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‘Wisconsin YES!’ student business plan contest will accept entries statewide in fall 2011

May 9, 2011

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Still or Liz Schrum at 608-442-7557
Or visit www.wisconsinyes.com

Madison, WISCONSIN—In partnership with the WEA Trust and others, the Wisconsin Technology Council will launch a statewide business plan contest for students in middle and high school next fall.

The Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science contest, called Wisconsin YES!, will be open to all students in Wisconsin who are entering grades six through 12 for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Patterned after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest, Wisconsin YES! is a multistage, primarily online contest that will encourage young people in Wisconsin to turn their ideas and inventions into real business plans. The contest will help finalists win cash prizes of up to $2,500 and an additional $2,500 grant for their schools. Judges will be professionals working in the state’s technology, research, investment and service sectors.

The Wisconsin YES! contest will open for online-only entries beginning Oct. 3, 2011, at www.wisconsinyes.com. Phase 1 Idea Abstracts will be accepted on the website through 5 p.m. Dec. 5, 2011. Idea Abstracts are 250-word business ideas. Phase 2 begins Feb. 6, 2012 and runs until 5 p.m. April 2. Finalists will be selected for Phase 3 oral presentations to take place in May 2012, with winners announced at the 2012 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in early June.

Entries must fall into one of the four following categories: 9th grade and under, 10th grade, 11th grade or 12th grade. Group entries must enter the grade category of the highest grade represented on the team. (For example, a team comprised of a freshman and a junior would enter the 11th grade category.)

“Wisconsin YES! is designed to help develop young minds and provide opportunities for students to explore the fields of technology, science and entrepreneurship,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “This is the first year we have opened this competition to the entire state of Wisconsin. We’re excited to be able to offer this unique opportunity to all eligible students, thanks to the sponsorship and reach of partners such as the WEA Trust.”

This contest will help young leaders build a bridge between educational excellence, entrepreneurship and financial literacy in Wisconsin. Science and business education programs in public schools are more important than ever in today’s global economy. Many national and state reports have linked educational attainment, especially in science and business courses, to high-paying jobs and a stronger economy.

“This is a wonderful collaboration between the Trust and the Wisconsin Technology Council,” said Mark Moody, president and CEO of the WEA Trust. “The Trust is committed to the great schools and communities in this state, and we are honored to be able to help make Wisconsin Yes! a statewide contest for the 2011-2012 academic year.”

The Tech Council is the independent, non-profit science and technology advisor to the governor and the Legislature. The WEA Trust is a not-for-profit group health insurer that insures many Wisconsin public school employees.

The contest is seeking additional sponsors as well as judges. For more information about the contest and how to participate, visit www.wisconsinyes.com or call Liz Schrum at 608-442-7557.