WisBusiness: Middleton student wins top prize in Dane County youth business idea contest

June 16, 2009

MADISON – Caroline Barry, who recently graduated from Middleton High School, is the Grand Prize winner in the first Dane County YES! youth business plan contest. The contest is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and funded by the Madison Community Foundation and other sponsors. 
Barry’s solar-powered water purifier for use in developing countries was the top plan among the many entries submitted to the web-based business plan contest. The plan has earned a $2,000 cash prize award.

The business plan entry, which included a working prototype, was chosen among four other contest finalist ideas from the Sun Prairie, Waunakee and Madison school districts. The six-month contest was open to middle school and high school students in Dane County’s 16 public school districts, as well as students in the county’s private schools and in “home school” settings.

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The Dane County Youth Entrepreneurs in Science (YES!) contest guides students in exploring business creativity though entrepreneurship, while teaching financial literacy and providing opportunities to interact with knowledgeable business professionals. The contest directs students and small teams though the process of turning bright ideas into business plans in an online contest format.

“We really think all of the finalists and semi-finalists were winners, because they each took the time to build their business plans from simple ideas to potential enterprises,” said Ryann Petit-Frere, who managed the project for the Tech Council. “We’re looking forward to another strong round of entries in 2010.”

In addition to Barry the 2009 finalists were:

Nelson Auner, junior, Madison East High School: Wisfridge – An energy efficient, refrigeration system that utilizes frigid outdoor temperatures to cool items indoors.

Danielle Breidung, senior, Waunakee High School: Costumbres Argentinas – A service that offers Americans customizable cultural Argentine experiences that start with living with an Argentine host family and can grow to include volunteer and tourism opportunities.

Seth Sullivan, 8th grade, Prairie View Middle School, Sun Prairie: Item Tracker – A system and device utilizing ultrasonic technology to locate items tagged with electronic identifiers.

2009 semi-finalists were:
Nicholas Ashley
Green Landscaping Service

Ryan Budziszewski
Club Inferno

Abby Buechner
Door Bells Wedding chapel

Aidan Combs

Shreya Dahal
Hand Sanitizer & Moisturizer

Max Fergus
Bank for Kids

Annie Fergus
Edible Food Tape

Alexander Francis

Weston Knutson
Vending Machine

Dylan Maier
Wild Hog

Peter Maillefer
The “Help” Hotline
Sun Prairie

Matthew Mauer

Elizabeth Milovets
Ball Bin
Cottage Grove

Mark O’Malley
BGone Golf Ball Elevator

Brian O’Malley
Golf Ball Tracker

Mark Werner
Ice Dam Prevention System

Max Lein
Online Newspaper

Sponsors of the first Dane County YES! contest were: American TV, Culvers, Optimist Club of Downtown Madison, Irwin and Robert Goodman, Inacom Information Systems, Nicholas and Elaine Mischler, Ultrazone Laser Tag, University Research Park, the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Madison Community Foundation.