Enterprising persons in the Sheboygan area are being encouraged to consider opening a downtown pop-up shop for the 2021 holiday season. A pop-up shop is a temporary retail space that allows entrepreneurs to test the advantages…and discover any disadvantages…to running a retail location, and get a feel for what a regular brick-and-mortar shop could involve.The program, offered by the City of Sheboygan, is being promoted by the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation and the Small Business Development Center at the UW-Green Bay. Those two will provide expert guidance to any interested entrepreneurs who are selected, while the City will benefit through a diverse and stronger downtown district.Those interested should apply by the June 30th deadline.For more information about the SCEDC’s entrepreneurial services, email info@SheboyganCountyEDC.com or call (920)452-2479.To apply for the pop-up shop program, click here
UW-Green Bay student Cheri Branham (Social Work) took third place in the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, presented by WiSys, on May 20.
The tournament brings together teams of university students from across the state to pitch innovative business ideas.
Branham’s idea “Technology Literacy Training for Older Adults,” aimed at pairing tech-savvy young adults with older adults inexperienced with technology, won a $750 prize. See more about her motivation for the idea in this feature.
Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), was a featured guest speaker at the event. Hughes also served as a judge, along with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation’s Greg Keenan and the Center for Technology Commercialization’s Idella Yamben.
“Innovation is part of Wisconsin’s DNA and one of the keys to our state’s future growth,” said Hughes. “All of the entries were amazing, and it’s exciting to see the enthusiasm for innovation and entrepreneurship that all of the finalists demonstrated. I want to congratulate the winners and thank everyone for participating.”
UW-Parkside student Gabrielle Richardson’s idea for a health care app to improve patient communication and treatment took first place and a $2,500 prize.
UW-Whitewater’s Jason Tamras and George Soucek took second place and a $1,500 prize in the tournament by presenting “Battery Savior,” a more convenient portable phone charger.
In the leadup to the event, participating teams received mentoring from business leaders including Georgia-Pacific’s Darin Driessen, Titletown Tech’s Aaron Kennedy, Kentucky Commercialization Ventures’ Monique Quarterman, the Small Business Development Center’s Colleen Merrill and Resourceability’s Kelly Berry.
The Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament was sponsored by UW System and WEDC.
The virtual event was part of the 2021 WiSys SPARK Symposium Virtual Series—which honors faculty, staff and student research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the UW System. For more information about the symposium’s events, visit wisys.org/spark.
WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.
You are invited to the open house/ribbon cutting from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 3, at Cultivate Taste Tea, owned by UW-Green Bay alumna and entrepreneur Jennifer Nowicki ’19 (Business Administration). Nowicki’s new location is in downtown Green Bay at 520 N. Broadway St, Suite 120. The new spot is located in a building owned by UW-Green Bay alumnus Paul Belschner ’95 (Accounting) of Base Companies. For more information, see the event on Facebook.
Cheri Branham (Social Work) and her project Technology Literacy Training for Older Adults has won the Spring 2021 UWGB Student Business Idea Virtual Pitch Contest. Branham pitched her idea in a 90-second video. First prize is $500 cash. Her project, influenced by her grandmother, provides free technology help to older adults at locations such as the ADRC. The teacher/mentors? College students. Branham recently placed first in the 2021 Innovation in Aging competition (see her presentation here) and will be competing May 20, 2021 in the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament. Register to attend.
Prize money was furnished by Dental City’s Competitive Spark Endowment.
See the Spring 2021 UWGB Student Business Idea Virtual Pitch Contest overview.
- The second place winner of $400 was John Dyer (Business Administration) and his pitch for his very own Dyer Brewing Company.
- Third place of $300 went to a team of six students working on Empowerment Through Diversity.
- Fourth place, and $250, went to the team pitching their Support Local Subscription Box idea.
- Fifth place, and $200, went to the team with the Healthy Snax Box idea.
- Sixth place went to COLORSTOP, an idea pitched by a team of MS Management students. They earned $150 cash. COLORSTOP was the third place winner of Innovation in Aging 2021.
- Seventh place and $125 cash went to eSec, another team of MS Management students. This team recently pitched at The Pitch (https://thepitchfoxcities.com/the-event/2021-st-norbert-college/) at St. Norbert College against teams from Lawrence University, UW 0shkosh, and St. Norbert College.
- Eighth place, and $75, went to Joe Bezio (Undeclared) who pitched his idea, Flex-Holder.
The Greater Green Bay Chamber economic development team is excited to welcome Lamarr Banks ’17 (Business Administration) as the Urban Hub community manager.
Banks will be responsible for the development and day-to-day operations of programming through the Urban Hub co-working space located at 340 N. Broadway, Ste. 200, Green Bay, as well as provide key assistance to Greater Green Bay entrepreneurs and businesses to help them grow. In his role, he will promote the Startup Hub throughout Brown and surrounding counties, launch Chamber accelerator programming efforts, implement programming for the Urban Hub to assist local entrepreneurs and manage onsite needs of the Urban Hub.
With a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and several years’ experience in the financial industry, Banks describes himself as a “student of life, passionate about building a better future for people.” He is excited to be a part of the economic development team and looks forward to leveraging the resources of the Urban Hub to help entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses.
“We are excited to have Banks on the team,” says Kelly Armstrong, vice president of economic development at the Greater Green Bay Chamber. “He has great energy to take the Urban Hub to the next level and provide additional resources into our entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
You can reach Banks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920.940.3245.
Top presenters could win a $1,000 prize during the WiSys SPARK Symposium
(WySys release) UW System students are invited to present their research and innovative projects during the WiSys SPARK Symposium Virtual Series—a celebration of research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the UW System.
Students can present orally during one of three Student Research & Innovation Showcases—June 2, June 9 or Aug. 11.
The showcases in June are geared toward students who worked on their projects during the academic year and the August showcase is set up for students who may be conducting their work during the Summer. However, students can choose to present at any of the three events, based on what works best for them.
The presenter registration deadline for the June showcases is May 17. The deadline for the August showcase is July 26. Students can register at wisys.org/spark.
The events will allow students to:
- Showcase projects to a statewide audience.
- Improve presentation skills in a supportive environment.
- Win cash prizes (up to $1,000) and recognition for their work.
WiSys seeks presentations on research projects from any discipline (social sciences, humanities, science, technology, etc.) and a broad range of innovative projects (product prototypes, video games, applications, business ideas, social efforts, etc.).
If you have a question about whether your project fits the showcase, contact WiSys’ Jennifer Souter at email@example.com.
This is the second year that WiSys’ summer symposium was redesigned as a virtual series because of the pandemic. WiSys plans to return to an in-person event next summer.
Many of the events in virtual series were created specifically for students, including the following:
- Secure Your STEM Internship, July 21
Science and technology industry leaders share tips, tricks and advice with undergraduate students seeking STEM internships. Students will learn what to expect and where to look for these important developmental opportunities.
- Graduate & Professional School Advice, Aug. 4
Undergraduate students interested in seeking an advanced degree will engage with current or recent postgraduate degree-seekers in a supportive, peer-to-peer small-group conversation intended to answer questions about the application process and life as a student at the next level.
- Grant Writing for Students, Aug. 5
Students interested in adding the grant writing skill to their resume will learn the basics from WiSys grant writing experts in this starter session which may be especially useful for students on track to attend graduate school. Graduate students may find that they need grants to complete their work or may work with faculty who would benefit from a knowledgeable student.
For more information about the WiSys SPARK Symposium, visit wisys.org/spark.
WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.
WiSys | Marketing & Communications Associate
Two teams from UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Vallari Chandna’s (Cofrin School of Business) Strategic Management Capstone Classes, have made it to the Top 100 rank in the GloBus Simulation weekly rankings for the week of April 5 through Sunday, April 11. Both teams placed in the top 20.
C-Suite members Kimberly Bargender, Hannah Bunde, Jennifer Maruszczak, Zachary Pantzlaff and Jake Rogers tied for 10th place out of 3,484 teams from 151 colleges/universities participating currently!
C-Suite members Channing Modschiedler, Angel Montano, Amanda Wittbrot and Anastasia Zink tied for 20th place.
The top 1% worldwide rankings is especially commendable given that both teams are in online sections of the Capstone course, and the students have to coordinate their work virtually.
In the Capstone course’s strategy simulation, student teams run a company that is racing for global market leadership in the wearable video cameras and camera-equipped copter drones industry. Each decision round, students make 20+ types of decisions from all business domains including design and performance, assembly operations, shipping and delivery, workforce compensation, pricing and marketing, corporate social responsibility and citizenship, and the financing of company operations among others.
The research communication contest will feature three-minute presentations by UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Parkside and UW-River Falls students.
Student researchers from UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Parkside and UW-River Falls are set to compete in the WiSys Quick Pitch, a statewide research communication competition, on April 7 at 4 p.m.
The event will be virtual and livestreamed via YouTube. You can find the link and more information about the competition at wisys.org/quickpitch.
“Undergraduate students across the UW System undertake impressive research projects in every discipline. Through the WiSys Quick Pitch Program students develop the critical skill of talking about a complex subject to general audiences,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga.
During the WiSys Quick Pitch, student participants have three minutes to impress a panel of judges with their research and their ability to articulate its larger importance to society. Leading up to the event, students receive training and support to craft their presentations.
The top presenters from each campus will receive cash prizes and advance to the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final on May 26.
Students from four other UW System schools competed in the WiSys Quick Pitch in March. Students from three more UW System schools will participate in May. For more information about those events and the program, visit wisys.org/quickpitch.
WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries, and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.
WiSys | Marketing & Communications Associate
“Taco Bell, the Mexican-inspired fast-food chain, is quickly adapting for a new era of food culture. As trends shift in the ever-changing food market, Taco Bell has developed several innovative new services to maintain dominance in the quick-service space. Facing pressure from competing brands, the company has announced new restaurant concepts, convenient food delivery services and a unified digital experience to draw in consumers who are eager for grab-and-go convenience. Starting in 2004, Taco Bell struggled to compete with competitors, including similarly themed restaurants like Chipotle or Del Taco, as seen in how the chain suffered financial and public relations failures in the attempt to establish locations in Mexico and Dubai. Despite this, the chain saw same-store sales growth of 6% in the fourth quarter of 2019, likely related to the expansion of restaurant technology and innovative services.”
Taco Bell CEO is UW-Green Bay alumnus Mark King ’81 (Business Administration).
A love for the Hmong culture led to a business idea and people’s choice award for Ka Vang, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Vang, who entered the Fall 2020 UWGB Student Business Idea Virtual Pitch Contest, created a business model for Ntxhais Hmoob, a modern Hmong-inspired fashion line for everyday wear. The 2008 Green Bay West High School graduate and current Appleton resident was born in a refugee camp in Thailand.
“It was a difficult situation; just like many other Hmong families suffered,” Vang said. “My family moved to the United States in 1994 and we initially migrated to California before moving to Wisconsin several years later.”