Competition promises free tuition

High school pitch contest awards winner one year paid tuition at UW-W

Olivia Storey, Assistant News Editor

High schoolers from all across Wisconsin had a chance to win one year of free tuition at UW-W.

High school seniors, juniors and sophomores from Wisconsin came to Whitewater on Wednesday to compete and show off their small business ideas thanks to the company BizTank.

“BizTank is a business that decided they wanted to help entrepreneurs, particularly high school students, learn about business,” said Tyler Sailsbery, owner of Black Sheep and Casual Joe’s in Whitewater.

“They’ve got a program at Geneva Supply where they bring in entrepreneurs to speak.”

Sailsbery won the competition when he was a student.

“I was able to give a speech about business and entrepreneurship and what it means to be a small business owner,” Sailsbery said.

The competition required high school students to prepare a five minute presentation that showcased their small business idea, how they would make it a reality and who they would work with in the process to make sure it profited.

Following the presentations, the judges were allowed five minutes to critique and ask questions of the speaker.

The winner of the competition will receive one year of free tuition at UW-W.

Many high school students attended the event hoping their pitch would win. They had many different driving forces as to why they wanted their dreams to become a reality.

“My motivation [to enter] was fashion,” said Pewaukee High School junior Hailey Kiser.

Kiser, along with her partner Swati Dalmai, pitched an idea for a small business that would create mannequins for clothing stores that represented all types of people.

“I want to make sure that everyone is included. There’s a lot of different shaped girls out there. There’s a lot of girls with different disabilities. I wanted to make sure that this company included everyone.”

Their pitch included making mannequins in wheelchairs, plus-size mannequins and more.

“I knew I wanted to go into entrepreneurship, so at the beginning of the school year I was able to formulate an idea and submit it here. Luckily, I got selected,” Dalmai, who is a senior at Pewaukee High School, said.

“I’ve just been really passionate about fashion, and we just really wanted to get our idea out there even if we didn’t win.”