Originally published April 29, 2013

Students from Alverno College, Gateway Technical College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Whitewater were winners in the BizStarts Collegiate Business Plan Competition held April 24 at MSOE. The competition was sponsored by Mason Wells and the Milwaukee Institute.

First Place and $5,000 were awarded to Digifii. Digifii provides 3D scanning hardware and software for the booming 3D printing industry. The student team from UW-Milwaukee included Jesse DePinto, Matthew Halenka and Kamal Hussain. Their advisor is Kanti Prasad.

Second Place and a $4,000 prize went to Ferret Boards. This company makes kits to add electric motorization to existing skateboards. Matthew Brazeau, Michael Cosentino and Jacob P. Schneider were on the team from MSOE. Dr. Jeffrey Blessing is their advisor.

HazFutbol.com took Third Place and won $3,000. HazFutbol.com is a social network for amateur soccer. The student team from UW-Whitewater included Franco Zurita and Hernando Zuritz. Their advisor is William Dougan.

Fourth Place and $2,000 were awarded to Life Works, an online tarot card reading, email and advice service. Colleen Alex, Sue DaBaco, Renee Tuinstra and Bethany Zebell comprised this student team from Alverno College. Daniel Matre is their advisor.

Bowl Appetit won Fifth Place and $1,000. Bowl Appetit is a new fast casual restaurant in Brookfield, Wis. and features a “Build Your Own” menu. Connie Howen, of Gateway Technical College, presented this business plan and Sara Skowronski is her advisor.

The BizStarts Mason Wells Collegiate Business Plan Competition originated in 2009 by members of the BizStarts Milwaukee College Consortium, a collaboration of post-secondary institutions in the Milwaukee 7 Region. The contest helps student entrepreneurs realize their goals while helping the M7 region grow and prosper economically. It is a “contest of winners” as entrants in this contest are selected by their institutions as their best plans for each academic year.

MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,500 students. MSOE offers 20 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 94% placement rate; and the highest average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.