News & Media

WiSys Quick Pitch competition expands to over half of UW Campuses

Above: UW-River Falls 1st place recipient pitches her ideas to a panel of judges

As the 2017-18 school year came to a close, so did the fourth year of the WiSys Quick Pitch competition. In this elevator pitch-style competition, undergraduate student researchers from UW System comprehensive campuses are invited to present their research and its purpose in a brief three-minute pitch to a panel of judges. The competitions present students with the opportunity to exercise their ability to convey the gravity of their research in a concise and manifest way that is accessible to a wider audience. 

To prepare for the competition, students were invited to practice their pitches with WiSys staff as a way to hone in on their presentation skills. Trainings focused on the "so what" factor, or the importance of quickly relaying why their research was important, as this abridged style of persuasion is essential in swiftly catching the attention of potential benefactors. Following this, students then presented their polished pitches in front of a panel of judges at the Universities' respective Quick Pitch competitions. 

Students from UW-Superior mingle during Quick Pitch competition

WiSys Quick Pitch competitions debuted in April of 2015, and since then the program has expanded its presence to nine out of the 13 four-year campuses in the state of Wisconsin. This particular competition spawned from WiSys' aspiration to make its research and entrepreneurial support more accessible to undergraduate students. Over the past three years, the rapid growth in not only participation, but growth of subject as well has necessitated the emergence of two categories: Science & Technology and Social Sciences & Humanities.

After experiencing great success at the campuses previously involved, the WiSys Quick Pitch competition was introduced to UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, UW-Superior, and UW-Whitewater all of whom hosted their own competitions during the 2017-18 school year.

In addition to gaining sheer exposure to the community of research and innovation, the first place winners and second place competitors were recipients of $250 and $125 prizes respectively, allowing students to further amplify their research and innovation development. Even further, the winners at each campus have been invited to compete in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final during the 11th Annual WSTS, which will be taking place at UW-Parkside. The symposium in late July will award first place to the overall best pitch among the UW Campuses. 

WiSys would like to extend its thanks and appreciation for the abundant participation of all of the UW students and campuses that were involved during the 2017-18 school year and looks forward to expanding its presence even further in the years to come. 

Winners of 2017-18 WiSys Quick Pitch competitions:

UW-Eau Claire, May 1

Social Sciences & Humanities
  • 1st Place: Melanie Zens
  • 2nd Place: Kaitlyn Bruggenthies and Josie Zimmel
Science & Technology
  • 1st Place: Elizabeth Laskowski
  • 2nd Place: Allison Welter

UW Oshkosh, April 26

  • 1st Place: Jeshanah Zolkowski
  • 2nd Place: Madeline Hass

UW-Parkside, April 18

  • 1st Place: Chelsea Snowden-Smith
  • 2nd Place: Nicole Cuba

UW-Platteville, April 25

  • 1st Place: Chelsea Buchanan
  • 2nd Place: Samantha Hoerner

UW-River Falls, December 11

Social Sciences & Humanities
  • 1st Place: Rachel Harris
  • 2nd Place: Kylie Hommerding
Science & Technology
  • 1st Place: Montana Lins and Rebecca Storlie
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Grosse

UW-River Falls competitor receives 2nd place award

UW-Stevens Point, February 16

  • 1st Place: Jackie Keating and Jarret Byrnes
  • 2nd Place: Kasi Bardouche, Kevin Cropsey, and Payton Goetz
  • 3rd Place: Bethany Anderson, Brady Schrauth, and Taylor Thur

UW-Stout, May 2

  • 1st Place: Richard Shipman
  • 2nd Place: Cambria Sinclair

UW-Superior, February 28

  • 1st Place: Viktor Sallhag
  • 2nd Place: Sydney Kloster


  • 1st Place: Sura-attha Umasangtongkul
  • 2nd Place: Connor Yass