News & Media

UW System student entrepreneurs: Ignite your startup idea in the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament

Student entrepreneurs from across the UW System are invited to pitch their innovative business plans in the virtual Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, presented by WiSys, May 20.

The Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, an entrepreneurship competition open to undergraduate and graduate students attending University of Wisconsin System school across the state (except UW-Madison), teaches cutting-edge lean startup business development tools, provides business mentorship and allows participants to compete at a state level for a chance to win seed funding for their idea.

First prize is $2,500; second prize $1,500; and third prize is $750.

Entrepreneurs, who have not already earned a spot in the tournament through a local qualifier competition, can apply for an at-large bid to present by March 31 at You can apply even if you participated and did not win a local qualifier.

“The Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament is an amazing opportunity for student entrepreneurs to fine-tune their business pitches, showcase their startup ideas to a statewide audience and receive feedback from seasoned business leaders,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “This event is really about launching student entrepreneurs as much as it is about launching their businesses.”
The top presenters will also receive:

  • Support from the WiSys Entrepreneurship Program—a concierge service to connect statewide resources and partners for further idea/business development.
  • Access to the Center for Technology Commercialization programming.
  • Backing to participate in other entrepreneurship conferences.

To learn more about the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, find a local qualifier competition or to apply for an at-large bid, visit

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.