Spread the word, WiSys is looking for student innovators

MADISON—WiSys invites UW System student researchers and innovators to present their research and innovations during a live virtual broadcast on July 22 at 4 p.m. Students from all academic disciplines can share their work, compete for cash prizes and engage in an interactive networking component led by UW campus leadership.

Prizes include:

  • First place: $750
  • Second place: $500
  • Third place: $250

Other prizes may also be awarded.

The deadline for registration is July 13. Space is limited. Presenters will be notified of acceptance by July 15.

Through the virtual event, students can gain visibility for their work, network with like-minded peers from across the state, and round out their resume–adding the event to their list of presentation experiences. The

The virtual “Student Research & Innovation Showcase,” sponsored by Boyle Fredrickson, replaces a similar in-person event that usually takes place at WiSys’ annual summer symposium. That event, the WiSys SPARK Symposium, was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

For more information on the event or to register to present, 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.

Regional UW schools second in national innovation impact productivity rankings

The innovation impact of the 11 University of Wisconsin System regional institutions that WiSys serves, was ranked as one of the most productive in the nation by the George W. Bush Institute.

In the institute’s report on the innovation impact of U.S. universities released in June 2020, UW-WiSys was second in the report’s Innovation Impact Productivity Rankings for smaller research universities.

The universities in the WiSys group include UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, UW-Superior and UW-Whitewater.

As a shared service, WiSys supports research, innovation and entrepreneurship at these comprehensive and primarily undergraduate universities.

“Wisconsinites should be proud of their regional public universities. Talented innovators and inventors can be found throughout Wisconsin and it is more important now, than ever, to support them,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Newly-appointed head of the UW System, former Gov. Tommy Thompson, states the case when he says that ‘no other institution in the state can do more to improve lives, communities and Wisconsin’s economy.’”

In addition to the accomplishment of ranking behind only Brigham Young University in the smaller research universities category, WiSys universities received a notable Innovation Impact Productivity Score in relation to its peers. WiSys universities received a score of 20.30, well above the category median of 5.13.

“The ranking and score shines a bright light on the exceptional talent at our UW regional comprehensive campuses. It represents the work of numerous faculty and student researchers, supportive university staff and administrators and university and system leaders throughout the state,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Through collaboration and cooperation, we’re making our communities, state and nation a more innovative place.”

You can read the report, “The Innovation Impact of U.S. Universities” at bushcenter.org.

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.

UW-Green Bay students earn spots in Wisconsin Business Idea Tournament

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.

G-Pods

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

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

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.

Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament: Student business competition, presented by WiSys, goes virtual June 10

UW System student entrepreneurs will compete for funding and recognition.

Eight teams of student entrepreneurs (three from UW-Green Bay) will compete for cash prizes and recognition in the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, presented by WiSys.

The tournament brings together teams of university students from across the state to pitch innovative business ideas. The competition was established to extend the Wisconsin entrepreneurial ecosystem to University of Wisconsin students with the goal to improve the overall quality of business startup performance in the state.

This year’s tournament, which will be conducted virtually because of the coronavirus crisis, will be broadcast on WiSys’ Facebook page and YouTube channel on June 10 at 6 p.m.

The first place team will win a $2,500 cash prize courtesy of Idea Fund of La Crosse. The second place team will receive a $1,500 cash prize, courtesy of gener8tor, and the third place team will receive a $500, courtesy of Charter Bank. The participating teams, which won local feeder competitions or received an at-large bid, include:

  • Didómi LLC: UW-River Falls students Lamah Bility and Anaa Jibicho want to sell fashionable, reusable water bottles and donate a portion of the profits to combating the water crisis in developing countries.
  • G-Pods: The business idea of UW-Green Bay’s Logan Holbrook and Katelyn Desrochers is for a hearing-aid with sensors to monitor the user’s health data and call for help in the case of an emergency.
  • Lëvor: The organic hair care company, presented by UW-Milwaukee’s Loren Nelson and Johnathan Brown, aims to desegregate the haircare industry by providing hair care for all hair types.
  • Local2You LLC: UW-Green Bay’s Noah Redfearn, Emily Walczak and Madeline Yoss want to create an online service to connect local entrepreneurs and inventors to virtual markets.
  • Prexo: Ian McDonald and Abbie Merrill of UW Oshkosh are developing a political app to allow users to easily track presidential executive orders.
  • Spark Convos, LLC: UW-Eau Claire’s Mary Cait McManamon’s online business is committed to sparking in-person connections by selling apparel that inspires conversations.
  • 20 Credit Studios: UW-Stout’s Justin Bryant and Katelyn Zenz want to make fun games for a wide audience by developing a close feedback relationship with consumers.
  • 3C: Sydney Gille, Brett Nimz and Joe Doro of UW-Green Bay are creating an online platform to connect volunteers with charities that need help completing social good projects.

For more information about the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, visit wisys.org/bigidea.

This year’s Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament is sponsored by Charter Bank, gener8tor, Idea Fund of La Crosse, Market & Johnson, UW System, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Xcel Energy.

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.

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Craig Sauer

WiSys | Marketing & Communications Associate

608-316-4039

@WiSysCraig

UW-Green Bay alumni pitch virtually to gBETA Northeast Wisconsin

UW-Green Bay alumni and founders Yana DeMyer ’84 (Communication and the Arts) of Roving Blue and Justin Seidl ’12 (Art) of Sequoir both recently pitched virtually to conclude the spring 2020 cohort of gBETA Northeast Wisconsin. gBETA Northeast Wisconsin is a free, seven-week accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots and requires no fees and no equity. gBETA Northeast Wisconsin and is sponsored by the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business, WiSys, and Microsoft.

DeMyer’s Roving Blue® products harness “The Power of EO3™“ (electrolytic ozone). Ozone dissolved in water is more powerful than chlorine, quickly reverts to oxygen, and leaves no chemical residue, making it an eco-friendly and sustainable sanitizing solution for water purification, food and beverage, dental, and agriculture.

Seidl’s Sequoir is a blockchain-built exchange—providing transparency, time-efficient management, and accurate reporting—for buying and selling digital assets, including cryptocurrencies and intellectual property.

See more information on gBETA, Sequoir, Roving Blue, and the other three gBETA Northeast Wisconsin spring 2020 cohort companies – Future State, Proceed.app, and KBD Oil.

 

Call for participants: WiSys Quick Pitch @Home, deadline is May 1

UW-Green Bay student researchers could win $300 for presenting their research virtually in the WiSys Quick Pitch @ Home competition.

Students will “pitch” the value of their research in a recorded three-minute video that will be evaluated by a panel of judges. The goal is to inspire students to consider the impact of their work and improve their ability to communicate it broadly to the public. The deadline to register is Friday, May 1, 2020.

The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students in any discipline, from STEM to Social Sciences and Humanities. Both basic and applied research projects are welcome. Also, students can present research at any stage of development (it does not need to be finished).

The first place finisher will secure a spot in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final, which may also be held virtually later this summer.

WiSys Quick Pitches are normally held in-person on UW System campuses, but WiSys has shifted online in response to the coronavirus crisis.

For more information about the WiSys Quick Pitch program, visit wisys.org/quickpitch.

About WisSys
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 looks to support ideas to improve community response to COVID-19, Deadline is April 24

MADISON—WiSys is challenging the UW System community to develop innovative ideas to boost local community preparedness and response to pandemics via “WiSys Innovation Challenge: COVID-19.” WiSys’ challenge comes in response to the national crisis that forced students to leave Wisconsin campuses and WiSys to cancel numerous innovation skill-building events.

The challenge is open to all faculty, staff, students and alumni of the schools that WiSys serves (UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, UW-Superior and UW-Whitewater).

“We want to find functional, local solutions to address the impacts of the epidemic and social distancing in local communities. Solutions can range anywhere from apps and websites to physical devices. This is a chance to help your friends, families and neighbors,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga.

Innovators have until April 24 to submit their ideas in 250 words or less at wisys.org/challenge.

WiSys will promptly select 20 innovators who will have two weeks to create a proof-of-concept. They will then receive $100 to implement their idea. WiSys may also provide additional resources to further develop an idea after review of the initial implementation.

WiSys suggested some questions participants may consider before submitting an idea:

  • How can we support local hospitals and at-home caregivers in the next couple of months and be more prepared for the next crisis?
  • How can we help local businesses survive this and future economic disruptions?
  • Are there supply-chain solutions for high-demand goods that could meet consumer needs in a timely fashion without resorting to stockpiling?
  • Are there better ways to communicate global health information to underserved and elderly populations?
  • What solutions can help us with our physical and mental wellbeing as social and physical distance grows?

“The coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyday life in new and profound ways, forcing us to rethink how we shop, eat, communicate, learn and travel,” said Sanga. “Moments of crisis, however, present opportunities for innovation. By addressing the underlying problems that the crisis has exposed, we hope this challenge will create a lasting positive change for our communities.”

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.

 

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VIDEO PREVIEW: https://youtu.be/oVsVU4i8V28

 

UW-Green Bay student among WiSys APPStart Challenge finalists

For Immediate Release from WiSys, April 10, 2020

WiSys has selected three app ideas as finalists in the WiSys APPStart Challenge. The contest, open to all UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay and UW-La Crosse faculty, staff, students and alumni, connects great mobile app ideas with the expertise and resources necessary for commercial launch.

The three app finalists are:

  • ALO: Photo: UW-Eau Claire alumni Aaron Accola and Ethan Kilgore and current UW-Eau Claire student Christian Hoyer are developing an app that would serve as a platform for freelance photographers to show off their work and easily schedule photography services with new clients.
  • VIGRID: UW-Green Bay student Celine Massereau (’20, Business Administration) is developing an app that connects eco-friendly product sellers to consumers with a personal shopper user experience. Massereau is an international student from France.
  • Team Travel: UW-La Crosse Deputy Director of Athletics Erin Hanson is developing an app to assist coaches and teams in handling the complexities of travel coordination and documentation.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are needed now more than ever,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “We hope that as this competition grows, it continues to inspire University of Wisconsin System faculty, staff, students and alumni to develop their innovative ideas into scalable businesses.”

Since January, the finalists have been working with their local Small Business Development Center to craft a business plan and with app development partners—Noble Applications and the UW-Parkside App Factory—to create an app prototype.

In addition to working with two of the finalists, Madison-based Noble Applications is also sponsoring the WiSys APPStart Challenge.

“Noble Applications has always been committed to helping innovative entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful businesses,” said Noble Applications CEO Steve O’Brien. “Wisconsin has talented students across the state, and we see this competition as a model that can propel students into successful entrepreneurship, similar to programs at the likes of M.I.T. and Stanford.”

WiSys expects to announce a winner this summer. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize; the runner-up finalist will receive a $2,500 cash prize; and the second runner-up finalist will receive $1,500 a prize.

This year’s WiSys APPStart Challenge began during the fall semester, as UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay and UW-La Crosse faculty, staff, students and alumni were challenged to submit an app idea in 250 words or less.

More than 40 ideas were submitted. In December, nine semifinalists were selected to pitch to panels of judges with the three finalists emerging to continue on with the contest.

About Noble Applications

Noble Applications is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin and provides software design and development services with a focus on mobile applications and custom software applications. They’re ready to help you start turning your ideas into beautifully designed, flawlessly executed applications today. You know your business, they build your apps.

About WiSys

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.

Smart hearing aid idea wins WiSys Innovation in Aging student competition

An idea for a hearing aid that can sense your pulse and call 911 if you have a health emergency won the WiSys Innovation in Aging student competition on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. The annual student idea competition challenges University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students to create innovative solutions to combat hardships and improve quality of life for aging populations.

UW-Green Bay students Denny Christoff, Logan Holbrook, James Kaat, Joshua Mendez and Katelyn Desrochers presented the winning solution that the team named “G-Pods.” The students will split a $1,000 prize.

Team “KeepNTouch,” made up of Jada Taylor, Hannah Bunde, Maria Piotrowski, Maria Arunkumar and Katelyn Wiegel, won second place for a solution to combat loneliness and social isolation.

The team’s “KeepNTouch” idea is a simple social media application that allows the aging population to connect and “keep in touch” with their family and friends.

The group will split a $500 prize.

“Get-a-Grip,” an idea for a small hand-held device that allows those with diminished hand strength to grip everyday items such as brooms and cooking utensils more comfortably, took third place in the competition.

Jenna Bares, Isabel Taubel, Montana Fallin and Kenzie Carlson presented the idea and will split a $250 prize.

Overall, nine student teams competed. In the weeks leading up to the event, each team  received mentoring from UW-Green Bay faculty and community members.

Innovation in Aging is a partnership between WiSys, the UW-Green Bay College of Health, Education and Social Welfare and the UW-Green Bay Gerontology Center.

This story is provided by WiSys—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.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Innovation in Aging Competition 2020

– Photos by Liesl Sigourney, Marketing and University Communication

Innovation in Aging Student Idea Competition, March 4

On March 4, 2020, from 4 to 6 p.m., the Brown County STEM Innovation Center will be hosting an Innovation in Aging Student Idea Competition in rooms 137-139. This event is free and open to the public. Students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to attend. Innovation in Aging challenges UW-Green Bay students to create innovative solutions to combat hardships and improve quality of life for an aging public. The team with the best solution will receive a cash prize. The competition gives students an opportunity to grow idea development, collaboration and presentation skills. Eight different teams of three to five students will present their ideas in brief presentations to a panel of three judges from the community. Prizes (first through third) and a People’s Choice award, will be presented at the closing of the event. This event is hosted by WiSys, CHESW, CSET and the Cofrin School of Business.