Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, a statewide youth business plan contest modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest, was open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. April 6, 2015.
Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin were eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. The contest began with a 250-word summary submitted through the website. Entries that advance to Phase 2 of the competition will expand their idea into a 1,000-word executive summary. Throughout the process, students get feedback from professionals across Wisconsin who will serve as judges.
As a tool for educators, Wisconsin YES! fosters interest in science and tech education, and encourages students to be independent, creative thinkers capable of problem solving.
“Leveraging technology, thinking creatively and working as a team are all important characteristics for today’s entrepreneurs,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Entrepreneurial skills are vital to the long-term success of Wisconsin’s youth as well as the state’s innovation economy.”
The Wisconsin YES! contest is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council. Major sponsorship is provided by IBM and WEA Trust, with additional support provided by the Wisconsin Technical College System.
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, Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers and Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials.
Students created simple accounts at www.WisconsinYES.com. All entries were submitted through the website. Students use their account to gain access to the judges’ comments and feedback. Templates and sample entries for both phases are available on the website, along with other entrepreneurial resources.
Students were able to work in teams or as individuals. Students or teams may enter multiple ideas.
Place finishers in each category – 9th grade and under, 10th grade, 11th grade and 12th grade – are eligible for cash and prizes. The grand prize winner has the opportunity to present their winning idea at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison on June 2-3.
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.
For more information on sponsorship and partnership opportunities, visit www.WisconsinYES.com or contact Joy Sawatzki at the Wisconsin Technology Council, email@example.com or 608-442-7557.