UW-Green Bay student startups have earned 3 of the 8 spots in the 2020 Wisconsin Business Idea Tournament (WBIT), held by WiSys. This is the first year UWGB students have earned three entries into the WBIT. This year’s WBIT will be held virtually on YouTube and Facebook at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10. Cash prizes of $2500 and $1500 will go to the first and second place competitors, respectively.
UWGB’s automatic spot in the WBIT was earned by G-Pods for winning the Innovation in Aging hackathon at UWGB. G-Pods was developed by UWGB students in the Engineering Club and will be presented at the WBIT by Katelyn Desrochers (Mechanical Engineering) and Logan Holbrook (Mechanical Engineering). G-Pods are hearing-aids with life-alert like functionality and sensors to monitor the user’s health data.
Two UWGB student teams earned at-large spots into the WBIT this year.
3C is the startup of UWGB entrepreneurship students Joe Doro ’20, Sydney Gille ’20 and Brett Nimz ‘20, who are also all Business Administration majors. 3C better connects volunteers to collaborate and contribute with charities via an online avenue for completing specific social responsibility, community-building and relationship-creating projects. The team recently placed second in the Spring 2020 UWGB Student Virtual Business Idea Contest and started the business in the spring New Venture Acceleration entrepreneurship class.
Local2You is the startup of UWGB entrepreneurship students Noah Redfearn, Emily Walczyk ’20, Brody Wiest ‘20, and Maddie Yoss ‘20, who are all Business Administration majors. Local2You is an online service providing quality assessment, marketing tools and online sales to entrepreneurs and inventors looking to reach virtual markets. The team recently placed third in the Spring 2020 UWGB Student Virtual Business Idea Contest and also started the business in the spring New Venture Acceleration entrepreneurship class.
The last time UWGB earned an at-large entry into the WBIT was the year Sam Hunt won the tournament with The Local Food Experiment, earning a spot in the Ideadvance accelerator and an automatic spot in the International Business Model Competition, where he placed as a semifinalist in the Top 15 out of over 1,000 entries.
Four of the eight WBIT entries are from Northeast Wisconsin.
The Small Business Development Center of UW-Green Bay has scheduled several eight-week Entrepreneurial Training Programs (ETP) for help in writing a business plan for your new or growing business in three different counties over the next few months: Brown, Door, and Sheboygan. For more information, as well as registering and applying for the grant, please see the website.
On Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, UW-Green Bay hosted the first event of the annual Startup Green Bay Week, as per tradition. This year, the UW-Green Bay Entrepreneurial Finance class opened its classroom to the public, including local press, for what would have been a typical guest lecture. However, Aaron Kennedy, founder of Noodles and Company and UW-Green Bay Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Titletown Tech, filled the room. Kennedy motivated with his startup story and how he came to be where he is today. He detailed his journey from graduate school at UW-Madison, to working on launching Lunchables for Oscar Meyer, and then moving on to Pepsi where he helped turn the soft drink into the “Taste of a New Generation.” Kennedy concluded his story with his work at Titletown Tech, where he helps startups invest into branding themselves well and fine-tuning their marketing. More on Kennedy’s talk was covered in a story by business reporter Jeff Bollier in the Green Bay Press Gazette.
The UW-Green Bay Entrepreneurial Finance class went off campus on Wednesday, Nov. 13 to take part in Startup Green Bay Week. Class members attended 1 Million Cups Green Bay, a community of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial support personnel for entrepreneurs across the nation to connect with on the second Wednesday morning of each month. Entrepreneurs present on their business and their customers, and community members engage with them to help them advance their businesses.
For the 1 Million Cups Green Bay Startup Green Bay Week event, a panel of three entrepreneurs gave an update since they presented at 1MCGB earlier this year or last year. UW-Green Bay Entrepreneurship lecturer Ryan Kauth (business) served as the panel facilitator.
Registration is open for Hatch Pitch Sheboygan County, an idea pitch contest. Register before the Nov. 14, 2019 for a chance to pitch your idea to a panel of judges and a live audience, and to compete for cash prizes. Details and link to register here.
Denny Christoff Jr. (Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration) took first place in the Fall 2019 UW-Green Bay Student Business Idea Pitch Contest held on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Christoff’s idea… “Dennys-Overland buys Willys military Jeeps and civilian versions to get them in working order.” He walked away with a $500 cash prize.
There were 21 entries into the contest, and eight finalists were chosen to compete based upon the submission of a video in which the entrepreneurs gave their pitch. Second place went to Nick Blasczyk (Business Administration) for his idea of a nonprofit that develops places for all high school students, including those with disabilities, “Come Together” is the name of his nonprofit). Blasczyk was awarded $250 cash.
Third place went to Tyrone Powell (Business Administration) and Alex Marchese (Biology and Business Administration) for their business Unext which connects students to employers that offer job shadowing. The third place prize was $100.
In addition, a new award was given out, a people’s choice award by Digital Fertilizer. Digital Fertilizer presented the $100 cash award to Unext (Powell and Marchese).
The following finalists earned $50 cash:
Nicole Shutt (Environmental Science) for her idea for an app to help field researchers with recording bird activity
Marissa Dyess (Business Administration) for her idea “Lounge 4.0,” a mall-like space with tiered membership for college students to get help with homework such as tutoring and access to books
Seng Raw (Business Administration) for her idea “Fit in Education,” a school in Burma for children who cannot afford an education.
Mitchell Bell (Undeclared) for his idea “Med RD” to 3D print capsules for pharmaceuticals to increase patient compliance
The contest was sponsored by the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business, WiSys, Digital Fertilizer, and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization student organization at UWGB.
Judges for the contest represented Titletown Tech, Schneider, Schreiber, Atuni Group, Digital Fertilizer, and Startup Hub and Urban Hub of the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce.
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