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New Venture Competition Business Start-Up Ideas to be Presented at UW-River Falls

February 26, 2015--Five student teams will be sharing their ideas for new businesses with judges and the public next week during an exhibit hall that will serve as the final round of the first New Venture Competition at UW-River Falls. The New Venture Competition exhibit hall will run from 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, in the Riverview Ballroom of the University Center. The event is free and open to all. 

Since October, student teams, mentored by a faculty or staff member, have been developing ideas for new start-up businesses as part of the New Venture Competition. 

"We created the New Venture Competition to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit among our students and faculty," said Blake Fry, director of communications and external relations at UW-River Falls. 

Business and community leaders evaluated the students' business concepts during an initial round of judging in December. Since that time, the teams have used feedback provided by the judges and potential future customers to update their business concepts and models. During the exhibit hall, student teams will present their business ideas and display any product prototypes developed to date. The teams will be judged on how well they have adapted their ideas to the feedback they have received. 

"I'm impressed with the level of creativity and commitment demonstrated by these students," said Danielle Campeau, director of the UW-River Falls Center for Innovation and Business Development. "Starting a business isn't easy and they are truly thinking like entrepreneurs. It's a pleasure working with highly motivated students that are passionate about exploring innovative business ideas." 

The top three teams will receive a cash prize and funds to put toward their new businesses. The top two teams will move on to the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament (WBIT) April 11 in Madison. The WBIT is an entrepreneurship event open to undergraduates attending any two or four year University of Wisconsin school across the state (except UW-Madison). It teaches cutting-edge Lean Startup business development tools, provides business mentorship, and allows participants to compete in a fun format for paid internships and a chance to win $25,000. 

The operating costs of the New Venture Competition and the business start-up funds for the top three teams are provided by the WiSys Technology Foundation and UW-Extension, organizers of the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament. The cash prizes are sponsored by Fiberstar.  

More information on the New Venture Competition is available at http://www.uwrf.edu/cibd. Additional details on the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament may be found at http://wisconsinbigideatournament.com.

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