Wonewoc Students Take Business Competition By Storm
After taking up a teaching position at Wonewoc-Center Schools focused on business education courses, Palmer Schroeder scouted for possible projects he could integrate into his classes. A tip from one of his coworkers lead Schroeder to the Madison College Pitch Competition.
The competition, put on by the Center of Entrepreneurship at Madison College, requires participants to create and submit a two-minute video explaining an idea for a business. Students can pitch just about any business idea, from repair shops to inventions, and ten finalists are selected for the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.
“I’m really a big fan of this competition,” says Schroeder. “I try to instill a bit of competitive drive in my students.”
Selection for the finals includes pitches from all over the state, though the college tends to focus more on the Madison area. The first year Schroeder included the competition as part of his curriculum, one of his students made it all the way to finals and took home the grand prize for his metal polish business idea. This year, six groups from Wonewoc-Center made it into the finals—comprising a whopping 60% of the finalists!
Students from both the Marketing and Introduction to Business classes are tasked with making a video and entering the competition as part of their coursework. Last year, however, due to complications introduced by the sudden onset of a global pandemic, only one class was able to participate, though one of the groups did in fact make it to the final round.
Schroeder has also expressed his appreciation for Madison College and their willingness to help further business education in Madison-area high schools, citing a recent Zoom visit from one of the college’s professors, who spoke with the students regarding the competition.
Some of the business ideas pitched by students this year include blinkers for bicycles, car and bike repair, and a portable microwave. Schroeder stated that he was particularly impressed with this year’s groups, indicating that their determination to make the best video entry possible really stood out.
“I’m really proud of these kids,” explains Schroeder. “I could really tell they wanted to make a good video.”
The nine students—Kolten Keller, Austin Schmidt, Shelby Bell, Xena Johnson, Desseree Matysik, Taylen Smith, Briar Smith, Estanna Graewin, and Jaelyn Stowe—will compete over Zoom for the $500 grand prize on Thursday, May 6. Second place is expected to receive a $200 prize, and third place will receive a $100 prize.