School of Business and Applied Arts

Madison College Challenge

Do you dream of starting your own business?  Consider entering the Madison College Business Plan Challenge!

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

Learn more about the Challenge and how to enter at our workshop February 24th | 5:30 - 6:30pm | Room D2643

Madison College Challenge Logo

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: 

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: Due 03/07/16 Complete online form and submit your Feasibility Analysis as an email attachment to Associate Dean Erin Kohl.  Guidelines provided below. Top Phase 1 Feasibility Analysis submissions will be announced and invited to prepare complete Business Plans for Phase 2.

Phase 2: Business Plan: Due 04/18/16 | Electronically submit via email:
Top submissions proceed to Phase 3. Practice Presentations: Dates to be determined between 04/25/16 and 04/29/16

Phase 3: Present Oral Business Plan in person 05/06/16. Award ceremony to take place May 6, 2016.

Sample Application Materials:

Kaufmann Template for Business Plan (DOC, 124 KB)

For more information, email:

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 Value - 100State | 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.  

$1000 Value - Madison Noteworthy | "Custom Media Training" for the winner, will include 1:1 training from the co-founders of Madison Noteworthy.  The recipient will receive  on-camera studio training that will prepare the finalist for presenting their new venture and earning media exposure.   

$325 Value - SourceHouse | 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. 

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