Wisconsin Technology Council: Twenty-eight entries advance to next round in county-wide youth business plan contest

Contact: Ryann Petit-Frere or Tom Still at 608-442-7557 and visit http://www.danecountyyes.com

MADISON – Twenty-eight entries from nine communities have advanced to the semi-final round of Dane County Yes!, a new county-wide youth business plan contest, producers announced Wednesday.

Contestants were selected from first-round entries by an independent panel of judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is producing the contest with initial support from the Madison Community Foundation.

The semi-finalists are spread among four categories: 9th grade and under (13), 10th grade (3), 11th grade (5) and 12th grade (8). Entries range from food assembly solutions to web-based ideas to help kids have international experiences.

“We developed this program to help Wisconsin students consider technology in their future careers and businesses,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council. “Many of the great ideas submitted to the contest exemplify that a mind for innovation is not limited to adults. We hope to help cultivate the promise these kids show with Dane County YES!”

The 28 entries competing in Phase 2 of the contest are writing summary business plans of no more than 1,000 words. Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market and identifies potential competitors.

Phase 2 plans will be filed online by 5 p.m. April 25; the next judging period will last about two weeks. All of the Phase 2 contestants and their teammates have been invited to a Pizza Prep Party on April 18th at the University Research Park in Madison to help them write their Phase 2 plan.

Top Phase 2 finishers plus ties will move on to the finals, in which contestants will meet with a small group of core judges. About $2,500 in cash and in-kind prizes have been pledged for the 2009 contest thus far.

Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants or learn more about their Phase 1 plans should contact Ryann Petit-Frere or Tom Still at 608-442-7557.

Sponsors of the 2009 contest so far: American TV, Optimist Club of Downtown Madison, Irwin and Robert Goodman, Inacom Information Systems, Nicholas and Elaine Mischler, University Research Park, the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Madison Community Foundation.

Here are the 2009 semi-finalists in Dane County YES! Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557 ext. 28.

Elizabeth Milovets — Ball Bin — Madison

Max Fergus — Bank for Kids — Stoughton

Mark O’Malley — BGone Golf Ball Elevator — Madison

Ryan Budziszewski — Club Inferno — Madison

Kelsie Saxe — Cool Runnings — Verona

Danielle Breidung — Costumbres Argentinas — Waunakee

Abby Buechner — Door Bells Wedding Chapel — Madison

Annie Fergus — Edible Food Tape — Stoughton

Brian O’Malley — BGT — Madison

Nicholas Ashley — Green Landscaping Service — Middleton

Aidan Combs — GummyShield — Verona

Shreya Dahal — Hand Sanitizer & Moisterizer — Madison

Mark Werner — Ice dam prevention system — Madison

Alexander Francis — ITA Village — Madison

Seth Sullivan — Item Tracker — Sun Prairie

Luis Lugo — Mister L. — Madison

Sisi Chen and Max Lien — Online Newspaper — Madison

Kristen Selbach — Overtime Sporting Goods Store — Madison

Caroline Barry — Solar Powered Water Purifier — Middleton

Ethan Reynolds and Ben Scott — StairChair — Mazomanie

Carley Eisenberg — Tail Gate Mate — Madison

Peter Maillefer — The “Help” Hotline — Cottage Grove

Paul Holland — The Nerd Hut — Madison

Andrew Pliner — UniLaptop — Madison

Weston Knutson — Vending Machine — DeForest

Dylan Maier — Wild Hog — Madison

Nelson Auner — Wisfridge — Madison

Matthew Mauer — Zerin — Waunakee