The UW System is investing millions of dollars to give college students a chance to launch their own business.
They are teaming up with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to create the Idea Advance Fund. The $2 million fund is set up to help motivate UW students, faculty and staff to turn their ideas into reality. A person can apply for up to $75,000 to help pursue an idea and then create a product or business.
The UW-L Small Business Development Center says the program will help on a campus where students and staff have a lot of good ideas. "What the fund is really kind of behind is trying to incentivize people to take those ideas once step further to see if they could become business opportunities," says Anne Hlavacka from UW-L.
UW-L has a student entrepreneur group on campus. They say often times students have the ideas and the education, they just don't have the money or resources to follow through. They say the program will help not only UW-L students, but college students statewide. "It's a great opportunity for extra source of funding," says UW-L student Benjamin Wendler, "it gives more variety to students all around the state of Wisconsin, not only our University at La Crosse but it opens up many more opportunities for other colleges."
Any UW System student or staff member is eligible to apply beginning in March.