News & Media

WiSys names UW Oshkosh students 2020 Innovators of the Year

For exemplary contributions to Wisconsin innovation, WiSys honors UW Oshkosh’s Jessica Tarter, Parker Schmidt and Macall Hill as 2020 Carl E. Gulbrandsen Innovators of the Year.

The business administration majors were active members in building a culture of innovation at UW Oshkosh and throughout the UW System.

Tarter, Schmidt and Hill were chosen as a WiSys Entrepreneur Team at UW Oshkosh, a joint project of WiSys and the UW Oshkosh Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

The team was charged with reviewing multiple WiSys technologies and selecting one to form the structure of a startup company around. The students provided feedback about the business case for various technologies and ultimately explored the startup potential of a beehive protection technology.

“We are so proud of Jessica, Parker and Macall,” said UW Oshkosh Chancellor Dr. Andrew J. Leavitt. “Their vision, spirit and resultant business are more proof of the power a UW Oshkosh and UW System education have in honing students’ entrepreneurial knowhow and launching exciting enterprises that help Wisconsin grow. Our thanks to WiSys for supporting these Titans and promoting so many similar homegrown success stories.”

By applying their education, learning through experience and collaborating with the UW System community, the students excelled as entrepreneurs. 

The team became sought after presenters, participating in a variety of statewide events including the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament and the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. The trio was also invited to discuss their project with the UW System Board of Regents.

“The students took hold of an opportunity and ran with it, showing off their incredible innovative and entrepreneurial spirit,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Jessica, Parker and Macall are examples of the incredible talent being developed at the UW regional comprehensive campuses throughout Wisconsin.”

Hill graduated from UW Oshkosh in 2019, while Tarter and Schmidt are expected to graduate in the next year.

The Carl E. Gulbrandsen Innovator of the Year Award is presented to a UW System faculty, staff member or student making exemplary contributions as an innovator. The award was created to honor the former managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation who supported WiSys throughout his 16-year tenure.

WiSys also recognizes UW-Parkside Associate Professor Francis “Frannie” Mann and UW-Eau Claire Associate Professor Elizabeth Glogowski as 2020 Innovators of the Year.

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. In 2020, WiSys universities were second in SMU’s national Innovation Impact Productivity Rankings for smaller research universities.