MADISON – Jonah Thompson, an 8th grader at New Glarus
Middle School developing a beekeeping-related company, is the grand prize
winner in Wisconsin
YES!, a youth business plan contest for students in middle and high
produces honey, beeswax and candles, while offering pollination services for
local Green County farmers. His business, T Boys Honey, offers a new winter bee
box and a pollinator software concept to assist farmers with understanding the
economic impact a hive may have on crop yields.
Boys Honey currently manages four pollinator contracts in Green County.
Thompson is a member of the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association.
Thompson, a self-taught bee keeper with more than five years of
experience, presented his plan to about 300 people at the Wisconsin
Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison during the awards luncheon for the Governor’s
Business Plan Contest on June 4. He will attend New Glarus High
School in the fall.
Students had the opportunity to submit their ideas in a 250-word
online summary to compete in Phase 1 of the contest. Professionals from across the state acted as
judges, provided feedback and scored the ideas. The top 25 entries were selected
to move on to Phase 2, where they submitted 1,000-word executive summaries
covering company overview; product or service description; customer definition;
market description, size and sales strategy; competition; management team;
financials; and capital needs.
Second place was awarded to
Leah Westcott and Ella VanHaren
for their entry The Nutrimen, a small
device that detects allergen ingredients in food and scans food labels for
information and allergens. Cole
Johnstone and Luke Hyndiuk received third place for their entry PictureShirt, a solar-powered t-shirt that uses electroluminescent
flexible strips to display digital images. All four students attend Pilgrim
Park Middle School in Brookfield.
The recipient of the 2014 Wisconsin YES “Gold Star Teacher” Award
is Barb Wood from Pilgrim Park Middle School in Elm Grove. for her
extraordinary efforts in involving and coaching students throughout the
Wisconsin YES contest process.
Student finalists include: 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; 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; Martin Wilson,
ManiFree; Jan Wodnicki, SmartWave
Microwave; and Sabrina Zhong,
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.
The Tech Council produces the contest, with major sponsorship from
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
Modeled after the successful
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 www.wisconsinyes.com to