Wisconsin students who have a bold idea for improving the world through science or technology can compete for cash and prizes in the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science (Wisconsin YES!) contest.

Modeled after the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest for entrepreneurs, the competition is meant to encourage students in middle school or high school to find new ways to use technology, learn how to solve problems and think about turning ideas into marketable businesses.

Winning ideas in recent years have included artificial fishing bait with adjustable light-emitting diodes, or LEDs; dog treats with neurological benefits; an earbud case for the back of a cell phone; and a custom-made bowtie company.

Students can submit a 250-word summary of their idea at WisconsinYES.com. Entries selected to advance to the second phase of the contest will turn their concept into a 1,000-word executive summary, and judges will select the winners. Throughout the contest period, students will get feedback from business professionals, and they will be able to view the judges’ comments at the end of the competition.

Using technology, thinking creatively and working as a team are all important skills for entrepreneurs, said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the Wisconsin YES! competition. “Entrepreneurial skills are vital to the long-term success of Wisconsin’s youth, as well as the state’s innovation economy,” Still said.

To participate, students can create an account at WisconsinYES.com. Ideas are due April 13, 2022. The second phase of the contest begins April 28 for the concepts chosen to move forward. Executive summaries are due May 9, 2022. Students can enter individually or as teams, and they can submit more than one idea.

The grand prize winner will make a presentation at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in June in Milwaukee.