MADISON – Fifty entries from 26 communities have advanced to the semi-final round of the sixth annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, contest producers announced Wednesday.
The contestants were selected from a field of 326 first-round entries by an independent panel of judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is producing the contest in conjunction with its membership subsidiary, the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the Wisconsin Angel Network and other statewide affiliates.
The semi-finalists reflect the diversity of Wisconsin’s economy and are spread among four categories: advanced manufacturing (15), business services (14), information technology (12) and life sciences (9). That proportion roughly reflects the mix of Phase 1 entries in the contest’s four categories. Entries range from alternative energy solutions to IT innovations to products as diverse as a small aircraft and a “talking bottlecap.”
Five 2009 semi-finalists are contestants who advanced beyond the first round in past contests. Also, all five trophy winners in the 2007 and 2008 “Elevator Pitch Olympics” held at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium made the cut.
“Wisconsin continues to build a pipeline of entrepreneurs,” said Mark Bugher, chairman of the Tech Council. “The quality of the ideas submitted was very strong again this year, supporting our belief that Wisconsin has the ideas, the innovative culture and the entrepreneurs necessary to succeed in the 21st century economy.”
The 50 entries competing in Phase 2 of the contest are writing summary business plans of no more than 1,000 words. Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, lists members of the management team and provides key financial data.
Phase 2 plans will be filed online by 5 p.m. March 12; the next judging period will last about two weeks. All of the Phase 2 contestants and their teammates have been invited to a Business Plan Contest “boot camp” today in Milwaukee to help them write their Phase 2 plan.
Once Phase 2 judging is complete, the 50 entries may be made available for inspection by accredited investors through the Wisconsin Angel Network, which has 25 member angel networks, private equity funds or corporate strategic partners.
The top 20 plans plus ties will move on to Phase 3, in which contestants will write a full business plan. About $150,000 in cash and in-kind prizes have been pledged for the 2009 contest thus far. First prize in the statewide contest is worth $50,000 in cash and services. Prize winners will be announced June 9-10 at the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. The Tech Council has estimated that finalists from 2004 through 2008 have raised about $20 million in private equity.
Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants or learn more about their Phase 1 plans should contact Liz Schrum or Tom Still at 608-442-7557.
Sponsors of the 2009 contest so far: Aberdean Consulting LLC; American Transmission Co.; Associated Bank; The Boldt Company; CG Schmidt Co.; EarthIT; Fitchburg Technology Campus; Foley & Lardner LLP; The Gialamas Company; Johnson Block CPAs; Journal Interactive, the digital media division of Journal Communications, Inc.; Loughrin Accounting & Tax Service; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Madison Gas & Electric Co.; McAllen TEC Campus; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Midwest Airlines; Murphy Desmond, S.C.; Quarles & Brady LLP; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.; Ruedebusch Development & Construction; Smith & Gesteland LLP; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; TDS Telecom; University Research Park; Wisconsin Department of Commerce; WisBusiness.com; Wisconsin Angel Network; Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.; and the Wisconsin Technology Council.
Here are the 2009 semi-finalists in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557 ext. 27.
Saul Arteaga Telephone Interpreting Delavan
John Baker Heart attack drugs Wauwatosa
Ophir Ben-Yitschak Scopia Bayside
Harry Burrell Genostx LLC Middleton
Mike Casper FLEx Chicago, Ill.
Matthew Christensen ColoGlow Madison
Brian Cole Innovative Sports Strategies Milwaukee
Scott Daigger Sandbox International, LLC Madison
Michael Deau EcoStream Menomonee Falls
Charles DeShong American Patriot Aircraft Milwaukee
Peter Dietrich Scaleable Anaerobic Digester Madison
Gregory Dockter Topical Blood Clotting Product Cottage Grove
Erik Gammell Eco-Tile Verona
Roger Gerlach ReaLens LLC eye lens Oshkosh
Charles Gibson Direct-White Phosphor for LEDs Oshkosh
Charles Gibson Advanced EES Device Oshkosh
Eric Griswold Talking Bottlecap Milwaukee
Greg Gulick Medtric Whitefish Bay
Randy Gunter The Ad Diner New Glarus
Brian Hans Earth Mimic Appleton
Scott Hare Local Choice Distributing Belleville
Richard Hogan 3-D TV Ixonia
Farhat Iqbal Solar Carport Canopy Verona
Patrick James DEMET: Resources from Wastes Madison
Jim Jendusa Lightweight Structures Hartland
Sanchayita Kar A biotech service company Madison
Michael Kohnen LitroEnergy Clayton
Sarah Manski PosiPair.com Madison
Jim Martin Green 3 Organic Apparel Oshkosh
Michael Miller NxtMile Custom Running Shoes Madison
Kyle Montgomery AquaMost Fitchburg
Dan Norton PLEX Labs Madison
David Ottosen In-House Marketing Solutions Eau Claire
Thomas Primiano Shiloh Laboratories Monona
Bonnie Reinke Eso-Technologies, Inc Middleton
CJ Schmidt Concrete Crack Reducer De Pere
Rishi Shah Flying Cart LLC Madison
Ken Smith LED Fuel Cell Light Colfax
Ken Smith Direct Methanol FC
James Sun Terahertz Technology Madison
Dan Voell Mendotasoft, LLC Milwaukee
Phillip Walesa Dual Mode Portable LED Illumin Wauwatosa
Woody Wallace Cloud Machine Madison
Leanne Wick The Fire Blaster Green Bay
Adam Wiese Wisco Solar Waukesha
Charles Xie SecNet Madison
Vladislav Yakovlev Smart Wave Solutions Glendale
A. W. Young OTA Interpersonal Payments Rhinelander
Hong Yu AskHERMES Milwaukee
Rob Zwettler Web-based Accounting Software Rhinelander