Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

The UWO Culver’s Business Model Competition

Josh Lehner / Advance-Titan The winners of the Culver’s Business Model Competition in April 2023 pose together. Students this year are competing for $20,000.

The UW Oshkosh Culver’s Business Model Competition provides entrepreneurial students the opportunity to present their business ideas and gain professional feedback and connections.  

2021 winner Devan Hohn said something she found important was the networking aspect of the event.

“That room is full of potential investors,” Hohn said. “People that could get you investors, potential people that could help you.”

The Culver’s Business Model Competition was started in 2013 and allows students to present a four-minute pitch to a panel with the chance to win up to $20,000 and additional resources to help the student’s business become a reality.

This year’s competition is being held April 10 at Sage Hall 1215 at 5 p.m. and is free for all who attend.

Program Manager Megan Hart said the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides consultations to students entering the event.

“We just want to make sure everyone gets coaching as far as what they should expect and what they need to be focusing on going into the competition,” Hart said. “Our biggest thing is just continuing to encourage students to follow these interests and provide the services that would fit them best.”

Hart said the event allows students to practice public speaking skills.

 She said, “It’s an opportunity for students to practice pitching [and] learn how to get up in front of people and get their idea out there.”

Hohn said the competition helped her gain confidence in starting her adaptive martial arts studio.

“Hitting the day of the pitch, I was terribly nervous,” Hohn said. “I’ve always been the underdog in a lot of things. This is the reason I named [the studio] Rising Phoenix, because I wanted to be able to rise above.”

2015 finalist and director of the center Dan Brosman said he discovered his love for creating businesses through his experience with the program.

“It was really the first opportunity that sparked the entrepreneurial interest,” Brosman said. “Since then, I’ve worked on four or five additional business.” 

Hohn said that part of presenting a business is your motivation behind it.

She said, “At the end of the day, anybody can open a business, but if it’s not something you’re passionate about or not something you really truly care about, you are not likely to make it a success.”

Brosman advises students to take every opportunity to enter their ideas into pitch competitions.

“You never know when an idea might be a hit, even if that’s not what you kind of set out to do is be entrepreneurial,” he said. “There are plenty of people out there that probably didn’t think that either. So, never let an opportunity fall to the wayside.”

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