This year, WiSys Technology Foundation partnered with the UW-Extension to expand and enhance the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament (WBIT), a UW System student entrepreneurship competition where the winner goes on to compete on an international stage. The competition will be held April 22 at the Discovery Building in Madison and is open to the public.

WiSys aimed to build on the success of WBIT throughout planning the event by using its connection with UW System campuses to establish a broader reach, get more campuses involved and encourage more students to participate.

WBIT worked closely with campus leaders to recruit teams and encourage student participation from a variety of geographic regions and academic backgrounds. Nine campuses hosted qualifying competitions to select teams to compete in the state finals. Teams were also invited to participate through an At-Large submission process.

As a result, 13 teams will travel from 9 UW System campuses to Madison to compete in the statewide tournament April 22. Students will have just 10 minutes to pitch their business model, focusing on Lean Startup principles and their individual learning processes.

A diverse panel of judges will evaluate the pitches and choose a first place team, who will win a $2,000 cash prize and up to $25,000 in funding through Ideadvance, as well as paid travel to Silicon Valley to compete in the International Business Model Competition (IBMC), where their pitch will have an international stage and they could win an additional $25,000 prize.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the pitch portion of the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 22 to learn about the vast and important ideas coming to fruition around the state, as well as gain a sneak peek at the future entrepreneurs of Wisconsin. If you are interested in attending, please register here by April 14.