Devan Hohn, a senior special education major from Hortonville, earned the top prize at the Culver’s Business Model Competition at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
The annual pitch contest, hosted by the Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UW Oshkosh, gives students and student teams a chance to present a business idea with seed funding and exclusive access to venture development resources on the line. Each pitch is four minutes, followed by two minutes of questions from judges.
Hohn’s first-place presentation, about an inclusive martial arts school for youth and adults called Rising Phoenix Martial Arts, landed her more than $11,000 in cash and in-kind services.
Rising Phoenix will be open to all ages for training, but its niche will be classes for adults and children with both mild and significant disabilities and needs. The overall objective is to create a welcoming culture that doesn’t now exist in the martial arts world—one where students of all ages and abilities can be successful.
Second place went to Noah Bauer, a junior marketing major from Neenah. Bauer earned more than $8,500 in cash and in-kind services.
Third was Kevin Dwyer, a Campbellsport native working toward a master’s degree in business administration. His prize was more than $5,000 in cash and in-kind services.
Coby Rauls, a junior supply chain management major from Sun Prairie, won the People’s Choice Award, which comes with a $250 cash prize.
The annual competition accepts ideas in any stage of development, from initial idea to already-operational businesses. It is open to ventures led by any student or student team enrolled at a UWO campus. This year’s event was held April 7 in Sage Hall on the Oshkosh campus.