Originally published February 22, 2011
A team of students from MSOE’s Rader School of Business won first place in MSOE’s Annual Business Plan Competition. Judges awarded first prize and an award of $2,000 to “72 Web Design,” developed by sophomores Ashley Dzick and Garrick Jannene (pictured below). The team unveiled a tested concept for a low-cost, web application featuring portable software code. Designed for local political campaigns, the application can be used to collect contributions, enlist volunteers and promote events around the clock, all with minimal upkeep and support.
The MSOE Business Plan Competition is sponsored annually by MSOE’s Uihlein/Spitzer Center for Entrepreneurship and supported by MSOE’s Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) project grant. Dr. Jeffrey Blessing, professor, Rader School of Business, serves as Kern Fellow and competition coordinator. Business plans are sought from MSOE students and alumni. According to Dr. Steven C. Bialek, chair of the Rader School of Business, “This year’s winning presentation impressed the judges on several fronts. The idea has great potential to easily be scaled up. The presenters exhibited a passion for their idea that epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit present at MSOE.”
More than 100 students engaged in the early phases of the competition, and detailed plans of 12 semi-finalists were reviewed by judges. A summary of the top plans reviewed in the final round follows:
1st Place – $2,000
72 Web Design
Ashley Dzick, Management Information Systems
Garrick Jannene, International Business
In the world of electioneering, a good website can be a crucial part of organizing a campaign and its supporters. It can be used to collect contributions, enlist volunteers and promote events around the clock, all with minimal upkeep and support. Smaller races on the local level, ones that do not have the benefit of large bank accounts and donor bases, are cash-strapped to hire Web design talent, and are obligated to buy local to support constituents. 72 Web Design offers a technology solution for political candidates who do not have a large budget for maintaining a Web presence, thus creating the need for an affordable internet solution.
2nd Place – $1,250
Neutral Ground North
Perry Wirth, Management Information Systems
Neutral Ground North (NGN) is Wisconsin’s premier grappling martial arts academy. Neutral Ground offers a diverse mix of classes that caters to both males and females from ages 2 to 60 including mixed martial arts (one of the most rapidly growing sports in the world and viewed by millions on pay-per‐view), Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Judo, kickboxing and functional conditioning. NGN originally started in June 2008 as a small three-day-a-week club hosted at a local health facility under the name Riptide Grappling.
3rd Place – $500
Jacob Bolda, Architectural Engineering/Structural Engineering
Josh Wilsmann, Architectural Engineering/Structural Engineering
Jacob Wurtz, Architectural Engineering/Structural Engineering
Helix will focus on creating sustainable, affordable housing, starting in the greater Milwaukee area. Much of the existing housing stock fails to meet the needs of families living in Milwaukee. Helix will partner with nonprofit community groups to meet the needs of urban families. The developments would primarily be funded through tax credits.
4th Place – $250
Ben Skupsky, Mechanical Engineering
Lazy Solar innovation changes the solar industry with a provisional applied patented all-in-one solar case, mounting system and snow rail. What distinguishes Lazy Solar from competition is its unique unit and goal to sell it for $1 per watt. The price of $1 per watt has been a goal for many companies but so far no company has succeeded.
5th Place – $250
Chaley Morris, Technical Communication
Edward Stoginski, Management Information Systems
Handless Handles developed an innovative hands-free door design that achieves a multi-functional method of opening traditional door latches. Users can both turn the **** and open the door without using their hands. The device is large enough so users can identify it with their foot without looking down, yet small enough not to impede the natural function of the door.
6th Place – $250
Fresh Coast Foundation
Jared Hoffmann, Business Management
Luca Hickman, Electrical Engineering
The Fresh Coast Foundation (FCF) will act as a clearinghouse in the provision of humanitarian service to needy Third World countries, and as a facilitator of servanthood opportunity to academic and philanthropic organizations in the greater Milwaukee community. FCF will use the emergent agricultural technology of aquaponics to facilitate these socially beneficial projects.
Honorable Mention – $250
Luke Bearl, Computer Engineering
Lee Van Dehy, Software Engineering ’10
Artemis Technologies will provide custom mobile applications solutions to businesses. These solutions will be enhanced by integrating the customer into the software development process, high-quality artifacts, and thorough documentation. Additionally, Artemis Technologies will supplement its contract portfolio with general mobile applications released to individual users.
MSOE is an independent university with 2,600 students. MSOE offers 18 bachelor’s degrees and 10 master’s degrees in the engineering, engineering technology, building and infrastructure engineering, computer, business, nursing and health-related fields. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; and extremely high placement rates and starting salaries. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.