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UW-Madison Students Compete in National Entrepreneurship Challenge

by Greg Forkins Friday, May 11, 2018



Two UW-Madison students were awarded fifth place at the country’s largest undergraduate business pitch competition.

Undergraduates Evan Wolfenden and Ben Farley won $5,000 at the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge in Minneapolis for their startup venture, Zero Barrier. The business is based on an innovative technology for 3-D printing metal parts.

The Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge drew 149 undergraduate teams from 110 schools across North America.The top 25 teams were invited to compete at e-Fest, held at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, for their shot at more than $250,000 in prizes.

Wolfenden and Farley made it to the final round of e-Fest and won $5,000 for their fifth place performance. The team was advised by Mike Williams, Faculty Associate in the Marketing & Human Resources department and Director of the Business & Entrepreneurship Clinic.

Wolfenden, a senior studying mechanical engineering, is the founder of Zero Barrier. He first became interested in 3-D printing while working on a team that created a prototype for wind turbine blades. The startup has been gaining traction, and recently won $2,000 at the Transcend Madison Innovation Competition.

The Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge is sponsored by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, and EIX.org, a nonprofit platform for entrepreneurship education. Richard Schulze is the founder of Best Buy.