Announcing the 2020 Light Up The Lakeshore Student Business Idea Competition!

The first Light Up the Lakeshore event of 2020 is a Student Business Idea Competition.  We are engaging all eight high schools in Manitowoc County to encourage high school students to think big and think local when coming up with the next great idea for a new business or product.  We will be taking our inspiration both from our 2019 competition and the ABC series Shark Tank to inspire students to become entrepreneurs, inventors, and leaders.

  • Entries will be accepted between December 1, 2019 and February 17, 2020.
  • The countywide final and celebration of entrepreneurship will be held on March 29 at a location to be determined.  There we will be awarding prizes from a pool of scholarships, seed funds, and in-kind consultation.

We are excited to open the sign-up site for new ideas.  The competition is open to any high school student from Manitowoc County with a special focus on Juniors and Seniors.  We have reached out to all eight high schools in Manitowoc County to build interest and engagement.

It is our belief that every great business idea will always be connected to the place where the spark of inspiration was ignited.  Our hope is that the high school students of today will be inspired to become the great Manitowoc County business leaders of tomorrow.

LUTL 2019

The 2019 Light Up the Lakeshore Finalists

About the Contest

This is a business idea contest. Therefore, you are not eligible to enter if you have created sales with your idea/invention or received funding for your idea/invention. It is OK if you have spent money on developing the idea/invention or self-funded the development of your idea/invention. You just cannot have made any money on it yet. Keep in mind that by a “product” we mean either a good or a service.

Below is an example of a 90-second business idea pitch video. Keep in mind that the goal is for you to create your own “pitch” (explanation) in 90 seconds, and if you are chosen as a finalist you will give your pitch live at your school’s event. You will want to practice. We will have coaching sessions for you to attend as well.

Getting Started

To begin your video pitch, we advise you to write/type out an outline based on the below scorecard that the judges will use:

example of judging scorecard

We’d like to acknowledge and thank the Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UW-Oshkosh for developing this scorecard. They also recommend the following to open your pitch. You will see that the example video starts out with a story. Telling your story quickly so that the audience understands how your product helps solve a real problem:

helpful tips

Three Steps to Enter


You will need to create a video of you pitching your business idea. Use the video on your cell phone, and do not do dozens of takes. Watch the video to make sure you can hear it. That is good enough! We are not concerned with video quality. You will want to save and back-up your video (on the cloud is best) in case we have questions about your entry.


Next, upload it on YouTube. If you have never done this before, you can do an internet search for your type of phone (Android, Apple, etc.) or even your model (Galaxy S9, iPhone X, etc.) and follow those instructions. You could also ask someone that you know to help you or ask a librarian at your local library’s help desk.

As an entrepreneur, you will need people to support you. Might as well start now! Make sure the video on YouTube is set for public (not private).


Click on the Let’s Begin button below for the entry form and where to submit your video link and introduce your team.

We will review all entries within 5 business days to make sure the link works, but please check it yourself first on a mobile device as well as on a laptop or desktop. We will make two attempts to contact you at the email address you provided in your submission if we have problems with your link. These attempts will contain a strict re-submission deadline.

Entries are open and will be accepted until February 17, 2020.

The 2020 Light Up the Lakeshore Student Business Idea Competition is a proud partnership of Rawley Point Economic Advising, BizStarts Two Rivers, and Coolest Coast. 

We will be announcing our presenting and partnering sponsors in early 2020.

If you are interested in becoming a partner or for sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jeff Sachse at

Let’s go Light Up the Lakeshore!