School of Business and Applied Arts

Madison College Challenge

The Fourth Annual Madison College Challenge will be held May 6, 2016.  See below for information on how to enter.

See Highlights from the 2015 Madison College Challenge:

Congratulations to the 2015 Summit Credit Union grand prize winner Matthew Sonnentag!

Matthew Sonnentag 2015 Challenge Winner

Click to view all Madison College Challenge winners

Thank you to the 2015 Sponsors:

Grand Prize, $5000 - Summit Credit Union
Second Prize, $2500 - Findorff
Third Prize, $1500 - American Family Insurance
Fourth Prize, $1000 - Madison Gas and Electric (Plus a sponsorship to attend the Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Confrence)
Fifth Prize, $1000 - Cleary Building Corp
Sixth Prize, $1000 - Sponsored by Mae Laatsch

Sponsor Logo

Event Sponsor, $1000 - Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation


In Kind Prizes

$2400 - 100State  

A summer-long (3-month) membership to 100State for each Challenge finalist.  This will provide our finalists with a physical business idea space to continue fostering their plan after the school year has concluded.  The second donation is 2 pitch-evaluation sessions for the finalist to take place before the day of the presentations.  6 members of the 1000State organisation will listen to and evaluate the participant pitches during the 2 2-hour events.  They will provide the students with professional feedback that allows the students to go back and rework their presentations. 

$1000 - Madison Noteworthy, Kay-Tee Franke

"Custom Media Training" for the winner, will include 1:1 training from the co-founders of Madison Noteworthy, Zach Nigh and Kay-Tee Franke.  The recipient will receive training that will prepare the finalist for presenting their new venture and earning media exposure.  During the training, the recipient will be able to practice their new skills on-camera, in a studio setting. 

$325- SourceHouse, Nels Bodway    

Free design and printing of 1,000 business cards for two finalists

$250 - Doyenne Group  

Scholarship to the Doyenne Group Retreat; a weekend long retreat for women entrepreneurs. Recipient will be a female finalist.
Sponsor Logos

Thank you to the 2015 Judges:

Julie Haberkorn - Summit Credit Union
Sean Cleary - Cleary Holdings Inc. and Cleary Building Corp.
Dave Volz - Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Kay-Tee Franke - Madison Noteworthy
John Drury - Madison Gas & Electric
Carrie Castree - Jeanette's Daughter
Chris Rudolph - American Family Dream Bank

Logos for the judges

The Fourth Annual Madison College Challenge will be held May 6, 2016.

Challenge Goals:

  • Inspire individuals to become entrepreneurs
  • Connect individuals with Madison College alumni, academic experts, and private industry professionals
  • Help create new ventures, new knowledge and skill sets, new attitudes, and new jobs
  • Provide a non-traditional source of start-up funding for aspiring entrepreneurs within the Madison College district through a $5000 cash prize micro-investment from the Madison College Foundation  

How to Enter the Contest for 2016: (Check back for due dates and 2016 Application)

  • The Madison College Challenge is open to all students who were enrolled in at least one credit or non-credit class during the 2014-2015 or 2015-2016 school years (see the Madison College Challenge Rules below, for additional eligibility requirements). 
  • Phase 1 Feasibility Analysis is due in electronic file format using the Feasibility Analysis guidelines provided. 
  • Top Phase 1 Feasibility Analysis submissions will be announced and invited to prepare complete Business Plans for Phase 2.
  • Electronically submit Phase 2 Business plans. Top submissions proceed to Phase 3.
  • Present Phase 3 Oral Business Plan in person May 6th. Award ceremony to take place May 6, 2016.

Sample Application Materials:

Kaufmann Template for Business Plan (DOC, 124 KB)

For more information, email: