UW-Green Bay Urban Studies major Paul Karpenko took first place in the Fall 2018 UWGB Student Business Idea Contest, Monday, October 22, 2018. Green Bay Campus students from several majors pitched their innovative idea in front of judges within a 90-second time frame for cash, scholarships to a summer entrepreneurial extreme accelerator travel course, and the ability to represent UWGB at other pitch contests this spring for more cash, in-kind services, and automatic entries into accelerators. Here are the contest winners and their big ideas:
Karpenko’s idea, MeritCoin, won the first place cash prize of $500. His idea rewards students who work on real problems based on curriculum written by private sector sources.
Second place and $250 was awarded to Courtney Gersek (Business Administration) with Twistables – her take on a better peanut butter jar without the eventual mess getting the peanut butter out at the bottom of the jar. Gersek developed her idea over the summer at the European Innovation Academy in Portugal with a team of international students. It was ranked #1 in the patent award category out of 70 teams there. Last year, Gersek competed in the spring 2018 UWGB student business idea contest with one of her many other ideas, Swift Shopper, and was awarded honorable mention. That honorable mention award earned her a scholarship to attend EIA to start the develop of Twistables.
Third place and $100 was awarded to Maria Arunkumar (Business Administration) for her Build-a-Wedding app idea. The app walks those getting married easily through the planning of their wedding, including helping connect them to wedding planners and wedding facilities coordinators. Arunkumar won the Light Up the Lakeshore business idea contest in Two Rivers in August with this idea, and she was featured in local print and on local television. She continues to develop the idea toward reality having presented her idea along the way at 1 Million Cups Green Bay and most recently at kinnektorCon.
Receiving honorable mention and $50 were the following Green Bay Campus students:
- Alexa Hietpas (Business Administration) – GPS Buck Tracker
- Jada Taylor (Business Administration) – University Book Exchange
- Christopher Conrad (Business Administration) – RentPlus
- Alyssa Allen (Business Administration) – Hazel Hills scholarship Alzheimer’s facility
- Leah Zorn (Business Administration) – PLUM
- Ketti Bloom (Business Administration) – a center to help care for the homeless and their pets too
- Charity Joy (Design Arts) – an at-home yoga trainer business
- Olivia Heilman (Business Administration) – Stay Dry
- Riley Heimann (Data Science) – a cloud-based benchmarking system
- Erik Johnson (Communications) – Cross Track Shack
- Sabrina Vang (Education & Psychology) – fresh: quick and easy healthy fast food
- Cory Gruedemann (Business Administration) – a quicker movie selection app
- Renee DeGrand (Business Administration) – Fervid Life
- Hamza Umar (Business Administration) – Color-Bagging
Event photos can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uwgreenbaynews/sets/72157701470869541. (Photographs by Liesl Sigourney.)