The Fowler Business Concept Challenge, made possible through the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, is entering its 10th year of competition this year. This challenge encourages students to come up with a unique product or service targeted at certain, desired consumers. There are two different ways a graduate or undergraduate student can compete: either through the Business Concept Track, which focuses on traditional commercial projects, or the Social Venture Track, where the product or service attempts to solve social problems. The winner of each category, along with the runner-ups, receives a scholarship to be used towards bettering their presented concept. In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, we're looking back at past winners and the significant impact they had on the St. Thomas community and beyond.
Undergrad winner: 5th Corner Media
Matt Lichtfuss and Zach Neugebauer’s idea: Providing satellite music advertising in tanning beds.
Graduate winner: iApply
Derek Buschow and Jeremiah Messerer’s idea: Streamline applicant evaluations used by employers.
Undergrad winner: Student Frenzy
Matthew Scott and Sarah Tinsman
Graduate winner: Styptic fibrin bandage
Susan Wuollett and Michael Wuollett’s idea: A bandage that quickly halts clot bleeding.
Undergrad winner: Cognific
Solome Tibebu’s idea: An application for mental health patients and health care providers.
Graduate winner: Variable-camber wheelchair
Nick Wagner, John Beitelspacher, and Jesse Sumstad
Undergrad winner: The Pink Bow City Fashion Truck
Keona Tranby’s idea: A vintage clothing store on wheels.
Graduate winner: Coach
Aaron Engler’s idea: An application that helps restaurant management to better organize their establishment.
Undergrad winner: Coffee Rocks!
Dennis Gisch and Jacob Rocheford’s idea: A new form of iced coffee.
Graduate winner: Lou Lou Ingredients
Jane Kramer, Nana Yaa A. Dodi and Marine F. Melin’s idea: A website that helps give allergy-friendly meal information and recipes.
Social Venture winner: Fetch by Getitlocal
Benjamin Carlson’s idea: A web platform for small businesses to display products and services to local customers.
Undergrad winner: Unique Pontoons
Jeremy Little’s idea: A pontoon that expands and contracts with a built-in trailer.
Graduate winner: Homeowner Tracker
Jacalyn Peterson, Mara Ryan, Amanda Klosner’s idea: An application for real estate agents to engage with customers.
Social Venture winner: NetZro: food waste recovery and reharvest
Suzanne Marshall’s idea: Increasing awareness of eliminating food and water waste.
Undergrad winner: EasyEatz
Scott Laska, Peter (Tim) van Laarhoven’s idea: Allow consumers to connect with people from other countries to buy authentic, home-cooked meals.
Graduate winner: ApplianceClearance.com
Julie Carlson’s idea: An online retailer of discount appliances.
Social Venture winner: elate
Katie Hasslinger and Aaron Redepenning’s idea: A Bluetooth menu reader bracelet for the blind.
Undergrad winner: ExpressionMed
Meghan Sharkus’s idea: New-and-improved adhesives for those with diabetic needs.
Graduate winner: Chinese Overseas Students Social Network
Lu Chen’s idea: A platform to meet people and share useful information while studying abroad.
Social Venture winner: FinMoto
Sam Rystrom’s idea: An online media company that encourages young adults to improve their financial futures.
Business Concept winner: Safe in Sound
Savannah Hufendick’s idea: Earbuds that change volume to appropriate levels for ear protection.
Social Venture winner: Seraph 7 Studios
Jules Michelle Seraph Porter’s idea: A diverse video game company that aims to empower social change.