News & Media

Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament: Eau Claire will host statewide student entrepreneurship competition April 23

EAU CLAIRE—The Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, presented by WiSys, is coming to downtown Eau Claire on April 23.

The student business model competition—which features entrepreneurial students from across the state—will take place at Eau Claire coworking space CoLab. To land a spot at the statewide competition, the students from University of Wisconsin schools competed in a local qualifying competition or through an at-large round.

The public is invited to attend the tournament, but should register by April 20 at

“Our goal is to seed new entrepreneurs as well as their potential startups. The competition is an opportunity for the students to refine their ideas, gain expertise and network,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “This is another way that WiSys is supporting student innovations and local economic development ecosystems throughout the state of Wisconsin.”

The competition was established to extend the Wisconsin entrepreneurial ecosystem to University of Wisconsin students with the goal to help students think critically about their business ideas and implement lean business methodologies. Through the months leading up to this statewide competition, students received mentorship from campus and statewide entrepreneurship experts.

The event is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and CoLab.

In addition to being a sponsor and host for the tournament, CoLab is also homebase for another WiSys program that supports entrepreneurs. Working with partners UW-Eau Claire and CoLab, WiSys launched the startup hub WiSys VentureHome®-Eau Claire in February 2020.

The WiSys VentureHome® offers local entrepreneurs “everything your startup needs under one roof™,” including concierge service, resources and a supportive mentoring program. WiSys plans to build a WiSys VentureHome® in each of the 11 communities with a regional UW System institution.

For more information about WiSys VentureHome®, visit For more information about the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, 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.