Ten teams of University of Wisconsin student entrepreneurs will compete Saturday, April 5, in the inaugural Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament for a chance to represent the state at the International Business Model Competition in May, where $100,000 in awards will be distributed to top teams. Teams from UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Oshkosh will travel to Madison for the contest finals and will have 15 minutes each to present their validated business ideas to a panel of judges.
The teams’ Lean Startup process and idea scalability will be judged by Lisa Johnson, vice president of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC); Dan Reed, director of business development, investments for American Family Insurance; and Troy Vosseller, co-founder of gener8tor.
The top finisher will also have the opportunity to be selected into Stage 1 of the Ideadvance Seed Fund created by UW System and the WEDC. The finals provide an opportunity for students, faculty, the business community and the general public to support Wisconsin’s young entrepreneurs and see the Lean Startup process in action – in-person or via live online streaming, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.
Those following the contest in person or online can tweet their support for a team using @WI_Big_Idea and #WIBigIdea. The team that gets the most mentions via Twitter from 9 a.m. to noon April 5 will win The People’s Choice Award.