Fifty entries from 28 communities have advanced to the semi-final round of the 15th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, contest producers announced.
The contestants were selected from a field of about 200 qualified first-round entries by an independent panel of 110 judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, the Tech Council Innovation Network and the Tech Council Investor Networks.
The semi-finalists reflect the diversity of Wisconsin’s economy and are spread among four broad categories: advanced manufacturing (11), business services (13), information technology (13) and life sciences (13).
A security system that immediately detects gunshots, a new wrinkle in laundry service, metal 3D printing, wearable technology, an electricity generator, a water quality detection device and organic baby food are among the top 50.
Among entries that advanced are software or information systems related to zoning in municipalities, organ transplant transportation, education and language learning, public transit innovation, managing food service employment and using artificial intelligence “chat bots” to mine data.
Also moving on to the next round were plans tied to medical breakthroughs, such as treating or diagnosing cardiac arrhythmia, breast cancer, preserving medical samples, strokes and an app to improve diagnosing prostate cancer.
“Trends reflected in the top 50 entries match up well with Wisconsin’s traditional and emerging strengths,” said Greg Lynch, chairman of the Tech Council. “Good ideas come from all high-growth sectors of the economy.”
The 50 entries competing in Phase 2 of the contest will write 1,000-word executive summaries. Each summary 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.
Once Phase 2 judging is complete in early April, the 50 entries may be made available for inspection by accredited investors through the Tech Council Investor Networks, which has about two-dozen angel networks, early stage funds or corporate strategic partners. About two-dozen plans will move on to Phase 3, in which contestants will write a full 15- to 20-page business plan.
The top dozen contestants will give live presentations at the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 5 at Union South in Madison. Category winners, as well as the 2018 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced during the BPC Awards Luncheon on June 6.
Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, marketing, web development, prototyping and more. About $2 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is a major sponsor.
Additional lead sponsors of the 2018 contest thus far include @1403; 3Rhino Media; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Co.; AT&T; COLLABORATORcreative; Eppstein Uhen Architects; Michael Best; Midwest Prototyping; Pieper Properties; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE; University Research Park; Ward4; Whitewater University Technology Park; and ZEBRADOG. Associate sponsors include 100state; Aberdean Consulting; Applied Management; Cresa Madison; Industrious Madison; Makin’ Hey!; Murphy Desmond; Smith & Gesteland; and Spencer X Smith and AmpliPhi. Additional sponsors are BloodCenter of Wisconsin; DXC Technology; Idea Fund of La Crosse; The Ideas Network 90.7FM; Irontek; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic Health System; Neider & Boucher; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; and Wisconsin Technical College System.
Here are the 2018 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.
|Submission Name||First Name||Last Name||City|
|Onsite Bike Rental||Andy||Bettinger||Whitewater|
|Impact Sports||Joshua||Cleveland||River Falls|
|Shockray Self-Defense||Lorne||Forsythe||Oak Creek|
|Trinity Gunshot Alarm System||Stacy||Jax||Baraboo|
|Energy Tech Innovations||Bryan||Johnson||Milwaukee|
|Fast Forward Forensics||Randy||Nagy||Madison|
|Seventeenth Radish Online||Allison||Plumer||Madison|
|Little Food Company||Amanda||Santoro||Appleton|
|HealthTech Solutions||Dalton||Shaull||Coralville, IA|
|Athletic Recovery Complete||Noah||Stamsta||Whitewater|
|Melius Outcomes||AkkeNeel||Talsma||Whitefish Bay|
|Swirl Insurance Services||Terry||Wakefield||Mequon|
*Entries from outside the state are eligible if committed to locating some aspect of their business within Wisconsin.