07 Jun High schooler's concept wins Eau Claire business contest
Madison, Wis. – When it comes to business development in Wisconsin, most investors focus on the state’s universities for their next success story. But as a recent competition in Eau Claire shows, it doesn’t take a college degree to get good ideas.
The Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation announced that Ryan Pederson, a senior at North High School, is the winner of the third annual “Creating Your Own Business – Youth Award Contest.” Pederson was chosen for his development of BizTec.com Consulting.
BizTec.com Consulting, if created, will focus on providing assistance in the areas of market research and market development to small and medium-sized companies located in the Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley area. Pederson, who will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the fall, received a $1,000 cash award.
Brian Doudna, executive director of ECA-EDC, said that Pederson was selected from other applicants in Eau Claire County based on five criteria: business idea, market characteristics, operations, business risks, and financial projections. There were a total of 12 complete entries in the competition this year, with plans ranging from sports products to market research to healthcare.
This year, Doudna said the ECA-EDC chose to rework the makeup of the contest to make it more inclusive for younger entrants. Last year, while there were some entries, none of them fully fit the criteria of the competition, and the organization was unable to give out any awards – a problem the group decided to correct by scaling down the requirements.
“Previously, we required a 40-page business plan, and now we are concerned about the concepts and analyzing market potential and profit,” Doudna said. This year, entrants were only required to submit a 7-page business concept.
The reworking of the competition, according to Doudna, has one overarching goal: to encourage students in their ideas so that, “when they go to college, they are thinking the entrepreneurial spirit.”
Following the Youth Award Contest, the ECA-EDC will be heading into the Adult Business Awards, now in their 21st year. Applications for the competition are due on June 23, with winners to be announced in September.