Finalists representing diverse tech-based sectors in
Wisconsin’s startup economy will present live to judges in the Governor’s
Business Plan Contest during the 13th annual Wisconsin
Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison.

The 13 contestants (the total includes one tie) have emerged
from three rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin
Technology Council, which produces the contest in conjunction with its partners
and sponsors. The contest began in late January with about 240 entries; more
than 3,100 entries have been received since the contest began in 2004.

This year’s finalists will deliver seven-minute pitches on
their business ideas beginning

3:15 p.m. Tuesday,
June 2
, during the conference. Winners will be announced June 3 during a closing luncheon – and
all 25 finalists will be eligible for prizes. To register for the conference at
Madison’s Alliant Energy Center, visit

Ideas from this year’s crop of
finalists include software and business service plans for personal finance; step-by-step
Medicare guidance; medical and healthcare
licensing and certification; and conference and event management. Manufacturing
ideas include technology for recovering phosphorus from wastewater;
self-lubricating aluminum composite components; a wireless electrical weapon;
and technically designed underwear for under yoga pants and leggings. Health-related
plans include a
clinical therapeutic device to help stroke patients retrain the fundamentals of
balance required for walking; a medical imaging and lighting system enabling
fluorescence image-guided surgery of cancerous lesions and other diseased
tissues; and a device that monitors fertility and pregnancy based on salivary

Entries were submitted in four
categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology
and Life Sciences.

Finalists submitted full business plans for review by a
panel of more than 80 judges established by the Tech Council, which is the
non-profit and non-partisan science and technology adviser to the governor and
the Legislature. Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the
customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition,
describes the management team and provides key financial data.

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal
assistance, accounting, marketing and more. About $2
million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the
contest in 2004.

Sponsors of the 2015 contest thus
far include: 100state; Aberdean Consulting; American Family Insurance; American
Transmission Co.; Ascendancy Advisors; AT&T; Cresa Madison; Exact Sciences;
Honkamp Krueger & Co.; Kollath & Associates; Madison Gas &
Electric; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Michael Best & Friedrich; Midwest
Prototyping; Mortenson Construction; Nordic; Pieper Properties; Quarles &
Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.; SCORE Wisconsin; Smith &
Gesteland; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; Tweedee Productions; University
Research Park; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; Wisconsin Economic
Development Corp; and Wisconsin Technical College System. To become a sponsor, contact
Maurice Cheeks at 608-442-7557.

The 2015 “Diligent Dozen” are
listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so
through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557.

    Entry                                                                 Presenter

65 Incorporated

Melinda Caughill



Daniel Guerra, Jr.


bluDiagnostics Fertility Finder

Katie Brenner


ConfPlus Inc.

Vicky Hu



Joseph Carpenter


Élevé Technical Innerwear

Amy Miller


Forsythe & Storms

Lorne Forsythe

Oak Creek

Hunt Butler

Derric Francis


Intelligent Composites

Chris Jordan



Kreg Gruben


Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling

Menachem Tabanpour



Adam Uselmann


Pellucid Water

Mark Raabe


Produced by the Tech Council, the
Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference is one of the largest events of its kind in
the Upper Midwest. Other highlights include:

  • A
    keynote presentation by Jerry Jendusa,
    co-founder and former CEO of EMTEQ and now a principal with STUCK LLC
  • The
    2015 Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” award recipient Jim Berbee, founder of Berbee
    Information Networks Corp.
  • Fifteen
    panel discussions for emerging
    companies on how to “Launch, Grow and Succeed,” including a plenary session that
    will explore trends in digital health
  • Innovation Showcase featuring more than 45 companies
    from around the state
  • Plenty
    of chances to connect with seasoned
    entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments

For more information, visit
or call 608-442-7557.