Eagle Eye

UWL student Zahnah Peggs received first place and the “People’s Choice” award with her proposal of a wearable running belt that would alert authorities if the runner felt threatened.

Students share their business ideas

Ideas of an alert belt and an app to motive college students to study were among the winning plans unveiled at a collegiate competition at UW-La Crosse.

Student teams presented their new business ideas Wednesday, April 4, to a panel of judges as part of the UWL Eagle Eye Business Competition. The teams, who had been working on business plans and presentations since January, competed for financial and technical support to start their businesses.  The teams were required to submit business plans for the judges to review before giving presentations about their ideas.

Zahnah Peggs received first place and the “People’s Choice” award with her business proposal, SafeStride LLC. Pegg’s idea is a wearable running belt that alerts the authorities if a runner feels unsafe or is being attacked. One of the main objectives of her product is to help deter sexual assault.

Peggs says the program helped her target her idea and understand ways the business concept could be expanded. “The UWL Innovation Lab helped me better understand financial planning for a business and the actions needed to start my business,” she notes.

Brothers Jim, left, and Jack Pettinger came in second place with their business idea of an app to assist and motivate college students with their studies.

Brothers Jim and Jack Pettinger came in second with their business idea for Pettinger Technologies. Their idea is an app to assist and motivate college students with their studies.

Nicholas Anton, Kyle Mazurek and Patrick Robbins received third place with their idea for an app called, Education Stop. Their app would help an organization train employees and provide ways for prospective employees to gain skills needed to be hired.

The winners were featured at the UWL Business Expo held Wednesday, April 11, in the UWL Student Union.

The Eagle Eye Competition is just one component of the Innovation Generation program created by the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UWL with support of Merchants Bank and other businesses and individuals. The event was coordinated by the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UWL, with participation from the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization of UWL.

For additional information about this and future events, visit www.uwlax.edu/cei. To support the program, contact the SBDC at sbdc@uwlax.edu or call 608.785.8782.

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