Wauwatosa team wins annual ‘Wisconsin YES!’ youth biz plan contest with sign language app

Wauwatosa team wins annual ‘Wisconsin YES!’ youth biz plan contest with sign language app

Emily Scott and William Moertl, an 8th grade duo at Whitman Middle School in Wauwatosa, are the first-place winners in Wisconsin YES!, a statewide youth business plan contest for students in middle and high school.

Scott and Moertl’s company, Signfluent, will produce a software app that can be used to learn and translate Sign Language. Signfluent has a database of signs, grammatical rules and terminology, and uses a camera-based recognition system to translate to non-sign users.

Scott and Moertl will present their product June 2 at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.

“Up to 500,000 Americans and 125,000 people in Britain use sign language every day, so Signfluent stands to be important innovation for that market,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the contest. “The team hopes to work with other languages if they are successful in Signfluent’s early stages.”

Students submitted their ideas in a 250-word online summary to compete in Phase 1 of the contest. Professionals from across the state served as judges, provided feedback and scored the ideas. Twelve entries moved on to Phase 2, which required 1,000-word executive summaries covering company overview; product or service description; customer definition; market description, size and sales strategy; competition; team; financials; and capital needs.

Second place was awarded to a team of Wyatt Barker, Brayden Deering and Noah Schipper from Kimberly High School for their entry, Teplos Snowboard/Ski Helmets. Teplos allows customers to customize their helmet with technology and accessories, such as Bluetooth, GPS tracking and temperature control.

Cecilia Maricle, Wyatt Linder, Teemu Keinanen, Georgia Maricle, Mikko Keinanen, Nevaeh Prodzinski of Marsupial Undershorts was awarded third place for their entry, light-weight, fitted undershorts with pockets for holding a phone, money, keys and more.

The Wisconsin YES! contest is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council. Major support is provided by WEA Trust and, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement.

Contest partners have included the Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Public Instruction, the Association of Wisconsin School AdministratorsMake a Difference Wisconsin, Project Lead the Way WisconsinSTEM Forward, Wisconsin Association of School BoardsWisconsin Society of Science Teachers and Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials

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. Visit https://wisconsinyes.com/ to learn more.

In alphabetical order by submission name, finalists in the tenth annual contest were:

Submission Name Name Community/Grade
Ab ´N Oli Sky Sirinek, Abby Seizer Wauwatosa/9th grade and under
AnywhereTour Julius Zakaria Oak Creek/11th grade
Becker Beds Jason Adix Mequon/11th grade
EZ Garden Lily Wiemer Wauwatosa/9th grade and under
Hung Dung Derius Lucas Wauwatosa/9th grade and under
Marsupial Undershorts Cecilia Maricle, Wyatt Linder, Teemu Keinanen, Georgia Maricle, Mikko Keinanen, Nevaeh Prodzinski Holmen/9th grade and under
Metopia Wyatt Johnson Burnett/12th grade
Relu Nicholas Hu Mequon/11th grade
Ripe Wyatt Ehrhardt Verona/9th grade and under
Schlick Dalton Derringer, Sean Krueger Crivitz/9th grade and under
Signfluent Emily Scott Wauwatosa/9th grade and under
Step-Up Frankie Maynard Brodhead/10th grade
Teplos Snowboard/Ski Wyatt Barker Kimberly/12th grade
TouchDrive Einthiri Mudili Franklin/11th grade
We Invest Max Ranft Wauwatosa/9th grade and under
Zoom Book Isabel Taormina Wauwatosa/9th grade and under