Celebrating Entrepreneurship During Wisconsin Startup Week
FVTC hosts pledge-signing event and pitch contest
In conjunction with Startup Week Wisconsin, Fox Valley Technical College renewed its commitment to entrepreneurship by joining the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) in signing the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge.
President Dr. Chris Matheny and Dr. Rebecca Corbin, president and CEO of NACCE, signed the pledge, which recommits FVTC in supporting entrepreneurship at the college and in the communities served by FVTC.
“Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of a growing economy and critically important to the Fox Valley region,” Dr. Matheny said. “Since 2005, our Venture Center has helped more than 600 entrepreneurs and small business owners launch or grow their business. Our Innovation Accelerator for Veterans has resulted in more than 40 veteran-owned business startups since it started five years ago.”
With this pledge, FVTC commits to five action steps: develop transparency of community college and community assets, create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship, increase entrepreneurs' engagement in community colleges, engage in industry cluster development and create broad exposure to their college's commitment to entrepreneurship.
The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge was in response to the White House’s Startup America call to action to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
Combined with Startup Week Wisconsin, FVTC and the New North held a fast pitch event for entrepreneurs. Twelve aspiring entrepreneurs presented their innovative ideas in front of a panel of judges and live audience.
First place, $1,000 winner:
- INKBOX: As a solution to the significant demand for ink in rural and high demand locations, Bill Zimmerman pitched and innovative vending machine that dispenses printer ink cartridges.
Four second place, $500 winners:
- Blank Sheet Fabrications, LLC: Mark Blank has a provisional patent for a custom retro-fit, flush-mounted tailgate handle for classic step-side trucks. Mark is also a student at FVTC.
- Brat Wave: Jesse Foster has designed a contour cooking sheet for cooking the curves of a bratwurst.
- Doggy Dupa Dog Leash: Patent-pending double leash from Brian Jankowski solves the problems associated with walking two dogs and getting tangled up..
- GoGuide: A web plugin by Carter Brown offers a solution for outfitters, tour operators and the GoGuide Platform, a marketplace to find a guided trip.
All five winners will advance to the New North Hatch Competition on Dec. 2, where they will compete for a $3,000 top prize.