UWM students place first in Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament

Special to The Freeman

April 21, 2014

MILWAUKEE – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student entrepreneurs placed first in UW-Extension’s Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The team will represent Wisconsin at the International Business Model Competition in May at Brigham Young University in Utah for $100,000 in awards, according to a WEDC statement.

The team is made up of two Air National Guard members, Tom Burden and Janie Asberry, and U.S. Air Force veteran Shawn Petros, according to the statement. They are developing safe, non-corrosive and convenient mats that provide a surface on which aerospace mechanics can stand or place tools.

According to the statement, their company, Grypshon, is planning to sell products to the military, with the goal of maximizing the efficiency, productivity and safety of military members in a cost-effective manner.

Grypshon was one of 10 University of Wisconsin student entrepreneur teams who competed April 5 in Madison.

“This inaugural program set the framework for growth and expansion of Lean Startup training and idea development for students within the UW system,” said Mark Lange, executive director of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development for UW-Extension.

“We encourage UW students, staff and faculty to contact us about participating in the fall of 2014.”