Madison College Challenge - What's your big idea?

Do you have a business idea that you have been pondering, an opportunity that you would like to explore? Would you like help in developing your opportunity? Participate in the Madison College Challenge! The Madison College Challenge is an idea competition organized through the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Finalists will be selected for three categories:

  • Technology and Innovation
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Main Street Service and Retail

Finalists in each category will have a chance to win $1,500 cash prize brought to you by Summit Credit Union. Register here by filling out your information. Through participation you will get:

  • Free business assistance and coaching
  • Connection to Madison College and area resources
  • A chance to win $1,500 to help step forward with your business idea

You don't have to be a business student to register; all Madison College students are eligible. All ideas will be considered - be creative!

The Madison College Challenge was created to:

  • Inspire individuals to become entrepreneurs
  • Connect individuals with Madison College alumni, academic experts and private industry professionals
  • Help generate new ideas, knowledge and skill sets, attitudes and careers
  • Provide a source of start-up funding for aspiring entrepreneurs within the Madison College district

Registration is open now through March 6.

Final pitch day is on Friday, May 8

Madison College Challenge 2020


Rules for registration:

  • Open to any credit or non-credit student that has been enrolled in a course between 2017-2019 and has not already been a Madison College Challenge finalist
  • Contestants may enter as individuals or as part of a team
  • Contest is for creation of a new business
  • Once registered, contestants will be added to the Madison College Challenge Blackboard site for further communication and directions.
  • Contestants are required to meet with an Entrepreneur in Residence to work on their executive summary.
  • Madison College employees and employees of sponsors are not eligible to enter contest.


Step 1: Complete registration form. (Once registered, students will be added to blackboard.)

Step 2: Upload video submission or executive summary.

If selected to move on, Step 3:

  • Prepare for internal pitch.
  • Schedule appointment with an Entrepreneur in Resident.
  • Contestant will be scheduled for the internal pitch in the Center for Entrepreneurship.

If selected to move on, Step 4:

  • Final pitch to external judges on May 8, 2020.
  • Contestant must be prepared.
  • Continue to work with Entrepreneurs in Residence/ Center for Entrepreneurship.
Tech & Innovation

What is technology and innovation?

Technology and innovation is the creation and subsequent introduction of a good or service that is either new, or an improved version of previous goods or services.


Stimmi – Founder, Deb Thomas  - Madison College Challenge winner 2017

Stimmi was created as a tool to be used throughout an individual’s lifespan. The database contains necessary elements of a life plan. You take all the information saved in your paper binders and save it online for easy accessibility. Whether it is used as a training tool with a new caregiver at a group home, help when a child starts school in a new classroom, help military families stay up to date with their child when a service member is deployed or used to help with respite care, Stimmi is there to help support your team and the individual. Deb Thomas, co-owner of Stimmi was the Madison College Challenge winner in 2017.


Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people who want to rent out their homes with people who are looking for accommodations in that locale.

Social Entrepreneurship

What is social entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship pursues novel applications that have the potential to solve community-based problems. These individuals are willing to take on the risk and effort to create positive changes in society through their initiatives.


TOMS Shoes

TOMS Shoes buy one pair of shoes, a second pair is donated to a person in need

Rebalanced Life Wellness Association

Rebalanced Life Wellness Association is a new innovative health model for reducing health disparities and improving the Social & Health Conditions of Black men in Dane County. In building a solid foundation for this health model, it is their hope to replicate this type of facility nationwide.

Service & Retail

What is main street service and retail?

Service and retail is the process of selling goods and services directly to consumers.


Primal Cue – Owner, Andrew Bajakian – Madison College Challenge winner 2018

Primal ‘Cue is a Veteran owned barbecue catering company based in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. They have gone back to the basics allowing wood, fire and smoke to take barbecue back to its roots. Primal ‘Cue caters any and all events from corporate picnics to family reunions, big or small, they have options for you. They pride themselves on the attention to detail that they give to everything that they do and look forward to getting Primal with you.

Prima Nail Spa & Salon – Owner, Christiana Greene – Madison College Challenge winner 2019

Prima Nail Spa & Salon is a full service hair and nail salon, privately owned by 2019 Madison College Challenge winner. We celebrate the diverse beauty of women of every color, complexion and hair type. Prima Nail Spa & Salon specializes in curly, ethnic and natural hair types. Pima Nail Spa & Salon offers expressive manicuring services with unique and detailed custom nail art. Prima Nail Spa & Salon serves a diverse demographic of clientele, although mostly Women, Men and children are welcome.

Babes for Books – Founder, Ardita Hashani – Madison College Challenge runner up 2019

Babes for Books is a fashion brand that promotes education and encourages the embrace of brains over beauty. 10% of Babes for Books proceeds are used to buy books and school supplies for underprivileged children across the globe.


For more information, email us at