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 Ashley Green landscaping service Middleton
Nelson Auner Wisfridge Madison
Caroline Barry Solar Powered Water Purifier Middleton
Danielle Breidung Costumbres Argentinas Waunakee
Ryan Budziszewski Club Inferno Madison
Abby Buechner Door Bells Wedding chapel Madison
Sisi Chen and Max Lein Online Newspaper Madison
Aidan Combs GummyShield Verona
Shreya Dahal Hand Sanitizer & Moisterizer Madison
Carley Eisenberg Tail Gate Mate Madison
Max Fergus Bank for Kids Stoughton
Annie Fergus Edible Food Tape Stoughton
Alexander Francis ITAVillage Madison
Paul Holland The Nerd Hut Madison
Molly Jennerman Green Postal Pick-Up Verona
Weston Knutson Vending Machine DeForest
Luis Lugo Mister L. Madison
Dylan Maier Wild Hog Madison
Peter Maillefer the “help” hotline Cottage Grove
Matthew Mauer Zerin Waunakee
Elizabeth Milovets Ball Bin Madison
Mark O’Malley BGone Golf Ball Elevator Madison
Brian O’Malley GBT Madison
Andrew Pliner UniLaptop Madison
Ethan Reynolds and Ben Scott StairChair Mazomanie
Kelsie Saxe Cool Runnings Verona
Kristen Selbach Overtime Sporting Goods Store Madison
Seth Sullivan Item tracker Sun Prairie
Mark Werner Ice dam prevention system Madison