MADISON—WiSys has selected three app ideas as finalists in the WiSys APPStart Challenge.
The contest, open to all UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay and UW-La Crosse faculty, staff, students and alumni, connects great mobile app ideas with the expertise and resources necessary for commercial launch.
The three app finalists are:
- ALO: Photo: UW-Eau Claire alums Aaron Accola and Ethan Kilgore and current UW-Eau Claire student Christian Hoyer are developing an app that would serve as a platform for freelance photographers to show off their work and easily schedule photography services with new clients.
- VIGRID: UW-Green Bay student Celine Massereau is developing an app that connects eco-friendly product sellers to consumers with a personal shopper user experience.
- Team Travel: UW-La Crosse Deputy Director of Athletics Erin Hanson is developing an app to assist coaches and teams handle the complexities of travel coordination and documentation.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship are needed now more than ever,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “We hope that as this competition grows, it continues to inspire University of Wisconsin System faculty, staff, students and alumni to develop their innovative ideas into scalable businesses.”
Since January, the finalists have been working with their local Small Business Development Center to craft a business plan and with app development partners—Noble Applications and the UW-Parkside App Factory—to create an app prototype.
In addition to working with two of the finalists, Madison-based Noble Applications is also sponsoring the WiSys APPStart Challenge.
“Noble Applications has always been committed to helping innovative entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful businesses,” said Noble Applications CEO Steve O’Brien. “Wisconsin has talented students across the state, and we see this competition as a model that can propel students into successful entrepreneurship, similar to programs at the likes of M.I.T. and Stanford.”
WiSys expects to announce a winner this summer. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize; the runner-up finalist will receive a $2,500 cash prize; and the second runner-up finalist will receive $1,500 a prize.
This year’s WiSys APPStart Challenge began during the fall semester, as UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay and UW-La Crosse faculty, staff, students and alumni were challenged to submit an app idea in 250 words or less.
More than 40 ideas were submitted. In December, nine semifinalists were selected to pitch to panels of judges with the three finalists emerging to continue on with the contest.