Guidelines & Eligibility
Individuals (or teams) are eligible if they are public, private or home-schooled students in the state of Wisconsin, and if their business idea uses technology in some way. For example, a web-based business idea would be eligible.
What category do I select?
All entries must be submitted in one of four categories: 9th grade and under, 10th grade, 11th grade or 12th grade. The category is determined by the current grade level of the contestant. For team entries, use the grade level of the oldest member of the team.
Does my business idea have to be a real business?
No, your business idea does not have to be a real business, but participating in Wisconsin YES! will help you learn important aspects of creating a business if you wanted to make that idea a reality.
How many business ideas can I submit?
Students may enter multiple ideas, as long as each idea is separate and distinct. Contestants need to create a new account for each entry. Each account will require a different email address. If you do not have more than one email address and would like to submit multiple entries, please contact the contest administrator at email@example.com.
Can I submit a business idea from my Start Your Own Business Class or DECA Chapter?
Yes, business ideas can be submitted from classes or extra-curricular clubs and organizations, as long as the ideas are original and originated from the person applying to participate in the contest.
Why should I enter?
- Students may win valuable cash or prizes to be awarded to place winners in each category.
- Entering will help you transcend classroom learning by engaging in a hands-on exercise that applies what you’ve learned. You will increase your understanding of entrepreneurial principles and business leadership.
- Wisconsin YES! judges, mentors and other resources will help you gain the basic skills necessary to create a business plan. You’ll also have many networking opportunities.
To get started, contestants will need to create a simple account. All entries are submitted directly through the website. Contestants use the account to gain access to mentors throughout the process, as well as review the judges’ comments and feedback.
Each entry must be submitted in one of four categories – Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology or Life Sciences.
The contest includes two written phases:
Phase 1 of the competition includes an IDEA ABSTRACT of your plan, business or idea. The entry should be roughly 250 words (or no more than 1,400 characters – including spaces). Your idea abstract will be broken down into four sections – Product or service description; customer definition; market description, size and sales strategy; and competition. You are required to write something under every section. Please note that each text box has a limit of 400 characters. Entries are judged by section on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the highest. The Top 50 idea abstracts will advance to the next phase of the competition.
Phase 2 includes an EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. The entry should be no more than 1,000 words (or no more than 6,200 characters – including spaces). Your executive summary will be broken down into eight sections – company overview; product or service description; customer definition; market description, size & sales strategy; competition; management team; financials; and capital needs. You are required to write something under every section. Please note that each text box has a limit of 850 characters. Entries are judged by section on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the highest. The Top 20 executive summaries will advance to the next phase of the competition.
For additional guidelines and sample entries, click on the “Contestants” page.