The Brewed Ideas Challenge is an annual pitch competition hosted by Marquette University’s 707 Hub in partnership with Brady Corporation. Open to current students, this program focuses on ‘brewing’ and growing innovative ideas, products, and services, right here on campus. Prior to the competition, we offer a 4-week crash course called the Brewed Ideas Bootcamp to help validate your idea before applying for the Brewed Ideas Challenge.  If you need some inspiration or want to learn more about past Challenges, check out some of the ideas from last year's finalists.


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Brewed Ideas Challenge

The Brewed Ideas Challenge is our version of a shark tank pitch event.  The goal is to "Brew" innovative ideas and foster the entrepreneurial mindset at Marquette. The competition is open to current Marquette students and hosted by the 707 Hub, in partnership with Brady Corporation. Finalists receive mentorship support from Brady Corporation leading up to the competition to help refine and perfect their ideas/ventures. Finalists will pitch their ideas before for a panel of judges and guests.  The challenge will end with a reception where we will hand out $21,000 in funding to the winning teams. 

There are two tracks: 

1) social venture track 

2) traditional business track  

Judging Criteria 

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

Brewed Ideas 2019 Winners 

Social Innovation Track 

  • 1st place: OLUOMO - A a custom, tailored fit, made-to-order, Nigerian women's fashion. No longer do customers especially in the Marquette community have to spend hours searching for unique prints and custom fashion!  
  • 2nd place: REVIVE - This is a work space where students can create upcycled products from campus-collected plastics and educate others about the realities of plastic use.  

Traditional Business Track  

  • 1st place: Liv a Little Vegan Ice Cream - This is a homemade vegan-friendly ice cream made from coconut-based products that bring a unique creaminess often missing in other vegan frozen desserts.  
  • 2nd place: ConfIdence - ConfIdence is a curated box service that delivers tools that enable self-motivation and stress relief.   

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

  • Audience Choice: ConfIdence ConfIdence is a curated box service that delivers tools that enable self-motivation and stress relief.  
  • Brady Innovation Award: The Hub MKE - A bike shop in the Near West Side neighborhood that sells used bikes and fixes them to be rideable and safe. In addition, bike rentals are available and can be sold to The Hub MKE.   

2019 Judges 

Thomas Felmer

President, Workplace Safety at Brady Corporation

Katie Milbeck

Senior Manager, Innovation Incubator at Brady Corporation  

Asim Khan

Co-founder of ZYN Holistic Wellness 

Marianne Szymanski

Founder and President at Toy Tips Inc.

See what The Brewed Ideas Challenge looks like

(click to enlarge)

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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 four 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.