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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students Abbie Merrill and Ian McDonald took third place with their political app, while a UW-River Falls team won the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament with a water bottle that fights the water crisis in developing countries.

Ian McDonald and Abbie Merrill

The business model contest presented by WiSys took place virtually on June 10.

The tournament brought teams of university students from across the state to pitch innovative business ideas.

Through their business Didómi, the UW-River Falls duo of Lamah Bility and Anaa Jibicho aims to combat the water crisis in developing countries by selling fashionable, reusable water bottles.

The team will receive a $2,500 cash prize, courtesy of the Idea Fund of La Crosse.

Second place

UW-Milwaukee’s Loren Nelson and Jonathan Brown earned second place in the competition with their organic hair care company Lëvor.

The young entrepreneurs want to desegregate the haircare industry by providing hair care options for all hair types.

The team will receive a $1,500 cash prize, courtesy of gener8tor.

Third place

Merrill and McDonald from UW Oshkosh were awarded third place for their presentation.

The two are developing a political app called Prexo that allows users to easily track presidential executive orders.

The team will receive a $500 prize, courtesy of Charter Bank.

Earlier this month, all the participating teams had the opportunity to attend a virtual speed networking event with a variety of business leaders from around the state.

This year’s Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament is sponsored by Charter Bank, gener8tor, Idea Fund of La Crosse, Market & Johnson, UW System, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Xcel Energy. To view all of the business pitches or for more information about the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, visit

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.