Emily Scott and William Moertl, an 8th grade duo at Whitman Middle School in Wauwatosa, are the first-place winners in Wisconsin YES!, a statewide youth business plan contest for students in middle and high school.
Scott and Moertl’s company, Signfluent, will produce a software app that can be used to learn and translate Sign Language. Signfluent has a database of signs, grammatical rules and terminology, and uses a camera-based recognition system to translate to non-sign users.
Scott and Moertl will present their product June 2 at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.
“Up to 500,000 Americans and 125,000 people in Britain use sign language every day, so Signfluent stands to be important innovation for that market,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the contest. “The team hopes to work with other languages if they are successful in Signfluent’s early stages.”
Students submitted their ideas in a 250-word online summary to compete in Phase 1 of the contest. Professionals from across the state served as judges, provided feedback and scored the ideas. Twelve entries moved on to Phase 2, which required 1,000-word executive summaries covering company overview; product or service description; customer definition; market description, size and sales strategy; competition; team; financials; and capital needs.
Second place was awarded to a team of Wyatt Barker, Brayden Deering and Noah Schipper from Kimberly High School for their entry, Teplos Snowboard/Ski Helmets. Teplos allows customers to customize their helmet with technology and accessories, such as Bluetooth, GPS tracking and temperature control.
Cecilia Maricle, Wyatt Linder, Teemu Keinanen, Georgia Maricle, Mikko Keinanen, Nevaeh Prodzinski of Marsupial Undershorts was awarded third place for their entry, light-weight, fitted undershorts with pockets for holding a phone, money, keys and more.
Contest partners have included the Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Public Instruction, theAssociation of Wisconsin School Administrators, Make a Difference Wisconsin,Project Lead the Way Wisconsin, STEM Forward,Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers andWisconsin Association of School Business Officials.
Modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest, Wisconsin YES! is designed to teach students how innovation in science and technology fields can be developed into plausible business plans. It is an opportunity for students to explore the connections between science, technology and entrepreneurship, and for educators and judges to cultivate an interest in these arenas. Visit https://wisconsinyes.com/ to learn more.
In alphabetical order by submission name, finalists in the tenth annual contest were:
|Ab Â´N Oli||Sky Sirinek, Abby Seizer||Wauwatosa/9th grade and under|
|AnywhereTour||Julius Zakaria||Oak Creek/11th grade|
|Becker Beds||Jason Adix||Mequon/11th grade|
|EZ Garden||Lily Wiemer||Wauwatosa/9th grade and under|
|Hung Dung||Derius Lucas||Wauwatosa/9th grade and under|
|Marsupial Undershorts||Cecilia Maricle, Wyatt Linder, Teemu Keinanen, Georgia Maricle, Mikko Keinanen, Nevaeh Prodzinski||Holmen/9th grade and under|
|Metopia||Wyatt Johnson||Burnett/12th grade|
|Relu||Nicholas Hu||Mequon/11th grade|
|Ripe||Wyatt Ehrhardt||Verona/9th grade and under|
|Schlick||Dalton Derringer, Sean Krueger||Crivitz/9th grade and under|
|Signfluent||Emily Scott||Wauwatosa/9th grade and under|
|Step-Up||Frankie Maynard||Brodhead/10th grade|
|Teplos Snowboard/Ski||Wyatt Barker||Kimberly/12th grade|
|TouchDrive||Einthiri Mudili||Franklin/11th grade|
|We Invest||Max Ranft||Wauwatosa/9th grade and under|
|Zoom Book||Isabel Taormina||Wauwatosa/9th grade and under|