Campus Event Report – G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition
The G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition, began in 1998, is an event that promotes entrepreneurial spirits among students and faulty members of the UW campus. Cash prize of this event include $10000, $7000, $4000 and $1000. The participants, normally working in inter-disciplinary teams of two or more, develop and present a business plan to a panel of judges. This educational opportunity is supported by various sponsors like Sector67 and VC Mentors as well as by campus partners and community organizations like the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wiscontrepeneur. The contest is open to all UW-Madison undergraduate and graduate students.
It was an amazing experience to be able to attend this competition and witness the innovation and passion of various contestants. The event was also a ...view middle of the document...
After a preliminary round, the finalist presented their business plan and idea in the Grainger Planery Room. Each team was well-prepared and I learned a lot from various aspects of it. After each presentation, a series of critical questions where followed from the panel of judges. The teams answered with confidence which I was greatly impressed, I would not have answered those questions like that if I was in their shoes.
One idea that had really caught my attention was an invention that will revolutionize electric motors and generators. The name of the team was C-Motive Technologies. They had tackled a very interesting problem regarding the scarcity of rare earth metals which are needed for the production of magnet for conventional generators. The reason that I was so intrigued by their concept is because I had took a class about wind energy and the professor had addressed this problem as well. With a smaller and cheaper generator, it will not only reduce the production cost of various manufacturers like GE and Vestas but also the construction cost of wind farms. This will indirectly giving a boost the “green” energy sector. It seemed that they are still in the R&D stage but I felt that there's a lot of potential.
Another interesting presentation that I think is worth mentioning would be the StudentBoat. It was an online platform for student to create their own scholarship. They managed to leverage social networking and crowd funding to achieve that. I felt that their idea can be improved or modified to reach a greater height.
The winner of the competition was Waste 2 Energy, A Ugandan company that transform urban waste into fertilizer and transportation fuel. C-Motive Technologies took 2nd place. StudentBoat, to my surprise, was in 5th place. Some of the other finalist include Novo luggage, Flextory and Onyx Medical Solutions.
In the end, I left the event being inspired by these wonderful ideas and enthusiastic individuals. Hopefully, in the near future, I would be presenting my own business idea and be a part of this extraordinary group of people.