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Sunday, September 24, 2023
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Thinking differently, creating innovatively: The power of $50,000

The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery was abuzz on April 13 and 14 as Transcend UW held their eighth annual Transcend Innovation Competition.

Sponsored by Discovery to Product, the competition is a student-run innovation competition that takes place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

The competition unites students from a diverse range of academic fields and social backgrounds to display their innovative ideas, entrepreneurship and business acumen. Students showcase their work to the audience, get expert input from business leaders and possible investors and compete for funding to develop and implement their ideas.

The competition has grown significantly over the years, with a $50,000 prize pool being awarded to the top teams this year. 

The competition consists of two full days of pitches, poster sessions and networking opportunities where teams meet judges, sponsors and participants. Attendees participated in a networking session, which was ripe with conversation of the event and shared passion for creativity and ambition.

The top three teams won a portion of the $50,000 prize fund. This year’s winning teams — Crib, Tixplorer and EducatAItors — each presented innovative ideas judges thought have the potential to have a profound impact on the community.

If you have an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship, attend future Transcend UW Innovation Competitions. The gathering offers a special opportunity to meet like-minded people and discover new, innovative concepts and fashions.

The Transcend Innovation Competition’s success is a testament to the positive ways these types of gatherings promote creativity. By providing a platform for students to showcase their ideas and receive feedback from experts and investors, the competition develops a culture of innovation on campus. This culture leads to new businesses, products and services that revolutionize our economy and society.

Promoting initiatives that foster innovation and entrepreneurship is. In today's fast-paced and constantly evolving world, innovation is a crucial driver for organizational success. 

It is in the university’s best interest to encourage and support entrepreneurship because it fosters creativity, risk-taking and experimentation. 

These processes have produced many successful companies and enterprises, and the potential for new discoveries and breakthroughs is significant. Many CEOs were entrepreneurs who started their businesses from just a single idea. Universities and other organizations could contribute to the development of future leaders and entrepreneurs, spurring economic growth and innovation by sponsoring activities that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

That being said, $50,000 is a sizable sum of money. However, the investment required by Transcend sponsor organizations is relatively small compared to the potential returns for all parties involved. 

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The $50,000 in prizes fundraised each year is a much smaller expense when compared to the potential impact the competition may have in terms of job creation, economic growth and future societal impact. By investing in initiatives that fosters forward-thinking, universities and other organizations can create a brighter future for everyone.

Jason Li is a sophomore studying Finance, Investment and Banking at UW-Madison. Do you think Madison should push for more initiatives focused on entrepreneurship? Let us know at 

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