Culver’s Business Model Competition

Student entrepreneurs compete “Shark Tank” style for a share of $25,000+ in cash and prizes!

The Culver’s Business Model Competition is the Center’s signature annual competition, providing the university’s most talented student entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete for seed funding and exclusive access to venture development resources.

The competition accepts ideas in any stage of development – from initial idea to already operational businesses. It is open to ventures led by any student or student team enrolled at UW Oshkosh (Oshkosh, Fox Cities, or Fond du Lac).

Students accepted to compete will have four minutes to present their business model, followed by two minutes of Q&A with the panel of judges.


More than $25,000 in prizes is awarded annually to the top three finalists!
In addition, the top two finalists qualify to compete in The Pitch. The overall winner earns the opportunity to compete in the WI Big Idea Tournament (WBIT).

First Prize: $3,000 + In-Kind Prizes

Second Prize: $1,500 + In-Kind Prizes

Third Prize: $500 + In-Kind Prizes

Peoples Choice: $150

The People’s Choice Award is voted on by the audience!


  • Student businesses can vary from an initial idea to a concept that has been recently developed. All types of startups and ideas are accepted.
  • Students from any college or major are welcome to apply.
  • Must be enrolled at UW Oshkosh – Oshkosh, Fox Cities
  • Prior winners are not eligible to participate with the same business.


  • Application Deadline: Sunday, March 17, 2024 @ 11:59 PM
  • Announcement of Contestants: 3-5 days after applications close
  • Business Model Competition: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 from 5-7 PM


Dan Brosman, Executive Director
  Sage Hall, Room 1410
(920) 424-1826

Megan Hart, Program Manager
  Sage Hall, Room 1410
(920) 424-1824



The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UW Oshkosh hosted the 2023 Culver’s Business Model Competition on Thursday, April 13th, 2023, at UW Oshkosh. Students pitched their businesses as they competed for a share of $30,000 in cash and in-kind prizes!

🏅 1st Place: Colin Schuler, Spot2Hunt
🥈 2nd Place: Baylee Cottrell, Blush House
🥉 3rd Place: Cole Saathoff, Luster Technology
🏆 People’s Choice Award: Alex Ziegler, Zeki Tea

Thank you to our generous in-kind providers, judges, Craig Culver, and all that came out and supported our incredible student entrepreneurs!

2023 Event Judges:
Rob Kleman – President & CEO, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce
Mike Dempsey – Former President, Bank First & President, Waterfest
Karen Schneider – Owner & Publisher, Oshkosh Herald
Ellie Gunville – Co-Owner, E/Power Marketing
Brenda Leopold – Partner, L5 Ventures



2021-22 WINNERS
1st Place: Rising Phoenix Martial Arts
Devan Hohn
Rising Phoenix Martial Arts is an inclusive martial arts school for youth and adults. Rising Phoenix will be open to all ages for training. but its niche will be classes for adults and children with both mild and significant disabilities and needs.

2nd Place: Happy Spa
Noah Bauer
Happy Spa is a device that floats on top of a hot tub that will continuously monitor all relevant chemicals (pH, chlorine, etc.) and will then automatically distribute the amount of necessary chemicals that will bring the water back into the proper balance.

3rd Place: Assistive Home Tech
Kevin Dwyer
Assistive Home Tech provides smart home assistive device consultations, equipment installations, and services to extend out customers’ independence and improve their quality of life.

People’s Choice Award: Avail
Coby Rauls
Avail Financial is a platform that is designed to help college students become smarter with their money. The web-based platform will be available to students to use as a budgeting tool, while also providing students the ability to connect with financial experts in their area to game-plan ways of paying their student loans in the most effective manner.

1st Place: Rice Time
Jaden Radcliff of Hortonville
Jaden realized that college students desire high quality, affordable meals, and the RICE TIME food truck delivers. Jaden shared that he plans to sell rice and stir fry dishes that have been perfected through years of ingenuity. Jaden is a Freshman at UW Oshkosh studying Physics.

2nd Place: Lucid Creators
Shifa Jaleel Ahmad of Oshkosh
Lucid Creators, a service-based company that creates virtual training modules, scenarios and tours using augmented and virtual reality and Internet of Things technology. Shifa also received the most votes to earn the People’s Choice Award. Shifa is a Senior majoring in Information Systems.

3rd Place: Flora Fruit Company
Jalen Greenlee of Brown Deer
Flora Fruit Company is a fruit box subscription company that delivers fresh, high-quality fruit boxes to our customer’s doorstep every week, bi-weekly, or upon request. Jalen is a Junior pursuing a Management major with a concentration in Business/Entrepreneurship.


1st Place: Prexo
Abbie Merrill, Ian McDonald
A mobile app that allows for users to get notifications on executive orders as they are signed, engage with other users, and contact congressional representatives.

2nd Place: TapTech Systems
Dakota Swank
An interactive, automated beer tap system with RFID technology that allows users to browse, select, and pour their own beverages without a bartender.

3rd Place: Grace Farms
Kaila Vander Wielen
A long-term residential therapy farm for survivors of human trafficking. In addition to group and solo therapy sessions, residents will spend their time making soap and growing sustainably farmed, organic produce.

People’s Choice Award:
Divine Beauty LLC Rebecca Dailey


2024 Culver’s Business Model Competition

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024 – UW Oshkosh – 5-7 PM – Sage Hall 1214

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UW Oshkosh hosted the 2024 Culver’s Business Model Competition on Wednesday, April 10th, 2024, at UW Oshkosh. Students pitched their businesses as they competed for a share of $25,000+ in cash and in-kind prizes!

Thank you to our generous in-kind providers, judges, Craig Culver, and all that came out and supported our incredible student entrepreneurs!

🏅 1st Place: Shane Kinson – NoiseStil (Major: Audio Production/Music Business)
🥈 2nd Place: William Dorsett – Fueled By Courage (Major: Mechanical Engineering Technology)
🥉 3rd Place: Noah Bauer – Mill City Farms (Major: Marketing)
🏆 People’s Choice Award: Shane Kinson – NoiseStil (Major: Audio Production/Music Business)

2024 Event Judges:
Dayne Rusch – CEO, Vyper Industrial 
Pat Van Abel – Entrepreneur & EOS Implementer, Badger Sports Park/Appleton Axe/etc.
Meghann Kasper – Chief Credit Officer, Bank First
Ellie Gunville – Co-Owner, E/Power Marketing
Raina Lyman – Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Envision Greater Fond Du Lac

Thank you to our 2024 Sponsors & In-Kind Providers