Wisconsin YES! will be open for Wisconsin middle and high school students to submit their science, tech or other business ideas online until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, contest organizers said Tuesday. The extension allows time for students to enter over the holiday break.

Wisconsin YES! is a youth business plan contest meant to guide students in development of their ideas into solid business plans. Through this process, students will learn entrepreneurial skills that will be important as they enter the work force. 

Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes for themselves and their schools.

“It’s all about students and giving them the kinds of skills they are going to need to be successful in the 21st century,” said Greg Quam, a Platteville educator who has organized the Southwest Academy for 21st Century Excellence to encourage Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education in rural Wisconsin. “We really need to train kids in problem solving and in critical thinking, and to be able to so do as individuals and in a team setting. Wisconsin YES! gives them that opportunity.”   

Students will not only develop vital skills for a successful future, they will also have the opportunity to earn cash and prizes for themselves and their schools. Nelson Auner of Madison East High School, the 2010 winner of the statewide contest’s predecessor, Dane County YES!, won $2,000 for his submission.    

Phase 1 of the contest requires a 250-word idea abstract be submitted online at www.wisconsinyes.com, where students can also find templates to help them develop their ideas. Students will receive feedback from professionals across Wisconsin, who will help judge the contest.

Wisconsin YES! is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and WEA Trust. Additional sponsors so far include the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority.    

The Wisconsin Technology Council is the independent, non-profit and non-partisan science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature. It serves as a catalyst for tech-based economic development in Wisconsin through programs such as the Wisconsin Angel Network, the Governor’s Business Plan Contest and the Wisconsin Innovation Network.   

If you would like further information about the contest, print materials for your school or have questions, please visit www.wisconsinyes.com or contact Kari Fischer at the Wisconsin Technology Council, kfischer@wisconsintechnologycouncil.com or 608-442-7557 ext. 27.