2020-2021

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.

 
Sincerely,

Dan Brosman
Executive Director

Learn more about uwo cei

In photo

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

Signature programs

A hub of rapid, engaging, impactful innovation on the UW Oshkosh campus, the Center Entrepreneurship and Innovation empowers students and community members to find their own places and spaces in the startup world. These key signature programs continue to embolden students on their path to becoming world-class innovators and entrepreneurs. Here are a few updates from the past year. We have three main areas that we focus on within our organization.

Learning about Entrepreneurship

Today every business needs to be creative to compete in the market and they seek employees who know something about innovation and entrepreneurship. UWO  provides students with unique experiences to learn some insight into how to successfully start new business ventures, and create innovation and growth in existing businesses with entrepreneurial thinking.

1st Slot

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Certificates 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. LEARN MORE

  • 6 students earned their entrepreneurship certificate in 2021-2022
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. LEARN MORE

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 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. LEARN MORE

Speaker Series

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

 
  • 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 is a critical key to success in business. We have four signature programs that kickstart a student’s concepts into plans and transformed into a business.

1st Slot

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Titan Accelerator Program

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. LEARN MORE


2021-2022 STATS

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

For the 2022 Summer Incubator Program, four teams were chosen to participate. The companies have an exclusive opportunity to focus 100% on the growth of their businesses. Teams receive office space and additional seed funding of $5,000, which allows them to work on their businesses full-time throughout the summer. Students have the opportunity for 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 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 chemical that will bring the water back into the proper balance. 
  • Gerbil Leads, Kyle Jessen A 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

One of the best ways to get an idea off the ground is often to have the support of mentors and financial resources. Competing for funds give students an opportunity to hone their business plans.

1st Slot

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Culver Business Model Competition

In its ninth year, UW Oshkosh was happy to welcome the University’s most talented student entrepreneurs compete for seed funding and exclusive access to venture development resources. READ MORE


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

14 students applied to compete with 10 students pitching their ideas at the event. 

Elevator Pitch Contests

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. READ MORE


  • 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

2020-2021 STATS

  • Approximately 50 active members
  • 127 event attendees
  • 16 applicants with 10 students pitching a project at the event. 

 

 

WI High School Business Model Competition

Fostering creativity at the high school level to give budding entrepreneurs a shot at pitching ideas or solutions that could develop into viable business ventures.  Winners receive up to $8,000 in scholarship prizes. READ MORE


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

  • Kyle Jessen – Gerbil Leads – Third Place $750 cash prize 
The Pitch

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. READ MORE


UWO Winners 

  • Devon Hohn – Rising Pheonix Martial Arts – $10,000 cash and $15,000 in-kind prizes
  • Three students qualified – first and second place in Culvers BMC qualify and Kevin Dwyer received at large bid.
    • Noah Bauer 

 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 service to the UWO Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation by providing top quality instruction to our students and most valuable advice to our program faculty.

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

Thank you, Alta Resources, for 8 years of your initiative, enthusiasm and support in developing student entrepreneurs. Through ALTA’s contributions, the ALTA Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has engaged thousands of students, dozens of businesses, and created 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 Valley and Wisconsin as a whole.