Finalists representing diverse tech-based sectors in Wisconsin’s startup economy will present live to judges in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest during the 15th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison.

The 13 contestants (the total includes one tie) have 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 about 175 entries; about 3,525 entries have been received since the contest began in 2004.

This year’s finalists will deliver seven-minute pitches on their business ideas beginning

3:05 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, during the conference. Winners will be announced June 7 during a closing luncheon. To register for the conference at Madison’s Union South, visit

Software and business service plans include a mobile application to enable physical therapists to create and send instructional videos to patients; software to provide unbiased Medicare enrollment guidance; cloud-based software to solve core business problems around organizational culture; and to remove compostable products.

Entries focused on social or educational innovations include platforms to save family photos and videos in one place for future generations; to exchange contact information for both business and social settings; and to conduct online speech therapy.

Manufacturing ideas include nanogenerators for sustainable energy generation from human body movement; an eight-directional compass that firefighters can use in low-visibility conditions; and an “active Ottoman” for muscle regeneration and pain relief.

Health-related plans include a line of medical foods that will improve quality of life for patients with a feeding tube; an infrared light that targets tumors and spares healthy tissue; and an injectable drug that regenerates and retains cell properties in cardiac cases.

Entries were submitted in four categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Finalists submitted full business plans for review by a panel of more than 85 judges. 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, prototyping, web design, event space and more. About $2.2 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004.

Lead sponsors of the 2017 contest thus far include @1403; 3Rhino Media; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Co.; AT&T; Hudson Business Lounge; Keane Consulting/Workspace at Bishops Woods; Michael Best; Midwest Prototyping; Pieper Properties; Quarles & Brady; Racine Metal-Fab; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE Wisconsin; University Research Park; Ward 4; Whitewater University Technology Park; Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Associate sponsors include 100state; Aberdean Consulting; Applied Management; Cresa Madison; Kinetic Compliance Solutions; Makin’ HEY!; Murphy Desmond; Smith & Gesteland and Wisconsin Public Radio. Additional sponsors are; AlphaCore Solutions;EZ Office Products; iCandy Graphics & Web Design; Idea Fund of La Crosse; Irontek; Kollath CPA; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic; Neider & Boucher; PowerBuy 4 You; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; and the Wisconsin Technical College System. To become a sponsor, contact Tammy Ehrmann at 608-442-7557.

The 2017 “Diligent Dozen” are listed below. 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
Cardigan Matt Younkle Madison
Cellular Logistics Adam Bock Sun Prairie
Compost Crusader Melissa Tashjian Milwaukee
DotCom Therapy Correll Lashbrook Madison
EWPanel Chunhua Yao Madison
Health Connection Jordan Mather Appleton
i65 Melinda Caughill Mequon
Nano Red Johnathan Ebben Milwaukee
Northern Star Fire Jeff Dykes Eau Claire
Pixologie Mollie Bartelt Milwaukee
Synesis Kenneth Iwinski Wisconsin Rapids
ThirdSpace Scott Kohl Madison
VibeTech Jeffrey Leismer Sheboygan