Contest, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. Students from all majors pitched their innovative idea in 90 seconds for cash, scholarships to a summer entrepreneurship travel course in Portugal and/or the ability to keep pitching this spring for more cash and in-kind services. Here are the winners and their big ideas:

First place and $500 went to Sam Hunt (Mathematics) with his PrecisionLAG golf training tool. He won an additional $500 for the STEM in Business Award from WiSys to the best idea with intellectual property promise from a student with a STEM major. Hunt will be representing UW-Green Bay at “The Pitch” on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 for a $10,000 cash first prize. The Pitch will have two teams each from UW-Green Bay, UW Oshkosh, Ripon College, Lawrence University and St. Norbert College. In addition, this may qualify Hunt to apply to the WiSys Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament on April 21, 2018 and a chance to (to win $2,500 cash, $25,000 in additional seed funding from Ideadvance, and represent Wisconsin at the International Business Model Competition in Provo, UT in May for up to $27,000 in cash. (Also of note, Hunt was on the second place team last year with “The Local Food Experiment” business.)

Second place and $250 was awarded to Hannah Hastings (Business Administration and Accounting) with Pet’s Best Friend — a device that connects to a pet collar that communicates with an app to the pet owner based on how long a specific pet should be outside given the size and breed of the pet and the current weather temperature and conditions. Hastings will also represent UW-Green Bay at The Pitch on April 11. Hastings was also accepted to The Commons’ Hack-It Bracket One-Day Hackathon in Milwaukee, Saturday, March 3, 2018. Hastings already has her own business providing bookkeeping services for several small business clients.

Third place and $100 was awarded to Katherine Mikhail (Business Administration) for Piggy Bank — an app that connects to a Bluetooth piggy bank that teaches kids how to budget their allowance and earn money toward a goal (such as buying a desired toy), through gamification. Both parents and kids work within the app together. Mikhail was a member of the winning “Innovation in Aging” pitch competition on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. That winning team may also be contacted by WiSys to also apply to the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament.

Receiving honorable mention and $50:

  • Luke Chambers (Businesses Administration) for his “Mind.Set.Go!” goal-reaching coaching program.
  • Jake Taylor (Business Administration) and Jordan Shefchik (Psychology) for their “Taking Flight Innovation” app, which helps connect entrepreneurs and inventors to resources, from free to paid, to get help developing their ideas.
  • Claire Bestul (Business Administration), with “Ice Detector” app which helps detect lake ice thickness.
  • Jennifer Nowicki (Business Administration) with “Cultivate Taste” — an existing business. Nowicki is the only professional with particular tea expertise certification in Wisconsin.
  • Courtney Gersek (Business Administration) with “Swift Shopper” app to help navigate a particular store’s floor plan and identify where sales are, etc.
  • Ibrahim Budul (Computer Science) with 22nd Inc., a business intelligence software system for small ethnic grocery stores.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Business Idea Competition 2018

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Schreiber Foods highlights recent graduate, Dryer

We are unable to link to the story, but Schreiber Foods recently highlighted Amber Dryer ’17 in its internal newsletter. An intern at Schreiber since 2015, she was noted for for her recent Chancellor’s Award. The Computer Science, Information Science and Spanish major was recently named IS customer support analyst for the company.

Breakthrough® Fuel employees share tips with alma mater

Left to right: Alex Tilton ’14, Business Administration; Jared Spude, ’15 Political Science and Public Administration; Matthew Hart ’16 Computer Science; Kelly Williams, ’94 Organizational Communication; Carlene Frisque, ’13 Finance and History; David Zey ’99, Computer Science
Left to right: Alex Tilton ’14 Business Administration; Jared Spude ’15 Political Science and Public Administration; Matthew Hart ’16 Computer Science; Kelly Williams ’94 Organizational Communication; Carlene Frisque ’13 Finance and History and David Zey ’99 Computer Science


UW-Green Bay alumni employed by Breakthrough® Fuel served on a panel Tuesday morning in the Christie Theatre. They shared with current UW-Green Bay students the path that led them to work at Breakthrough® Fuel — a fast-growing, global transportation energy management firm located in downtown Green Bay. Currently 10 UW-Green Bay alumni work for the company, including founder and CEO Craig Dickman, a 1982 business administration graduate who serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees. Advice for the students in the crowd included “seize opportunities” and “embrace innovation.” Members of the panel spoke highly of their time at UW-Green Bay. Alumnus Jared Spud, ’15 Political Science and Public Administration referred to the University as a “big time school in a small town setting,” applauding the access to professors and great opportunities for students.

Think ‘College to Career’ with Breakthrough Fuel, April 18

Join the panel discussion with alumni who have turned their UW-Green Bay education in to successful careers at one of the area’s most innovative companies, Breakthrough Fuel. Tuesday, April 18, 2017 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Christie Theatre. Learn firsthand how people from various majors come together to solve problems, find innovative solutions and have a passion for what they do as a team. The alumni are Alex Tilton ’14, Business Administration; Carlene Frisque, ’13 Finance and History; Jared Spude, ’15 Political Science and Public Administration; Kelly Williams, ’94 Organizational Communication; David Zey ’99, Computer Science and Matthew Hart ’16 Software Analyst.

Global Game Jam

‘Cool Doggo Surftown,’ one of five video games developed by UW-Green Bay students at Global Game Jam 2017

About 20 UW-Green Bay students, with a little oversight from faculty and professionals in the gaming industry, created five new video games at the University’s first-ever local Global Game Jam (January 20-22, 2017).

Global Game Jam is a worldwide event in which groups of computer science students, computer programmers and others have 48 hours to form teams and develop new, innovative games. The Mauthe Center was UW-Green Bay’s weekend launch pad.

Cool Doggo Surftown!, Lightwave, Microwave Safe, Totally Tiny Tactics and Ping were created from Friday night to Sunday, with final designs submitted and demonstrated Sunday evening. Cool Doggo Surftown! — featuring a dog riding a surfboard across the ocean and hopping over obstacles — wowed the crowd.

Representatives from ZyMo Entertainment and Human Head Studios stopped by at various points of the weekend, scouting talent and helping with the jam, Geisler said.

The teams could create video games or non-digital games, like board games or card games, but they had to be based on the the theme, Waves.

UW-Green Bay Lecturer Ben Geisler (computer science) and Assistant Professor Bryan Carr (communication) were the organizers. Geisler stressed that the event isn’t a competition, but a fun way to educate those interested in computer science and introduce students to professionals in the field and the possibility of a future career opportunity.

The new games are available at this website.

Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Shelby Le Duc featured the event.

Photo by Sue Bodilly, Director of Content, UW-Green Bay.

Computer Science Graduates

UW-Green Bay computer science graduates have jobs waiting for them

They are ready and eager for the working world. Only nine of UW-Green Bay Computer Science students were eligible to graduate in December 2016  — six made it to the ceremony — but each is in high demand in the workforce and most had jobs lined up before they graduated.

Pictured in the photo above, are the six students who both marched in December commencement ceremonies and secured employment before graduation. From left to right, Brennen Frisque (Georgia Pacific), Matthew Hart (Breakthrough Fuel), Jacob Labeots (Human Head Game Studios), Landon Rehn (Thrivent Financial), Corey Swanningson (Schreiber Foods) and Adam Ulman (Thrivent Financial). Missing: Mitchell Ostrenga (hired by Schneider), Chelsea Patek (headed to graduate school) and Ethan Potts (closing in on a job).

Some of the graduates like Corey Swanningson worked their way from interns into permanent employees.

“In the summer of 2014 I started a software development internship with Schreiber foods where I was able to develop awesome relationships and gain more hands on experience with my potential future career, said Swanningson. “I was recommended for this position by UWGB Career Services as I hadn’t applied for it, but this opportunity was definitely life changing. This internship is what confirmed my desire to work in the software development industry. I started working full time in February of 2016 at Schreiber Foods as a software developer. I completed my last semester at UWGB this fall with five classes online while working 40-50 hour weeks and I have graduated in 3.5 years.”

Jacob Labeots has the rare opportunity to start his career at a game studio — Human Head Games Studios. “This is extremely difficult to do,” said Labeots’ UWGB instructor Ben Geisler. “What’s more, the Chief Operating Officer from the company personally contacted me asking for more graduates based on how well Jacob is doing so far.”

“This is a great bunch of students and a very special group because of their focus and willingness to go the extra mile,” says Ankur Chattopadhyay, UW-Green Bay Assistant Prof. of Information and Computing Sciences. “They all have done internships in their junior and senior years. Additionally, Brennen, Matthew, Adam, Chelsea, Mitchell and Jacob have worked on undergraduate research projects with their faculty members and presented their research in regional and state symposiums. A number of these students have served as teaching assistants and have shown leadership and role-model qualities!”

Frisque and Patek will be working with Chattopadhyay to present their capstone research at the top level computer science conference in the nation (in Seattle, WA) in March.

Sit back and enjoy Episode 2 of ‘Game and Learn’ now on YouTube

Log editors are providing this post, right from the inbox… “The temperature is dropping and we are all winding down for the semester, so what better way to kick back than with the long-awaited second episode of Game and Learn? This unique production of Information Science’s Game Studies emphasis has Prof. Bryan Carr sitting down with faculty and staff from UW-Green Bay to play video games and talk about their unique research, interests and experience. In honor of the likely smash hit “Super Mario Run” (the first ever time a Super Mario game has appeared on mobile phones!) this new episode focuses on the development of video game music and sound through the lens of the Super Mario series. Carr hangs out with Prof. Eric Hansen from UWGB Music for a wide-ranging discussion about the technological, stylistic and gameplay influences on the series’ music and how video game music has developed as a unique art form all its own. You will laugh, you will learn, you will get very frustrated that they can’t seem to figure out how jumping works. The video is available now on the UWGB Game Studies YouTube channel. Stay tuned for new episodes during the winter break.”

Find it here

Mark your calendars for this year’s Jingle Brawl

The second annual Jingle Brawl —a video game tournament organized by the UW-Green Bay Game Studies Program — begins at noon, Dec. 3 in the Phoenix Club (downstairs in the University Union). Jingle Brawl is a fundraising event aimed at helping local kids in need. This year’s chosen charity is St. Vincent Children’s Hospital. The event is free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged. New this year — Jingle Brawl’s costume and cosplay contest, human chess, and a Pokémon Go safari (led by student tour leader who knows the hot catching spots). Play video games both retro and brand new, enjoy coloring and crafts. Prizes by local businesses including the Green Bay Packers. Check out the Jingle Brawl website to learn more. Click here to make an online donation.

Students board the Train Jam express for real-life gaming experience

They were sore-eyed, fatigued and disheveled, but a 52-hour train ride from Chicago to the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco this spring was still the ride of a lifetime for UW-Green Bay students Tom Rismeyer and Jacob Labeots. They were accompanied by UWGB lecturer Ben Geisler (Computer Science) as well as 200 game designers, programmers and artists from across the country.

UWGB Computer Science: lecturer Ben Geisler students Tom Rismeyer and Jacob Labeots
UWGB Computer Science contingent: lecturer Ben Geisler (left) students Tom Rismeyer (center) and Jacob Labeots (right)

“We’re thrilled to continue sending student ambassadors to Train Jam each year. This is the second year we’ve done so, and results from both years are very positive,” Geisler said.

The participants met in Chicago and split into groups. The groups were then given the theme “Maximum Overdrive” and tasked with creating a game that incorporated the theme in the time it took to travel to the conference.

Rismeyer and Labeots joined forces with professional Ryan Smith of Human Head Games in Madison to create their game, “Tickets Please.” Focusing on keeping it simple, they had a working version of the game after 45 hours and a completed game close to the time limit.

“Our game was based around the idea that the player was in charge of a train station,” said Labeots. “The player’s job is to place passengers onto their respective trains based off of the information on their tickets. If the train reaches the maximum amount of passengers it can hold before it leaves, the player gets an extra bonus.”

“It involved a lot of new concepts including user interface programming, artificial intelligence work, and animating in-game models,” said Rismeyer.

Labeots and Rismeyer said that working with the professionals was an incredible opportunity.

“The first big developer that I met was actually a technical lead from one of my favorite game companies, and I was almost shocked at how approachable he was. He seemed like just another game developer among the crowd,” Rismeyer said. “While there was a difference in the quality of work between a professional developer and somebody like me, I found it to be very motivating.”

“It was great getting to work with people already in the field. Their knowledge was invaluable,” said Labeots.

Rismeyer learned about this opportunity in the fall semester when there was an e-mail sent to all of the Computer Science students regarding two slots that were open for students from UWGB to take part in the Train Jam and Conference.

“I decided to apply because I have always loved the challenge of game programming, and saw this as the best opportunity to gain practical experience while meeting new people and making important connections in the industry,” he said.

Looking to the future, Labeots, a fourth-year Computer Science major, looks forward to taking this experience and applying it to his future. “Game development is a main goal for employment coming out of college. This was a great opportunity to get to network with people already in the field and get a sense of what it is like to work in the game industry.”

Rismeyer, a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics with an emphasis in Statistics, aspires to become a data analyst post-graduation.

“While I do enjoy programming games, I do not want to bank completely on game development for my future,” he said. “I hope to be a data analyst of some sort after college. It has become obvious to me that this is an emerging field both within game development and the general information technology field, and data analytics and statistical analysis are things that I thoroughly enjoy.”

Geisler said the Train Jam opportunity is an incredible portfolio-building experience for his students.

“Both of the students that took advantage of this opportunity last year are working in the game development field,” said Geisler. “That’s a great track record and we hope to continue this especially as we launch the Game Studies major in fall 2016. Interested students in game development and design should keep their eyes on the Information Sciences section of the UWGB course catalogue, which will officially roll out Game Studies as an emphasis this year.”

Story by Marketing and University Communication Intern Angel Kingsley; photos submitted.