Two groups of aspiring entrepreneurs from the University of Wisconsin–Madison will be among 25 finalists vying for $215,000 in prize funds this week at a national competition looking for the next big idea.
Pill Skills and Boosted Chews will compete this week at e-Fest, a virtual competition and celebration of undergraduate entrepreneurship, hosted by the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Both teams participated in mentoring and training programs offered by Discovery to Product (D2P) and other services provided by the UW-Madison Innovate Network.
Both UW teams will compete in the e-Fest “Pitch Slam” on Thursday, April 22 and the “Innovation Challenge” on Friday, April 23 with follow-up rounds on Friday and Saturday. For information on how to attend the live streams of the “Pitch Slam” and/or the Awards Ceremony, visit this link: https://events.bizzabo.com/efest/home
The two UW–Madison teams among the 25 finalists:
- Boosted Chews, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A startup company co-founded by undergraduate students Kit Chow (Biosystems Engineering) and Aditya Parihar (Chemical Engineering), who invented its signature product: bite-sized, caffeinated chocolate chews that provide consumers with an alternate method to supplement their caffeine needs.
- Pill Skills, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Undergraduate sisters Marissa (UW-Madison) and Samantha Harkness (Illinois Tech), both majoring in biomedical engineering, have developed an instructional kit to teach children how to swallow pills proactively, before a problem or need arises.
“Boosted Chews and Pill Skills are terrific examples of the high quality of student entrepreneurship happening here at UW-Madison,” said Andrew Richards, D2P Director. “All of us at D2P congratulate both teams for this outstanding recognition and wish them the best of luck as they ably represent UW- Madison in this national competition.”
Sponsored by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas, and EIX.org, a non-profit online platform for entrepreneurship education, e-Fest celebrates student teams who submitted the top business pitches in a preliminary online competition. At e-Fest, student teams compete in a “Pitch Slam” and an “Innovation Challenge”, leading up to the featured event, the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge, which awards $50,000 to the winning team.
“Entrepreneurs will be more important than ever as we build back our economy,” said Laura Dunham, Associate Dean of Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. “It will be the work of entrepreneurs and innovators to reimagine a society and economy that works for all its citizens, that creates opportunity for all, that fosters equity, fairness and justice. It will be the work of entrepreneurs to create the businesses and generate the jobs that will restore and revitalize our economy.”
Discovery to Product (D2P) at UW–Madison
Discovery to Product (D2P) fosters the Wisconsin Idea by helping transform groundbreaking innovations originating at UW–Madison into products and services that change the world. D2P is a unit within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education that provides mentoring, tools, funding and education to campus innovators (faculty, staff and students).
Schulze School of Entrepreneurship
The Schulze School at the University of St. Thomas cultivates the next generation of entrepreneurial problem solvers and innovators. The school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, as well as community resources to support new ventures, family businesses and corporate entrepreneurs.