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 11th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Middleton. 


The 13 contestants (the total includes one tie) have survived 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 326 entries; more than 2,600 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 4, during the conference. Winners will be announced June 5 during a closing luncheon – and all 25 finalists will be eligible for prizes. To register for the conference at the Marriott West, visit   


Ideas from this year’s crop of finalists include software and business service plans tied to agricultural field surveillance, real estate, medical education, wedding planning and gaming. Manufacturing ideas cover innovations in energy-efficient windows, data center cooling, wastewater treatment, lightweight composite castings and trucking. Health-related plans include an emergency cooling vest for hypothermia cases, a nitric oxide system for treating diabetic foot ulcers and a new type of prosthetic hand made by 3D printers. 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 70 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. 


The executive summaries of the Top 25 contestants are available for inspection by accredited investors through the Wisconsin Angel Network, which has more than 25 member angel networks, private equity funds or corporate strategic partners. 


More than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes have been pledged thus far for the 2013 contest.  Sponsors so far include: 5Nines; Aberdean Consulting; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Company; AT&T; BDO; City of Waterloo; Cleantech Open; Cornerstone Office Corp.; Cresa Madison; EarthIT; Flanagan Financial; Functional Biosciences; Grant Thornton; JZB Solutions; Kohner Mann & Kailas; Kollath & Associates; Logistics Health; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic; Michael Best & Friedrich; Midwest Prototyping; Milwaukee Institute; Mortenson Construction; Murphy Desmond; Nelson Schmidt Inc.; OEM Fabricators; Pieper Properties; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.; Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media; Smith & Gesteland; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; University Research Park; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; WEA Trust; Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.; Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority; and Wisconsin Technical College System. 


To become a sponsor, contact Molly Lahr at 608-442-7557 ext. 27. 


The 2013 “Diligent Dozen” are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557. 


David Buslee, Truck Data Measurement                                                                      Delafield  

Tom Dougherty, OSAT: Real Time Metal Analysis                                                      Franklin  

Mitchell Fiene, DMZ Aerial                                                                                                Whitewater 

Heather Johnston, Find My Spot                                                                                     Milwaukee 

Justin Knupp, CyderMED                                                                                                 Middleton 

Brian Mayer, WeDo                                                                                                            Glendale  

Frederick Montgomery, Nitric Oxide Generator                                                            Madison  

Peter Petit, V-Glass Vacuum Insulated Glass                                                             Pewaukee  

Charles Potter, MTD Therapeutic Hypothermia                                                           Mequon  

Pradeep Rohatgi, Lightweight Composite Castings                                                  Milwaukee  

Eric Ronning, ReHand                                                                                                      Madison  

Timothy Shedd, Datacenter Cooling Technology                                                         Madison  

Shobhan Thakkar, Gristmill Studios                                                                               Fitchburg 


Other highlights of this year’s conference include:  

·         Launch, grow and succeed tracks tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs;  

·         Wisconsin Innovation Showcase, which will highlight some of the state’s best and boldest companies and their innovative products;  

·         Nationally known speakers such as Jason Lucash of OrigAudio and “Shark Tank” fame;  

·         Plenty of chances to network over food and refreshments! 


Register or learn more by visiting To learn more about the host city and what it has to offer, go to