The deadline to enter the 2019 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at It’s a chance to win cash and other valuable in-kind prizes while building ideas into companies.

 The contest is designed to help entrepreneurs write business plans, prepare them to launch a company, get feedback from mentors and to interact with investors and other professionals. Past finalists have created companies that have attracted more than $200 million in grants, loans and private equity financing – all while creating jobs and value for Wisconsin.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit 250-word idea abstracts online at  Contestants who advance to subsequent contest rounds will have the opportunity to expand their plan in stages. More than 1001 judges drawn from the finance, sales, marketing, research and technology sectors across Wisconsin will score the entries and provide feedback on submissions.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 3,700 entries have been received and about $2.2 million in cash and services (such as legal, accounting, office space and marketing) have been awarded. Contest categories are Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Wisconsin residents 18 years old and older are eligible, as are teams from Wisconsin-based businesses and organizations. Businesses or teams from outside the state are also eligible to compete if they demonstrate intent to base or expand their business in Wisconsin. Entrepreneurs may also enter multiple ideas, though each idea must be separate and distinct.

Companies or individuals that have raised less than $25,000 in private equity for their plans in a current form are eligible to enter. Generally, private equity refers to angel and venture capital.

As with past contests, the 2019 competition will take place in stages and culminate at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, June 4-5 at Venue 42, Milwaukee.

To enter, become a judge or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit