The Student Startup Challenge is a unique co-curricular program that creates an entrepreneurial culture at UWM by encouraging students to develop their ideas, launch businesses, and gain unique skills that come from the entrepreneurial experience. Students are given the opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops and develop ideas through one-on-one mentorship from UWM faculty and staff. In the Fall of 2016, the Student Startup Challenge program was redesigned to focus on three phases – Explore, Discover, and Experiment. These phases pair student entrepreneurs with existing classes and student teams to create prototypes and business plans to ultimately market ideas. Students and teams that are actively involved in the SSC process are also able to receive funding support from a pool of $25,000 based on funding requests and approval*. APPLY NOW! **APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED – Please check back for updates in Spring 2018.**
Who Can Apply?Confidentiality & Intellectual Property Protection
The Student Startup Challenge is open to all current UWM students in all schools and colleges as well as UWM alumni who have graduated within the last two years. Students do not need to be engineering or business students to apply – ideas are sought from all disciplines.Student Startup Challenge Tracks
The Student Startup Challenge is interested in innovative ideas across all disciplines. In 2016, tracks ranged from food industry to healthcare. Below are possible tracks for the 2017-18 Student Startup Challenge.Timeline
- Web & Mobile Applications
- Social Innovation
- Food Industry
- Consumer Products
- Business Operations
Phase 1: September 5 – October 31, 2017 Explore: Fresh Idea Pop Ups – engage with the UWM community to build a stronger idea and team. Phase 2: Submission Deadline: October 31, 2017 Program: November 11 – December 9, 2017 Discover: Student I-Corps Program – utilize customer discovery to redefine solution. Phase 3: Application Deadline: December 30, 2017 Program: January 27 – May 1, 2018 Experiment: Prototype – build a business model canvas and minimal viable product. *Phase 2 completion is strongly recommended when applying for Phase 3.Program Outcomes
Final Celebration: May 1, 2018 UWM Innovators Expo
- Teams become closer to making their ideas reality: We realize that startups develop at different stages. Throughout the duration of the program, we would like to propel your idea forward whether that’s developing a prototyping or incorporating a business.
- Growing professional skills that will benefit startups and/or within a company: We want to see our students succeed wherever their next step may be. The Student Startup Challenge practices skills that don’t typically come up in the classroom.
- Broaden network: Teams will have countless opportunities to interact with esteemed UWM professors and staff as well as work with Milwaukee business professionals.
The Student Startup Challenge is designed to foster better decision making by involving a variety of players. Initial submissions can be treated as confidential upon request; however, the project sponsors reserve the right to share a non-confidential summary of all ideas. Intellectual Property remains the property of the disclosing party.Student Startup Challenge Teams