The Culver’s Business Model Contest at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will feature the plans of 10 contestants who will vie for prizes valued at up to $15,000.
The 4th annual event will be held from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 in Room 1214 at Sage Hall.
Contestants–who must be enrolled full- or part-time at UW Oshkosh–will present their business models to a panel of high-level judges, including Culver’s co-founder and current interim Chief Executive Officer Craig Culver, while competing for project seed funding and a variety of in-kind services.
“The Culver’s Business Model Contest is a fantastic opportunity for students to showcase their business ideas and gather the feedback they need to keep pushing forward,” said Dan Brosman, program manager of Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “Not only do these students have a chance at securing initial seed funding, but the in-kind support and automatic entry into the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s 12-week accelerator program will provide much further guidance to help in overall business growth.”
Live voting via social media will take place during the competition to award a People’s Choice Award, in addition to the first through third prizes. Pizza, soda and Culver’s custard will be served.
“There is so much potential for aspiring entrepreneurs at our University and we at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation are always here to assist any student with pursuing an idea,” Brosman added.
The free event attracted a standing-room-only crowd in 2015. Reservations are being taken on the Culver’s Business Model Contest website.
Following are the contestants and their business models:
- Abbie Merrill-In Our Hands
- Austin Rosenberger (team)-University Hubs
- Mylia Yang-Hmong Adult Day Care
- Brynton Foston-Dreamer City Designs
- Dylan Parks-Upright Kids
- Jack Sarow-Sigma Squared
- Austin Hoefs-Finger Tip Information (FTI)
- Wesley Lodel-Drone Stream
- Paul Slaght-Hybrid Farming
- Michael Mergener-uRide Rentals
Besides Craig Culver, other confirmed judges are Matt Howard, CEO/co-founder of EatStreet; Jason Tienor, president and CEO of Telkonet; Vicki Updike, vice president of Bergstrom Automotive; Tom Sobocinski, founder/CEO of Cardinal Points Group; and David Swintosky, managing director at Dunning Capital LLC.
Contestants will have four minutes for a presentation and two minutes of question/answer with the judges before the winners are announced. First place wins $5,000 cash, 18 hours of in-kind services and entry into the CEI’s Accelerator Program; second place receives $2,500 cash, 11 hours of in-kind services and entry into the CEI’s Accelerator Program; third place takes home $1,000 cash and receives four hours of in-kind services and entry into the Accelerator Program.
The Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is located within Sage Hall and exists to provide students with business consulting services, opportunities to participate in several business idea contests throughout the year, a 12-week accelerator program that helps students turn their ideas into actual companies, and a summer incubator program that allows for select teams to focus on growth of their businesses.