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Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Upcoming Can't-Miss Events:

Think Tank Session II: February 7th 11:00-3:00pm, Reeve 305

Join us for a day of brainstorming, idea generation, problem solving, and business building foundations! We'll have special guest Ben Deboer, from Jewelers Mutual, here to share with us the problems and opportunities they are seeing in the Jewelry and Insurance industries. 

Student teams that can create feasible solutions to these problems could receive funding and resources needed to turn their ideas in to an actual company! Free food and beverages will be served at this event and it's open to all UWO students.

Speaker Event: Jim Bere, Founder and CEO of Alta Resources. February 11th 6-7pm, Sage 1216

Come learn how Jim Bere has succeeded as a serial entrepreneur at this extremely exciting speaker event! Jim Bere, who is the founder/CEO of Alta Resources, an accomplished serial entrepreneur, and the 2004 Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" will be sharing his story with us. Discover how he has been able to get two companies on the Inc. 500 list, and has grown Alta Resources into a nationwide company with over 2,000 employees! 

This event is free to all UWO students and free food and beverages will be served. 

Business Model Contest and Accelerator Program:

The Alta Resources CEI has opened its applications for the upcoming Business Model Contest and Accelerator Program. Apply now to qualify for up to $20,000 in funding for your business idea! Details about each program below:

Business Model Contest, February 26th from 6-7pm, Sage 1210

Students must apply to present their business model to a panel of judges for a shot at a trip to Florida and the following prizes:

  • 1st place: $10,000 in funding
  • 2nd place: $5,000 in funding
  • 3rd place: $2,500 in funding

Accelerator Program, Begins March 1st

Enter our cohort and we'll help you accelerate your ideas into businesses!

Students must apply to enter the 10 week program. Students accepted into the program will receive:

  • $5,000 in funding for your business
  • Industry specific business mentors
  • Lean Startup Curriculum to follow

The application deadline for both of these programs is February 15th, so

APPLY TODAY (click here for link to application)

A Year in Review 

The new Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (The Center) reported an exciting year! Originally founded was the UW Oshkosh Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) in 2012. CEO hosted 8 speaker events that year, averaging over 40 students per meeting. In 2013, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation was formed with a formal advisory board of high level CEOs and VPs of local companies. Funding was secured from several private donors and the Wisconsin Economic Development Center. In 2014, Alta Resources committed to fund the program for 10 years, securing naming rights of the Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The Annual Year in Review can be read here.



The mission of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is to inspire, educate and develop entrepreneurial leaders through world class education, cutting edge research and applied preparation, mentorship, and public recognition.

"The spirit of entrepreneurship is alive in our College of Business students!"

Jessie Pondell, Professional Development Director, 


"Small business is the engine that drives our economy and we must continue to support business start-ups."

Rick Gudex, State Senator

"I believe a business design lab program would be extremely useful for future business leaders that make up the UW-Oshkosh student body."

Brian Will, UW-Oshkosh student

Board of Directors


Kevin Eismann - Ephany Law
Shannon Full - Fox Cities Chamber
hristine Gantner - Alumni Affairs UW Oshkosh
Matt Jameson - Jay Manufacturing
Robert Keller - JJ Keller/UW Oshkosh College of Business
John Muraski - UW Oshkosh College of Business
Dave Quant - Alta Resources
Robert Roberts - Grants & Faculty Development UW Oshkosh
Kathi Seifert - The Katapult Group
April Spivack - UW Oshkosh College of Business 
Rollie Stephenson - Faith Technologies
William Tallon - UW Oshkosh College of Business
Vicki Updike - Silverstar Brands
Tom Wilzius - Envision Performance Solutions 

2014  Founding Fathers Accelerator Cohort Members


Cory Deruiter - Billboard Brew - advertising on coffee cups/sleeves -

Jordan Johnson - GoProShot basketball bands - 

Kristopher Lefeber - Grocer mobile app, allowing shoppers to effectively and efficiently make use of their food purchases

Parker Lenz, Joseph Neff, Eric Sajdak - Atlas Investments, active money management solutions 

Jordan Rhodes - Healthier Youth - curriculum enhanced exercises

Muhammad Savul - MobiRemote - universal remote on your phone

Gregg Schierl - Ma Schierl's Tartar sauce without pickles

Taylor Schultz - Car detailing at your home or work

Troy Solberg - Buying motorcycles in fall, selling in spring

Luke Van Drunen - Niche marketing websites, offering business solutions

Jake White - party 2.0 - Alcohol free parties/movement on campus/speaking

Brian Will - Personal training online with Skype service


Student Business Model Competition

UW Oshkosh students will have the opportunity to enter a business model competition that will allow them to: pitch their business ideas to a panel of distinguished entrepreneurs, CEO's, venture capitalists, angel investors, and executives. Students will be required to assemble a business model canvas as well as an executive summary of their business concept.

In 2015 the top three students will be flown to Florida to pitch their business concept to a panel of judges. There, the three students will be ranked and given:

  • First place $10,000 seed money, Second place $5,000 seed money, Third place $2,500 seed money
  • Permanent desk space in the Small Business Development Center for one year
  •  Mentorship and advisement from: 
    • SBDC counselors
    • faculty/staff
    • business executives and others
  • Access to all the resources within the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

To learn more about this opportunity contact Colleen Merrill at (920) 424-1456 or e-mail

Contest Application: