Finalists representing diverse tech-based sectors in Wisconsin’s early-stage economy will present from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, June 2, as part of the 18th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The four-month, staged contest culminates the following day with award announcements during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.
To register for the full June 3 conference, which features speakers, panels, chat rooms and virtual “booths” for sponsors, visit WiTrepsConference.com.
The 12 contestants emerged from 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 more than 250 entries; more than 4,100 entries have been received since the contest began in 2004.
This year’s finalists will have five-minutes to pitch their business ideas. Judges will be able to ask questions of contestants; audience questions will be allowed via Chat as time allows.
Entries were submitted in four categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.
Advanced manufacturing ideas include a way to monitor water wells from a cell phone for water replenishment, pump activity and health; specially designed women’s wear to allow users to carry items comfortably, securely and hidden from view while exercising, traveling, running errands or enjoying the outdoors; and physics-based simulation software to cut down the time and costs that companies incur when developing power conversion products.
Entries focused on business services include a system to provide direct access to certified court reporters and videographers for legal proceedings held outside courthouses; a subscription-based model for women who want to write and publish their own books; and a business that works with businesses and residents to divert food scraps and yard waste from the landfill year-round.
Information technology plans include a platform to bridge the digital divide in health care by bringing simple, cost-effective technologies to “resource deserts;” a “creativity arcade” to draw children off video games by gamifying their reading, writing and drawings; and a scalable, clinical platform to deliver high-quality healthcare in “at-home” urgent care settings.
Life sciences plans include a device that allow surgeons and operating teams to better monitor treatment of atrial arrhythmias during heart procedures; a small molecule drug that acts like estrogen to mitigate menopausal side effects; and a virtual pharmaceutical company developing drugs that alleviate brain-lung connected disease conditions.
Finalists submitted full business plans for review by a panel of about 80 judges and their scores on those written plans will be a part of the final scoring. 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.
Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing and more. About $2.4 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is a major sponsor.
Additional lead sponsors of the 2021 contest thus far include: 3Rhino Media; American Transmission Company; AT&T; Bizzy Bizzy; EUA; Midwest Sales Consultants; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; Relumed; SCORE; StartingBlock; University Research Park; Ward4. Associate sponsors include Aberdean Consulting; Murphy Desmond; Makin’ Hey!; Spencer X Smith and AmpliPhi. Additional sponsors are Applied Management;Hyatt Place Madison/Verona; Irontek; Loughrin Accounting; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic Health System; Neider & Boucher; Novel Coworking; Reverbal Communications; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
The 2021 “Diligent Dozen” are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557.