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Madison Brenengen & Allyson Hilgeman

Travel Bug

Madison Brenengen is a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth studying Cultural Entrepreneurship and Spanish. She will be graduating in the fall of 2021 with plans to pursue work in the local tourism industry. Through the different Cultural Entrepreneurship courses, she has learned how creative organizations can positively impact the growth of local economies.


Allyson Hilgeman is a fourth-year student majoring in cultural entrepreneurship with a minor in psychology. She has traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico to study the political, environmental, social, and economic effects of U.S. policy on women and children and also began a study abroad program in Brisbane, Australia last February at the Queensland University of Technology where her area of study focused on Indigenous culture and international business management. Hilgeman has participated in various business projects throughout her university career- which has taught her the value of world connectedness through product innovation and creation. Allyson hopes to continue her studies after graduation in summer 2021 to continue utilizing the design process to bring cultural meaning into business, service, and product innovation.  


Zachariah Coughlin


Zachariah Coughlin has been passionate about entrepreneurship for as long as he can
remember. His entrepreneurial spirit has led him on many interesting endeavors, such as selling snacks from his middle school locker, pitching a diaper recycling process at a national
innovation competition, and now, competing in the 2021 UMD Startup Cup competition. Zachariah will graduate in May 2022, with a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science.


Will Holz

Total Lawn

Will Holz is double majoring in Management B.B.A. and Finance B.B.A. and will graduate in the Spring of 2022. His plans after graduation consist of being admitted into the 4+1 MBA program at UMD. His entrepreneurial spirit stems from his youth. His father owns his own business in Bixby, MN and this has led to Will starting and owning/operating his own business in his hometown of Byron, MN. He looks forward to continuing to learn from and grow his own business to use the newly acquired skills to better himself and others in his future personal/professional career.


John Rosas Ramirez

Convivial Comics

John Charles Rosas Ramirez comes from a history of entrepreneurial practices, whether it was from his family past or his own. Raised from immigrants, the lessons of service, persistence, and support carry into his business ideals. John wishes to improve the lives of others through his work. He is currently studying Graphic Design and Marketing at UMD, planning to graduate in May 2021.

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Dalton Scharmer

Special Needs Product

Dalton Scharmer is a Civil Engineering Major who will be graduating in May 2021. He will be staying to get his Master's in Civil Engineering with a focus in bridge design with an expected graduation date of December 2022. Dalton enjoys reading about entrepreneurship, tax code, and personal finance. His extroverted personality is the reason he enjoys interacting with others so much and made him consider a career in sales at one point early on in his college career. He is excited to use the 2021 Startup Cup as an opportunity to combine his engineering background, passion for business, and extroverted personality to see how well he can pitch a product he has designed and built himself.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, one contestant will no longer be competing.

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