MADISON – Twenty-eight entries from nine communities have advanced to the semi-final round of Dane County YES!, a new county-wide youth business plan contest, producers announced Wednesday.

Contestants were selected from first-round entries by an independent panel of judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is producing the contest with initial support from the Madison Community Foundation.

The semi-finalists are spread among four categories: 9th grade and under (13), 10th grade (3), 11th grade (5) and 12th grade (8). Entries range from food assembly solutions to web-based ideas to help kids have international experiences.
“We developed this program to help Wisconsin students consider technology in their future careers and businesses,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council.  “Many of the great ideas submitted to the contest exemplify that a mind for innovation is not limited to adults. We hope to help cultivate the promise these kids show with Dane County YES!”

The 28 entries competing in Phase 2 of the contest are writing summary business plans of no more than 1,000 words.  Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market and identifies potential competitors.

Phase 2 plans will be filed online by 5 p.m. April 25; the next judging period will last about two weeks.  All of the Phase 2 contestants and their teammates have been invited to a Pizza Prep Party on April 18th at the University Research Park in Madison to help them write their Phase 2 plan.

Top Phase 2 finishers plus ties will move on to the finals, in which contestants will meet with a small group of core judges. About $2,500 in cash and in-kind prizes have been pledged for the 2009 contest thus far. 

Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants or learn more about their Phase 1 plans should contact Ryann Petit-Frere or Tom Still at 608-442-7557.

Sponsors of the 2009 contest so far: American TV, Optimist Club of Downtown Madison, Irwin and Robert Goodman, Inacom Information Systems, Nicholas and Elaine Mischler, University Research Park, the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Madison Community Foundation.

Here are the 2009 semi-finalists in Dane County YES!  Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557 ext. 28.


Nicholas AshleyGreen landscaping serviceMiddleton
Nelson AunerWisfridgeMadison
Caroline BarrySolar Powered Water PurifierMiddleton
Danielle BreidungCostumbres ArgentinasWaunakee
Ryan BudziszewskiClub InfernoMadison
Abby BuechnerDoor Bells Wedding chapelMadison
Sisi Chen and Max LeinOnline NewspaperMadison
Aidan CombsGummyShieldVerona
Shreya DahalHand Sanitizer & MoisterizerMadison
Carley EisenbergTail Gate MateMadison
Max FergusBank for KidsStoughton
Annie FergusEdible Food TapeStoughton
Alexander FrancisITAVillageMadison
Paul HollandThe Nerd HutMadison
Molly JennermanGreen Postal Pick-UpVerona
Weston KnutsonVending MachineDeForest
Luis LugoMister L.Madison
Dylan MaierWild HogMadison
Peter Mailleferthe “help” hotlineCottage Grove
Matthew MauerZerinWaunakee
Elizabeth MilovetsBall BinMadison
Mark O’MalleyBGone Golf Ball ElevatorMadison
Brian O’MalleyGBTMadison
Andrew PlinerUniLaptopMadison
Ethan Reynolds and Ben ScottStairChairMazomanie
Kelsie SaxeCool RunningsVerona
Kristen SelbachOvertime Sporting Goods StoreMadison
Seth SullivanItem trackerSun Prairie
Mark WernerIce dam prevention systemMadison