Students win prizes totaling $22,000
A team that developed a special device for diagnosing spine problems was the first-place winner in the G. Steven Burrill Technology Business Plan Competition G. Steven Burrill Technology Business Plan Competition Friday, Apr. 23. Biomedical engineering students John Pucinelli, Scott Wiese and recent graduate Brian Asti joined master of accountancy student Chad Empey to develop a business plan for the device, which won them $10,000 in the annual UW-Madison competition. Their company is Spine Dr. Teams were judged on their business plans and 20-minute presentations, particularly on the likelihood that their business would prosper.
Second prize of $7,000 went to a team that has developed a product for placing advertising messages on hockey ice and other ice surfaces. The case for BriteIce Technologies was presented by Michael Casper, an undergraduate in mechanical engineering and business, Paul Hohag, an undergraduate in consumer science, and Anthony Nichol, a senior in mechanical engineering. Their product is already being introduced at the UW-Madison Kohl Center.
The first- and second-place teams are automatically included in the Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Competition, which will hold its final competition in June.
Third prize of $4,000 went to Auris Solutions, LLC. The team consisted of MBA students Asad Alam, KimAnh To and Lance Mikus, and Orlando Rivera, an MBA and engineering student. The company will offer a product that more precisely detects hearing problems in underserved age groups than existing products.
Fourth prize of $1,000 was awarded to Nate Altfeather, a student in biological systems engineering, and Ricky Lam, a second-year MBA student, for their company, Mercury, which will offer an analytical device to monitor and enhance athletic performance, particularly in rowing.
A special award for a business concept providing benefits to society went to Andrew Martin, a student in business and engineering; Jon Kuchenreuther, chemical and biological engineering; and Andrew Shannon, business, for their Green Automotive Systems, which involves hydrogen fuel for cars. The same award was given to the Good Neighbor, Inc. team, which specializes in home grocery delivery for the elderly. That team is made up of William Orkin, MBA in product management, and Chongsun Oh, industrial and systems engineering.
A special award for a business plan that proposes a better way to do things was given to Avella Nets for a landing net for ice fishing. That team was made up of Sarah Vaudreuil, business, and engineering students majoring in mechanics and astronautics, Nick Passint, Bryan Wilson and Joe Cessna.
This year's G. Steven Burrill Technology Business Plan Competition is the seventh on the UW-Madison campus. Previous winners have gone on to start their own businesses and work in all areas of economic development.