Wisconsin YES!: Need spring break project? ‘Wisconsin YES!’ business plan contest invites entries through April 6

Contact: Tom Still or Joy Sawatzki at 608-442-7557
Or visit: www.wisconsinyes.com

MADISON – Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, a statewide youth business plan contest modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest, is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. April 6, 2015.

Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through the website. Entries that advance to Phase 2 of the competition will expand their idea into a 1,000-word executive summary. Throughout the process, students get feedback from professionals across Wisconsin who will serve as judges.

As a tool for educators, Wisconsin YES! fosters interest in science and tech education, and encourages students to be independent, creative thinkers capable of problem solving.

“Leveraging technology, thinking creatively and working as a team are all important characteristics for today’s entrepreneurs,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “This contest combines three themes in K-12 education: Financial literacy, entrepreneurism and study of science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM disciplines.”

The Tech Council produces the contest, with major support from IBM and WEA Trust. Additional support is provided by the Wisconsin Technical College System. Contest partners thus far include Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Public Instruction, Make a Difference Wisconsin, Project Lead the Way Wisconsin, STEM Forward, Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers.

To get started, students need to create a simple account at www.WisconsinYES.com. All entries are submitted through the website. Students use their account to gain access to the judges’ comments and feedback. Templates and sample entries for both phases are available on the website, along with other entrepreneurial resources.

Students are able to work in teams or as individuals and will be judged based upon their grade level, with the oldest team member determining the team category. Students or teams may enter multiple ideas.

Place finishers in each category – 9th grade and under, 10th grade, 11th grade and 12th grade – are eligible for cash and prizes. The grand prize winner has the opportunity to present their winning idea at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison on June 2-3. Past winners have hailed from Weston, Brookfield and New Glarus.

The Wisconsin Technology Council is the independent, non-profit and non-partisan science and technology adviser to the Governor and the Legislature. It serves as a catalyst for tech-based economic development in Wisconsin through programs such as the Wisconsin Angel Network, the Governor’s Business Plan Contest and the Wisconsin Innovation Network.

To enter the contest or for more information on sponsorship and partnership opportunities, visit www.WisconsinYES.com or contact Joy Sawatzki at the Wisconsin Technology Council, [email protected] or 608-442-7557.