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December 12, 2013

Enter your business idea in the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament

Wisconsin Big Idea TournamentDo you have an innovative idea for a new product or service that you would like to develop?

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Business is looking for UW-Eau Claire undergraduate students to participate in the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament (WBIT), a statewide competition that seeks to increase new business start-ups and job creation in Wisconsin by developing more knowledgeable undergraduate entrepreneurs. The competition is open to all current UW-Eau Claire undergraduate students. The WBIT is made possible through a partnership with UW-Extension, UW System and the International Business Model Competition (BMC) at Brigham Young University.

The WBIT consists of three stages:

How Do I Participate?

Attend the kickoff workshop:

February 6, 2014
7:00 pm
Cargill Collaboration Center
Schneider 203

The WBIT state coordinator from UW-Extension will be on-campus to explain the competition process and criteria.

  • February 2014: Curriculum/Campus Finals, UW-Eau Claire. UW-Eau Claire student teams, consisting of one to three members, will develop and test their business concepts following a standardized Lean Startup curriculum designed by UW-Extension. See box below. Upon completion of this stage, participants will be judged. UW-Eau Claire campus team(s) will advance to the Boot Camp/State Final where they will compete against students from other UW System schools.
  • March 2014: Boot Camp/State Final, Madison, WI. Teams will further test their business concepts by conducting extensive customer interviews and working with mentors. They will present their business concepts to judges at The Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament Final Event. One state finalist will be selected to attend the International Business Model Competition.
  • May 1-3, 2014: International Business Model Competition (BMC). The WBIT winner will compete for cash awards as they pitch their concepts in front of elite angel and venture capitalists. First prize: $25,000. View the 2013 winning presentation at

Questions? Contact Thomas Mihajlov, executive in residence, UW-Eau Claire Department of Accounting and Finance.

About the Lean Startup Concept

The Lean Startup concept is a new way of developing businesses and products based on the work of entrepreneurs and authors Eric Ries and Steve Blank. According to Blank, Lean Startup principles “favor experimentation overelaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition and iterative design over traditional ‘big design up front’ development.” Entrepreneurs who use these principles identify and test their business assumptions early in the development process in order to quickly identify customers and market potential. They will continuously test their concept and will build, dump or pivot (change direction) in response to customer input and interaction. See the links below for more information.

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