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March 26, 2014

UW-Eau Claire student entrepreneurs present ideas at the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament

Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament

l to r: Mitchell Schreiber; Derek Dahik; Bradley Price; Spencer Beard; and Kory Peterson



University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student teams participating in the first stage of the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament (WBIT) will present their new business ideas to area economic development leaders, and UW-Eau Claire students and faculty on Thursday, March 27, from 5-7:30 pm in the UW-Eau Claire Davies Center Dulany Inn.

The WBIT is a new statewide competition that seeks to increase new business start-ups and job creation in the state by developing more knowledgeable undergraduate entrepreneurs. The three UW-Eau Claire student teams participating in the competition are as follows:

  • Team 1: Spencer Beard, a senior health care administration student from Hager City, WI; and Bradley Price, a senior health care administration student from Chippewa Falls, WI
    Idea: An alternative solution to senior long-term care options that utilizes home remodeling and innovative healthcare technology. The proposed solution would give seniors a higher quality of life by enabling them to live in their own homes.
  • Team 2: Kory Peterson, a senior entrepreneur management student from Eau Claire, WI
    Idea: A phone app that helps users make better decisions when purchasing a new or used vehicle. The app would also provide users with information they could use to sustain their vehicles longer.
  • Team 3: Derek Dahlk, a sophomore English student from Verona, WI; and Mitchell Schreiber, a sophomore materials science student from Wausau, WI.
    Idea: A bicycle tire made from a single material instead of both an inner tube and outer rubber tire. The proposed tire would not pop or become flat on long trips. It also has potential to be recycled when the right materials are used.

Support the UW-Eau Claire teams at the state finals

View the competition on April 5 in person at the Pyle Center or via live online streaming at http://bit.ly/WiBigIdea.

Help select the recipient of the People’s Choice Award, the team that gets the most mentions via Twitter during the competition. To tweet support for a team, use @WI_Big_Idea and #WIBigIdea.

On April 5, the UW-Eau Claire teams will travel to Madison where they will compete against teams from UW-La Crosse, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Oshkosh. The competition will be held from 9am to 1 pm at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St. Each team will have 15 minutes each to present their idea. Business ideas will be judged by Lisa Johnson, vice president, Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; Dan Reed, director of Business Development, Investments for American Family Insurance; and Troy Vosseller, co-founder of gener8tor. 

The WBIT top finisher will represent the state in May at the International Business Model Competition at Brigham Young University, where $100,000 in awards will be distributed to top teams. The top finisher will also have the opportunity to be selected into Stage 1 of the Ideadvance Seed Fund created by UW System and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Learn more at http://uwideadvance.org.

For more information about the WBIT, contact Tom Mihajlov, executive in residence, UW-Eau Claire Department of Accounting & Finance. (715) 836-2422.

Initial support for the WBIT 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.

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