The Brewed Ideas Challenge is the annual Shark Tank-style pitch competition hosted by Marquette University’s Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiative in partnership with Brady Corporation, now in it’s 10th year of operation. The goal of Brewed Ideas is to “brew” innovative ideas, recognizing and rewarding budding entrepreneurs by offering seed money to help them advance their ideas. This program focuses on the innovation happening right here on campus and is open to all Marquette students.


Register to attend (in-person or via livestream)


About the Brewed Ideas Challenge

Over the course of Brewed Ideas, you will have the opportunity to build meaningful mentor relationships with Brady employees, go behind the scenes at Brady, and attend 3 workshops geared to help you develop your ideas, build rapport with your mentors, and further explore the world of innovation.

Brewed Ideas offers participants from each track, traditional business and social innovation tracks, the opportunity to receive generous seed money and awards recognizing their innovation and initiative. First-place winners receive $7,500 in seed money. Second-place winners receive $2,000 in seed money. Winners of the Audience Choice, Brady Innovation award, and the Excellence in Inclusive Impact receive $1,000 in seed money.

If you’re in need of some inspiration or want to learn more about past challenges, check out some of the ideas from last year's finalists and winners!


2023 Brewed Ideas Timeline

  • February 28th - applications due
  • March 10th - finalists announced
  • Late March - Early April - Brewed Ideas workshops
  • April 13th - Brewed Ideas @ Brady day (afternoon)
  • April 20th and 21st - pitch practice
  • April 28th - live pitch event in person


Judging Criteria 

Judges will evaluate project proposals, submissions and final pitches.  Review judging criteria.


Previous Brewed Ideas Challenge Competitions

2022 Winners

Social Innovation Track 

Traditional Business Track  

Both the Social Innovation Track and Traditional Business Track are eligible for the these awards

  • Audience Choice: Electi Gyms - Perfecting the gym experience
  • Brady Innovation Award: Electi Gyms 
  • Excellence in Inclusive Impact: Girl on the Growth


2021 Winners

Social Innovation Track 

  • 1st place: Community.Books.YOU. - A lending platform for textbooks, making education more equitable
  • 2nd place: Marquette Yard Sale - A move-out initiative to keep waste out of landfills

Traditional Business Track  

  • 1st place: Ukuli Chocolates -  Decadent chocolates and truffles
  • 2nd place: Nugeni - A sustainable, modular shoe

Both the Social Innovation Track and Traditional Business Track are eligible for the these awards

  • Audience Choice: Community.Books.YOU.
  • Brady Innovation Award: Puzzle Prep Meal Containers - makes meal prep fit together
  • Excellence in Inclusive Impact: Etombi Foundation 


2020 Winners

Social Innovation Track 

  • 1st place: The Color of English- Teaching students how to build great sentences
  • 2nd place: 4.0 Certification by Kratos- Up-skilling for the 4th Industrial Revolution

Traditional Business Track  

  • 1st place: JD BNB LLC - Short Term Rentals- Provides short term lodging to the Milwaukee area
  • 2nd place: Best Face Forward Retractable Badge Reel- Turns badge the right way

Both the Social Innovation Track and Traditional Business Track are eligible for the Audience Choice Award and/or Brady Innovation Award. 

  • Audience Choice: JBV Piston- Distributes oil throughout engines 
  • Brady Innovation Award: Stained- Trendsetting luxury streetwear brand


Check Out Past Brewed Ideas Challenge Competitions

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Brewed Ideas 2019 Brewed Ideas 2019 Brewed Ideas 2019

Brewed Ideas 2019 Brewed Ideas 2019 Brewed Ideas 2019

Brewed Ideas Bootcamp Logo

Brewed Ideas Bootcamp

Are you a current Marquette University student working on a new idea for a product or service but need help moving your idea forward? Look no further than the Brewed Ideas Bootcamp! In three weeks, students will validate the market need for their idea, refine their business model and value proposition. In addition, students will receive legal advice, one-on-one business coaching and access to free marketing tools. 

This year sessions will take place virtually February 14th adn 21st with an additoal 1:1 session.  To attend, please reach out to the 707 Hub and we will send you the link.