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New Technology Enterprise Competition

Thomas Edison's birthday celebration at the College of Engineering was the occasion for announcing a new competition for students who create the best business plan for a technology based business venture. The G. Steven Burrill Technology Business Plan Competition, announced by Business School Dean Andy Policano and Engineering Dean John G. Bollinger, will award up to $22,000 in prizes, with a $10,000 first prize to the student team submitting the best business and product development plan to the UW Technology Enterprise Cooperative (UW-TEC). Winners will be chosen for the best market assessment, technological assessment and business plan in support of a viable start-up venture.

Students converse in class

Students in the TEC Prize competition will be encouraged to form interdisciplinary teams in order to develop the best business plan. (large image)

Teams must consist of at least one business and engineering student (graduate or undergraduate), but students from other UW-Madison schools are encouraged to join or start teams. Students competing will participate in an educational component consisting of seminars, meetings on team process, project management, market assessment of new technologies, intellectual property management and high-tech enterprise formation. "This competition is a terrific opportunity for students to acquire practical experience in entrepreuneurism," said Policano, "While the prize money is extremely attractive, students also will gain valuable experience on how evaluate technology in terms of its viability as a successful business venture and how to plan for building value." He said students at the School of Business will be encouraged to enter. "We are especially excited about engineering and business students joining with students from other disciplines," said Bollinger, "because that cross-disciplinary teams are how successful high-tech ventures are created in the business world."

The competition will be funded in its first year by the IBM-TQM Quality Partnership grant to the College of Engineering and School of Business. Competition is sponsored by UW-TEC and School of Business's Manufacturing and Technology Management Program, The Enterprise Center and the College of Engineering.

Although students have until September 26, 1997 to apply, they are encouraged to begin forming teams as soon as possible, according to Professor Anne Miner, co-director of UW-TEC. "This is going to be a lot of fun for students entering this competition. . . and a lot of work," she said.

For a complete list of rules, students may email or tune in to the website,