Elizabeth Hlavacka, an 8th grader at Aquinas Middle
School in La Crosse, is the grand prize winner in Wisconsin YES!,
a statewide youth business plan contest for students in middle and high school.    

Hlavacka got the idea for her Stuff’n
with Noth’n
product after realizing the number of plastic bags her family
used to pack school lunches. This led her to consider alternative ways to wrap
lunch items. Her idea is a reusable, eco-friendly container with uniquely
designed compartments that eliminate the need for plastic bags. When the
product is unfolded, it can act as a placemat allowing the user to eat almost

Hlavacka will present her winning idea June 3 at the Wisconsin
Entrepreneurs’ Conference
in Madison during the awards luncheon for
the Governor’s
Business Plan Contest
. For more information on the conference, visit

In addition to taking steps to create a product from her business
idea, Hlavacka plays volleyball, soccer and competes year-round in basketball. She
is completing her Silver Award in Girl Scouts and is a 4H member. She will
participate in the junior goat show at the La Crosse County Fair this summer. Hlavacka
is interested in studying veterinary/animal science or business in college.
She will attend Aquinas High School in the fall.

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. About two-dozen 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
Rebecca Perl
of Nicolet High School for her entry DiabeTECH, an implant, app and
insulin pump connected by low-energy Bluetooth technology to make managing
diabetes easier. Colin
of Brookfield East High School tied for third place with his
entry Eat Out, a mobile app platform for community reviews of
local, independent restaurants. He shared the title with Renee Kar-Johnson of James Madison Memorial High School and her
entry Eco-Bandage, an eco-friendly
bandage made from banana leaves.

participating finalists in the fourth annual contest, including the school and
names of team members, were:

  • Abstract Energy (Delavan-Darien High School): Haley Gilson and
    Alexis Mancin;
  • Cow Buddies (Longfellow Middle School): Kortney Lorenzen;
  • Crowd-sourced Concept Foods (Wayland Academy): Tianrui Ren;
  • Dance Spectroscopy for Autism (Longfellow Middle

    Angela Glowacki and Kortney Lorenzen;
  • DAP Manufacturing (Longfellow Middle School): Henry
  • Equation Solver (Crivitz Middle School): Matt Cherry, Kailee
    Golla and Leandra Klaver;
  • Fashionista Headband Camera (Cambridge): Emma Hanisko;
  • Find My Bus (Forest Park Middle School): Ashley Kampa,
    Katie Lehman, Alexa Moran and Julia Paulos;
  • Free Online Tutoring (University School of Milwaukee): Anshul and Amogh
  • Judges Live (Longfellow Middle School): Jack Stuart;
  • KidZips (Pembine High School): Seth Barribeau;
  • Ludus Positus (Crivitz Middle School): Nick Lesperance,
    Mackenzie Versland and Tommy Whalen;
  • SafetyKeyBoard (Longfellow Middle School): Pable Dale;
  • SmartMicrowave (Forest Park Middle School): Jacob Selensky;
  • Style (Longfellow Middle School): Sienna Daniels,
    Margaret Kasdorf, Anna Lowe and Sasha Simons;
  • The Beat Pit (Notre Dame of De Pere Middle School): Theodore Van
  • The Everlast (Oregon High School): Hayden Storms;
  • ThunderStorm Speakers (Delavan-Darien High School): John Loomer,
    Chris McKay and Hunter Schwarz.

The Wisconsin Technology Council produces the contest, with major
support from IBM and WEA Trust. Additional
support is provided by the Wisconsin Technical College System. Contest partners include Department of Financial
, Department
of Public Instruction
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 www.wisconsinyes.com to learn more.