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WSB Relaunches Competition, Attracts Dozens of Teams

by John Surdyk Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sixty-three undergraduate and graduate students on 24 teams vied for prize money in the Wisconsin School of Business’ Business Plan Competition on April 28, 2017.

This annual event provides students a public forum to pitch a startup project to judges from the Madison entrepreneurial community. Students receive feedback on their business models and plans, and top teams from several tracks run-off for cash prizes ­that can help them to refine product prototypes, gather customer feedback, or even launch their companies!

Students this year pitched a variety of venture ideas from smart pet collars and cricket protein powders to medical devices able to detect cardiac events and clean energy systems for use in areas with little or no public infrastructure.

Participants of the Morgridge Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (MEB), residents of the Entrepreneurship Residential Learning Community (ERLC) in Sellery Hall, and Enterprise Development Fellows were among the competitors.

The winner of the $10,000 grand prize, Brandon Walker, pitched a novel, high-speed metal 3D printer being developed at UW-Madison that could revolutionize the manufacturing processes in variety of industries.

“Reducing ideas and insights into practical products and services that a company might sell is tremendously challenging,” says John Surdyk, Director of the Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship (INSITE) which organizes the competition. “This event provides students a low-risk environment in which to further refine and test their innovative business ideas.”

Alumni of the competition, including Matt Howard (co-founder of Eat Street), Daniel Litvak (founder of WeightUp Solutions), and Andrew Mullvain (American Family Insurance), judged in this year’s event alongside a panel of 13 other judges drawn from accelerators, investment funds, startups, nonprofit organizations and industry-leading companies in the Madison area.

The relaunch of the competition was made possible, in part, by generous gifts from American Family Insurance and campus partners, including WARF, the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, and the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. Read More 

You can also follow the competition on Facebook.