Erick Przybylski of Simul8

A DeForest company was among the 231 winners selected for the We’re All Innovating Contest announced Monday, Dec. 7, by Gov. Tony Evers.

Simul8 LLC was one of the top winners in the “Technology Innovation to Address COVID-19 Impacts on Health” category for companies with less than vive employees.

“Wisconsin is known for its can-do spirit and its big ideas,” said Gov. Evers. “The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired businesses to find new ways fight the virus, operate their businesses, and meet the needs of our community. After looking at these winning projects, I’m truly in awe of these folks’ ingenuity, imagination, and creativity.”

The We’re All Innovating Contest was created by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) this fall to recognize and promote the creative ways startups and small businesses are adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A team of 182 volunteer judges coordinated by the Wisconsin Technology Council evaluated blind entries from more 1226 businesses, ranging from biotechnology firms to restaurants. Entries were evaluated in part on their progress to date and the potential for the innovation to move forward. The contest drew participants from across the state, including entries and judges from 70 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, and featured a strong showing from minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses.

The judges selected winners in three major categories: technology innovation to address COVID-19 impacts on health, technology innovation to address COVID-19 impacts on businesses, and service and business operation innovations to respond to COVID-19 disruption.

Top prizes went to 17 winners in the three categories; all 231 winners selected for funding have the opportunity to share in a total of $3 million. The grants will help offset costs incurred since March 1 and those anticipated through Dec. 30.