MADISON, Wis. – UW-Milwaukee student entrepreneurs placed
first in UW-Extension’s inaugural Wisconsin Big Idea
and will represent the state at the International Business Model

The team is made up of two
current Air National Guard members, Tom Burden and Janie Asberry, and U.S. Air
Force veteran Shawn Petros. They are developing  safe, non-corrosive and
convenient mats that provide surfaces on which aerospace  mechanics can
stand or place tools. Their company, Grypshon,
is planning to sell products to the military. Their goal is to maximize
efficiency, productivity and safety of military members in a cost-effective

was among 10 teams of University of Wisconsin student entrepreneurs who
competed April 5 in Madison. Presentations by Wisconsin teams from
UW-Milwaukee, UW-La Crosse, UW-Eau Claire and UW Oshkosh can be viewed at: Wisconsin
entrants were among 2,000 teams from 200 schools in 20 countries at related

“This inaugural program set the framework for growth and
expansion of Lean Startup training and idea development for students within the
UW System,” said Mark Lange, executive director of Entrepreneurship and
Economic Development for UW-Extension.  “We encourage UW students, staff
and faculty to contact us about participating in the fall of 2014.”

As the top Wisconsin finisher, Grypshon will be among 40
teams competing in the international finals May 1 to 3 at Brigham Young
University, Provo, Utah, for $100,000 in awards.  In addition, Grypshon
qualifies for the first round of the Ideadvance
seed fund administered by UW-Extension and funded by UW System and the
Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.  Depending on the business milestones
they reach, they stand to earn up to $25,000 to advance their idea.

The Wisconsin tournament runner-up Long-term Health
Solutions is made up of Spencer Beard and Bradley Price of UW-Eau Clare. They
pitched a more cost efficient and higher quality of life solution for aging
populations through specialized home remodeling and installation of healthcare
technology solutions.

Third place finisher Atlas Investments –  made up
of Parker Lenz, Joseph Neff and Eric Sajdak of UW Oshkosh – pitched
innovative financial investment products for financial brokers.

All three top finishers earned an interview with gener8tor, one of the Midwest ’s premier
startup accelerators.

The “People’s Choice Winner” –  based on number of
Twitter votes  –  was Billboard Brew founded by Cory DeRuiter of UW
Oshkosh to provide better advertising for cup related businesses.

Initial support for this project is covered by a matching grant provided by UW
System, with program management by UW-Extension, and in partnership with the
International Business Model Competition. Additional sponsors include the Wisconsin
Economic Development Corporation
, American Family Insurance and WPS
Health Insurance