PROVO, UTAH—Wisconsin was well-represented at the 2019 International Business Model Competition at Brigham Young University this month.
Three teams from University of Wisconsin System schools participated in the competition which aims to inspire and educate smarter student entrepreneurs. And for the fourth time in the past five years, a Wisconsin team made it to the semifinals of the international competition.
“It was another great year for student entrepreneurs in Wisconsin,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “The hard work these student teams put into their business models is inspiring and provides a great example to other young entrepreneurs.”
MIZI, a team from the UW-Milwaukee, was a semifinalist. MIZI is oriented around the manufacture and sales of self-cleaning/“easy-to-clean” cosmetics tools, as developed by Izabelle Villafuerte and Michael Kirsanov.
Intended to target high-usage audiences such as makeup artists, beauty schools, and production studios, this team seeks to alleviate the pain of maintaining large amounts of cosmetics equipment—particularly, the time and effort associated with post-usage cleaning and sanitation.
A second team from UW-Milwaukee, Triciclo Peru, was a quarterfinalist.
Triciclo Peru started as a food truck and expanded into a Peruvian empanada bar in Milwaukee with a mission to share the culture and cuisine of Peru. Triciclo Peru is using its current success to launch a new product line called Pachamama, which offers gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian frozen empanadas available via meal plan delivery or in specialty supermarkets.
Triciclo Peru’s Amy Narr and Mario Diaz Herrera won the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, presented by WiSys. The tournament provides the winning team access to seed-funding and an expense-paid trip to the International Business Model Competition.
Franklin, a team from UW-River Falls, was also a quarterfinalist.
Franklin is a smarter and more affordable parking ramp management system designed to minimize the amount of time and effort it takes to manage a parking ramp or garage. It utilizes artificial intelligence, mobile applications, and cloud computing to automate routine tasks that require manpower, such as payment processing, security monitoring, and contract parking renewal.
The team, which was also a Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament competitor, includes Jiaxin Li, Lakshmi Priya Girish Kumar, Soren Netka.
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.