Impact Report

Notes from The Director

The 2021-2022 academic year was filled with positive changes, new opportunities, and high levels of engagement. With the support of Alta Resources, WEDC and several in-kind providers, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UW Oshkosh has continued to provide students with the education and resources that are essential to developing successful business ventures. No matter their field of study; mentorship, connections, and funding are readily available for undergraduate and graduate students at UW Oshkosh. 
The learning outcomes gained by students involved with CEI’s programs can be matched by very few. There is no simulation, hypothetical case study, or tightly controlled environment. Our programs provide a “real world” opportunity to understand the marketplace and customer needs through an experiential and engaged learning process. Upon graduation, students are equipped with unmatched skills and confidence to be successful as they begin their careers.

Student access to the CEI’s programs, resources, and support network is essential to the University’s position of fostering entrepreneurship and encouraging innovation. On behalf of UW Oshkosh, the College of Business, and all of our students, thank you for your interest and support of our Center.


Dan Brosman
Executive Director

Learn more about uwo cei

Event Highlights

High School Business Plan Competition May 21, 2022
Culver's Business Model Competition April 7, 2022

  By the numbers

combined investment and revenue generated

program funds invested into student businesses


Active funded companies

Student consultations

Jobs created

Student businesses funded

Students received the family business and entrepreneurship concentration

Students earned their entrepreneurship certificate in 2021-2022


A hub of rapid, engaging, impactful innovation on the UW Oshkosh campus, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation empowers students and community members to find their own places and spaces in the startup world. These signature programs continue to encourage students on their path to becoming world-class innovators and entrepreneurs. Here are a few updates from the 2021-2022 academic year. The Center focuses on three main areas during the academic year. 

Learn about Entrepreneurship

Today every business needs to be innovative to compete in the marketplace and they seek employees with an entrepreneurial mindset. UWO provides students with experiential opportunities to build knowledge in the development of new business ventures, as well as support innovation and growth in existing businesses.

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Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation compliments any major program at the university by providing a pathway to pursue the study of entrepreneurship and innovation in a cross-disciplinary approach – empowering students to use innovative thinking, in their pursuit of knowledge.

6 students earned their entrepreneurship certificate in 2021-2022

Entrepreneurship Internships

The Entrepreneurship Internship provides College of Business students the opportunity to focus on their business ventures while earning internship credit to graduate.  

This is an alternative option for students who envision starting or growing their own business as opposed to seeking traditional employment upon graduation. The business endeavor may come in the form of researching a nascent (idea stage) venture, assisting/launching an early-stage venture, or working on an existing venture project. 

2020-2021 STATS:

  • 4 students completed an internship in the Fall of 2020.
  • 3 students completed an internship in the Spring of 2021.


Family Business/Entrepreneurship Concentration

A Family Business/Entrepreneurship Concentration provides management majors with the training and knowledge they need to launch new businesses, develop new entrepreneurial ventures within existing firms, or manage family businesses.

Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO)

The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) at UW Oshkosh informs, supports, and inspires students to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through enterprise creation. In addition to providing a peer support system for students interested in entrepreneurship, CEO provides opportunities in networking, leadership development, and hands-on experience. 

Speaker Series

In collaboration with Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, speakers are invited monthly to share their entrepreneurial experiences with students. The speaker series gives students a glimpse into the life of successful entrepreneurs and fosters beneficial connections within the Wisconsin startup ecosystem.

Our speaker line up in 2020-2021 consisted of the following:
  • September 2021 – Alex Tyink, President of Fork Farms
  • October 2021 – Melanie Julian, Co-Owner of Summit Properties
  • February 2022 – Shawn Pollack, Poco Pizza
  • March 2022 – Alex Mahoney, Culver’s youngest franchisees
  • April 2022 – Andrew Schmitz, Co-Founder of Proceed.app


Starting A Business

Education and training are critical components to success in business. However, working within the business provides an experience that is often unmatched by formal education. We offer two cohort-based programs that are designed to test early-stage concepts, validate key areas of the business model, and accelerate the growth of a venture to the next level.

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Titan Accelerator Program

The Titan Accelerator Program is a 10-week cohort-based program that assists student participants with the development of their ventures through a hands-on lean-startup curriculum focused on business model validation and product-market fit. Students are provided with funding, mentors, and other essential resources to gain skills to advance their entrepreneurial knowledge.

2021-2022 STATS:

  • In the ninth year of operation
  • 13 applications with seven teams accepted into the program

  • *College Bound Detailing Henry Laux; Business 
  • *Gerbil Leads | Kyle Jessen; Business 
  • *Happy Spa Noah Bauer; Business 
  • Soteria Runlin Liu (Ethan Volk); Business; UW Oshkosh, Fox Cities 
  • Untamed Thrift  | Alyssa Grinde; Communication Studies 
  • Wand Professional Corbin Wisneski; Undecided 

*These four teams were invited to participate in the Summer Incubator Program.

Summer Incubator Program

The Summer Incubator Program is an extension of the Titan Accelerator Program that provides participants with additional funding and resources. In 2021, four teams were selected to participate. The companies have an exclusive opportunity to focus 100% on the growth of their businesses. Teams receive office space and additional funding of $5,000, which allows them to work on their businesses full-time throughout the summer. Students receive 1-on-1 consulting with the Center and are connected to mentors during weekly lunches. To date, 18 companies have participated in this program with over $160,000 of capital infused into student businesses. 

  • Assistive Home Tech, Kevin Dwyer – MBA Assistive Home Tech provides smart home assistive device consultations, equipment installations, and services to extend our customers’ independence and improve their quality of life. 
  • College Bound Detailing, Henry LauxCollege Bound Detailing provides mobile car, boat, yacht, and RV detail services. The company is in the development of an expansion model to grow to other campuses. 
  • Happy Spa, Noah Bauer Happy Spa is a device that floats on top of a hot tub or pool that will continuously monitor all relevant chemicals (pH, chlorine, etc) and will then automatically distribute the amount of the necessary chemicals that will bring the water back into the proper balance. 
  • Gerbil Leads, Kyle Jessen A web platform that provides contractors with relevant leads. Our methods of obtaining and organizing leads ensures that our clients are being provided with leads in their proper industry & project-size range.

Competing For Funding

The Center offers several on-campus and off-campus competitions for students to compete for seed funding and in-kind support resources. Participation in business pitch events provide many benefits and “unlock” further professional and startup development resources. We meet students where they are and offer tailored assistance to support their needs.

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Elevator Pitch Contest

Co-hosted with the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) at UW Oshkosh, the 90 Second Elevator Pitch Contest is a low-barrier opportunity for students to pitch their business idea in a welcoming environment. 

  • First Place – Yingtong Qui – CloudWorld – $1,000 cash prize 
  • Second Place – Kyle Jessen – Gerbil Leads – $350 cash prize 
  • Third Place – Ene Idoko – Colored by Cilla – $150 cash prize

Read more on UW Oshkosh Today –  UWO Fox Cities student wins business pitch contest, hopes CloudWorld will wow Chinese market

Culver Business Model Competition

In its ninth year, the Culver’s Business Model Competition provides students with an opportunity to compete for seed funding, in-kind assistance, and access to other venture development resources.

  • First Place – Devon Hohn – Rising Phoenix Martial Arts
    Received: $11,000 in cash and in-kind prizes
  • Second Place – Noah Bauer – Happy Spa
    Received: $8,500 in cash and in-kind prizes
  • Third Place – Keven Dwyer – Assistive Home Tech
    Received: $5,000 in cash and in-kind prizes
  • People’s Choice Award – Coby Rauls – Avail 

14 students applied to compete; 10 students pitched

Read more on UW Oshkosh Today – UWO senior Devan Hohn wins Culver’s Business Model Competition

The Pitch (Northeast WI Regional Pitch Contest)

The Pitch is a startup business pitch competition among college student teams in Northeast Wisconsin. Competing teams have advanced from their campus competitions or at-large round and have the opportunity to win cash and in-kind services to further their entrepreneurial pursuits.

Three students represented UW Oshkosh at the 2021 event. Devan Hohn (Rising Phoenix Martial Arts) and Noah Bauer (Happy Spa) qualified from the Culver’s Business Model Competition, and Kevin Dwyer (Assistive Home Tech) received an at-large bid.

Read more on UW Oshkosh Today – UWO senior Devan Hohn wins first place at the Pitch startup business competition

WI Big Idea Tournament

The Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament is an entrepreneurship competition open to undergraduate and graduate students attending University of Wisconsin System school across the state (except UW-Madison). The competition teaches cutting-edge lean startup business development tools, provides business mentorship and allows participants to compete at a state level for a chance to win seed funding for their idea.

Kyle Jessen – Gerbil Leads – represented UW Oshkosh and took 3rd Place, receiving a $750 cash prize. 

Read more about the winning teams…

Wisconsin High School Business Model Competition

The Wisconsin High School Business Model Competition provides high school students across Wisconsin with an opportunity to compete for funding to support their business and/or academic goals.

The competition is open to all sophomore, junior, and senior high school students. Finalists selected to compete in the on-campus competition have four minutes to pitch to a panel of judges.

The winning pitches receive a share of $15,000 in prizes!

  • First Place: Huva, Kimberly High School 
  • Second Place: Tossed and Found, Horicon School District 
  • Third Place: Plour, Middleton High School

Read more on UW Oshkosh Today – Wisconsin high school teams face off in business model pitch contest at UW Oshkosh

 2021-2022 Advisory Board

We acknowledge that a strong support team is imperative for our student’s success. Thank you to our 2021-2022 Advisory Board members for their commitment to the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation by providing top-quality mentorship to our students, as well as advisement support to our program staff.

John Beré
Alta Resources, Vice President – Care Operations

Dennis Bonn
Alta Resources, Vice President of Marketing

Chris Burns
Midwest Fleet and Safety, The Social Station, Co-Founder

Will Deppiesse
Nicolet National Bank, VP – Commercial Banking

Jon Dudzinski
Mersberger Financial Group, Inc.
Portfolio Manager 

Kevin Eismann
Davis & Kuelthau, s.c, Shareholder & Business Attorney

Arnie Enz
A.J. Enz & Company, Founder/Principal

Christine Gantner
UW Oshkosh, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

David Gerczak
WatchCo.com, Founder, President and CEO

Russ Katzman
Progeny, Founder/CEO

Jason Kreidler
J.J. Keller and Associates, Director of Innovation

Bob Larsen
J.J. Keller and Associates, VP of Research and Development

Marcos Mello
sBusiness Brazil, Founder

Colleen Merrill
Wisconsin SBDC, Associate State Director

John Muraski
UW Oshkosh, Assistant Professor

Tricia Rathermel
GO EDC, President and CEO

Lisa Schulze
Boldt, HR Business Partner Director

David Swintosky
Dunning Capital, Managing Director 

Jason Tienor
Telkonet, Inc., CEO and President

Priscila Troian
Amcor, Sr R&D Director

David Trotter
Winnebago Seed Fund, Founder and Managing Director

Alta Resources Logo 2020


Thank you, Alta Resources, for 8 years of the initiative, enthusiasm, and support in developing student entrepreneurs. Through Alta’s contributions, the Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has engaged thousands of students, assisted dozens of businesses, and created hundreds of new jobs in our communities. The legacy of Alta’s gift will live on in all the businesses you supported and will continue to have a lasting impact in the Fox Cities and across Wisconsin.