MADISON—The three finalists in the 2022 WiSys APPStart Challenge, a contest that connects great mobile app ideas with the expertise and resources necessary for commercial launch, are:
- Kathleen Fitzgerald, UW-La Crosse, Student.
- Fue Moua, UW-Stevens Point, Alumni.
- Heather Schenck, UW-La Crosse, Faculty.
Over the course of four months, the finalists will receive initial app development support from Madison-based software and app developer Noble Applications, as well as business mentorship from additional WiSys partners.
In July, the three finalists will present their app prototype and business model for a chance to win a prize package totalling more than $10,000 in cash and services to assist in launching the app as a business. The runners up will also be eligible for cash prizes.
The challenge opened to faculty, staff, students and alumni from WiSys schools (UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, UW-Superior and UW-Whitewater) in February.
This year 33 entries were submitted, with representation from 9 different UW System regional universities. The entries were evaluated by a panel of judges that ranked the three finalists the highest based on the significance of the problem they are addressing and the participants’ vision for how their app can solve the problem.
Judges also recognized seven other ideas of merit, including those presented by:
- Prajukti Bhattacharyya, UW-Whitewater, Faculty.
- Sydney Gang, UW-Green Bay, Student.
- James Jacobson, UW-Green Bay, Student.
- Logan Larson, UW-La Crosse, Student.
- Robert Meisner, UW-Stout, Faculty.
- Veronica Quillien, UW-Superior, Alumni.
- Michael Shaw, UW-Green Bay, Staff.
These seven presenters, and the three finalists, received $100 prizes for placing in the top ten in the semifinal round. All participants in the program were also provided the opportunity to tap into the WiSys VentureHome network of statewide resources to continue developing their ideas.
The judges for the semifinals included:
- Ray French, Regional Economic Development Director, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
- Jeffrey Glazer, Clinical Associate Professor, UW Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic.
- Steve O’Brien, CEO, Noble Applications, LLC.
- Jennifer Souter, Licensing Associate, Texas Tech University.
- Dougan Sherwood, Consultant, Waymaker Group.
To learn more about the WiSys APPStart Challenge, visit wisys.org/appstart.
WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.