Students compete for start-up cash in G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition
Eighty-two undergraduate and graduate students from 31 majors across the University of Wisconsin–Madison will vie for start-up capital as part of the annual G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition at the Wisconsin School of Business on Friday, April 27.
Business plans will be evaluated from 42 teams of students who are pursuing solutions to everyday problems ranging from sustainable food production and functional clothing articles to high-speed data transfer and next-generation electric motors and generators.
Participants of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp, the Entrepreneurship Living and Learning Community in Sellery Hall, and the new Wisconsin School of Business Certificate in Entrepreneurship are among this year’s competitors.
“The variety of creative solutions to business and social problems that students have come up with this year is staggering,” says John Surdyk, director of the competition. “This event provides students an opportunity to come together to tackle challenging problems, and it’s incredibly exciting to see them fully develop their innovative business ideas.”
Presentations are open to the public and will be held from 7:35 a.m.-3:45 p.m. in Grainger Hall, 975 University Ave. Visitors should seek out the Today in Grainger Hall event posters for specific meeting rooms.
Matt Howard and Eric Martell, co-founders of U Connect/BadgerBites.com, will provide a keynote address at 4:20 p.m. in the Plenary Room of Grainger Hall.
Prize money will be awarded in a ceremony following the keynote at 5:40 p.m.
A panel of 16 judges drawn from Wisconsin startup companies, nonprofit organizations, investment groups, law firms, and industry will evaluate the students’ plans and presentations.
Nearly 500 students have participated in the competition while thousands have attended skill-building seminars to develop their business planning expertise since the program’s inception in 1998, says Surdyk. The New York Times, National Public Radio and other national media have recognized competition alumni for their successes.
The competition is named for sponsor G. Steven Burrill, a longtime supporter of student innovation and entrepreneurship. Burrill is CEO of Burrill & Co., a life sciences merchant bank with more than $950 million under management. He earned a BBA degree from the Wisconsin School of Business in 1966.