25 entries advance to second phase in ‘Wisconsin YES!’ contest

May 1, 2014

MADISON – A statewide panel of judges have selected 25 entries to advance to Phase 2 of Wisconsin YES!, a youth business plan contest for students in middle school and high school.   

Students submitted their science- and tech-based 250-word business summaries through the contest website – www.WisconsinYES.com – in March to compete in Phase 1 of the contest. Professionals from across the state served as judges, scoring the entries and providing constructive feedback to the students.

Students advancing to the next round, along with the names of their entries, are: Luke Anderson, Optech Anthropendo; Francesca Bontempo, DreamCatcher 2.0; Adam Converse, Student; Stephen Foley, SafeMind; Nick Frigerio, SnowBoard Trainer; Meghan Gain, GenniMath; Carolann Grzybowski, Pang – Depression Helper; Maggie Heinemann, 4Angels Beekeeping; Josh Horner, Kwik Line; Cole Johnstone, PictureShirt; Renee Kar-Johnson, CloudWish; Zach Kellner, Voice Capturing Headset; Isabella Koch, Utrack; Caroline Lieu, Polar Shield-Pajamas; Sean McCall, FIRST Team 2202 BEAST Robotics; Sara Mejac, CamGloves; Anaya Patel, SafeKnobs; Joshua Schwarz, HydroSole; Eric Sinson, Waxed Hockey Tape; Jonah Thompson, T Boys Honey – Economic Impact of Beehives on Farmland; Ella Van Haren, Lingua; Leah Westcott, The Nutrimen; Martin Wilson, ManiFree; Jan Wodnicki, SmartWave Microwave; and Sabrina Zhong, Burnboo.

Finalists, ranging from high school seniors to middle school students, represent a mix of communities around the state, such as Brookfield, Elm Grove, Franklin, Green Bay, Madison, New Glarus and Waunakee.

Phase 2 will require students to develop their business plan in more detail in a 1,000-word executive summary. Place finishers will be announced in early June and will be eligible for cash and prizes. The grand prize winner will have the opportunity to present their winning idea at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison on June 4. For more information on the conference, visit www.witrepsconference.com.

The Tech Council produces the contest, with major sponsorship from WEA Trust and IBM. Contest partners thus far include Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Public Instruction, Make a Difference Wisconsin, Project Lead the Way Wisconsin, STEM Forward, Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers.

Modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest, Wisconsin YES! is designed to teach students how innovation in science and technology fields can be developed into plausible business plans.  It is an opportunity for students to explore the connections between science, technology and entrepreneurship, and for educators and judges to cultivate an interest in these arenas.

For more information, call the Wisconsin Technology Council at 608-442-7557.