The deadline to enter the 2021 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, at govsbizplancontest.com. 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 $220 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 govsbizplancontest.com. Contestants who advance to subsequent contest rounds will have the opportunity to expand their plan in stages. About 80 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 4,100 entries have been received and about $2.4 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 not received angel or venture capital in the current form are eligible to enter. About 77% of the finalists from 2012-2019 are still in business.
As with past contests, the 2021 competition will take place in stages and culminate at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, in June 2021.
To enter, become a judge or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit govsbizplancontest.com.