News & Media

WiSys Quick Pitch spreads to four University of Wisconsin campuses in third year

WiSys Technology Foundation recently completed a third year of hosting its annual WiSys Quick Pitch competition. The elevator pitch-style competition invites University of Wisconsin-System undergraduate researchers to present their research and its relevance in a three-minute pitch.

The event serves as an opportunity for students to practice relaying the importance and impact of their research in an effective way that is understandable to a broad audience.

Participating teams practiced their pitches with WiSys staff to prepare for the competition. Teams were taught to pay close attention to the “so what” factor—how to quickly get a listener to understand and care about their research without visual aids. Students then delivered their refined pitches before a panel of judges at the Quick Pitch competition.

The inaugural WiSys Quick Pitch event took place at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in April 2015, and was born out of the desire of WiSys Technology Foundation to make its research and entrepreneurial support more accessible to students. A successful pilot of the competition saw the occasion grow to include more teams in its second year at UW-Eau Claire with participants split into two separately judged categories: Science & Technology, and Social Sciences & Humanities.

Following the further success of the second year of the WiSys Quick Pitch in 2017, the event spread to three more UW System campuses. UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Platteville, and UW Oshkosh all hosted their own local Quick Pitch competitions last month.

Beyond the opportunity to increase exposure for their research and/or innovation, winning Quick Pitch students from each participating campus were awarded cash prizes as well as an invitation to present at the 2017 Wisconsin Science & Technology Symposium at UW-Platteville in July. The symposium will serve as a state final to award the best pitch overall from among the individual campus winners.

WiSys would like to thank all of the talented students who participated in this year’s Quick Pitch events, as well as the universities that hosted them. WiSys hopes to continue to build on the success of Quick Pitch, and further spread the competition to more University of Wisconsin schools in 2018.


The winners of WiSys Quick Pitch 2017:

UW-Green Bay April 6
1st place: Marla Cherney, from Public and Environmental Affairs, presenting on “A Policy Analysis of the Gray Wolf Species in Wisconsin”
2nd place: Maria Otto, from Biology, presenting on “Anuran habitat use in the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern (Wisconsin)”

UW-Platteville April 26
1st place: Leah Statz, from Agriculture, presenting on “Analysis of Particle Size and Organic Matter In Recycled Sand Bedding”
2nd place: Elista Fisher, from Biology, presenting on “Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide on Beneficial Freshwater Organisms”

UW Oshkosh April 27
Social Sciences & Humanities: 
1st place: Gerald Bufford III, from Urban Planning, presenting on "Urban Agriculture"
2nd place: Madeline Hass, from History, presenting on "Capturing Farmers Perspectives through Oral History"
Science & Technology:
1st place: Kasey Stewart, from Biology, presenting on "Measuring Predator-Response Behaviors in Captive and Wild Cranes (Grus americana and G. canadensis)"
2nd place: Michelle Sonsalla, from Biology, presenting on "Determination of Events Leading up to Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrels"

UW-Eau Claire May 1
Social Sciences & Humanities:
1st place: Katie Paulich & Caitlin Richmond, from Psychology, Presenting on: “The Real Test: Can College Students Reason About Evidence?”
2nd place: Madison Bacon, Jacqueline Gaerber, Kylie Legate, Hannah Marose, & Adam Moline, from Psychology, Presenting on: “Assessing In-Kennel Behavior of Dogs as a Predictor of Length of Shelter Stay”
Science & Technology:
1st place: Zachary Wawrzyniakowski, from Physics, Presenting on: “Computational Investigation of Li2S Cathode and Organic Catholytes for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries”
2nd place: Nicole Anderson & McKenzie Scanlan, from Mathematics, Presenting on: “Predicting RNA Structure using Mathematical Models”