MADISON – Fifty-one entries from 31 communities have advanced to the second round of the fifth annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, contest producers announced Tuesday.

The contestants were selected from a field of 250 first-round entries by an independent panel of judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is producing the contest in conjunction with its membership subsidiary, the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the Wisconsin Angel Network and other statewide affiliates.

The entries reflect the diversity of Wisconsin’s economy – as well as the interests of its citizens. Energy-saving devices and processes; systems to conserve or clean water; drug discovery, testing and diagnostic inventions; medical devices and monitors; an electric vehicle for warehouses; a device to improve fuel efficiency in motorcycles; a running shoe for “baby boomers” and online solutions for everything from social networking to teaching kids how to manage money were among the ideas submitted.

Only five 2008 semi-finalists are contestants who advanced beyond the first round in past contests.

“We were struck by the number of new names and ideas, which demonstrates that Wisconsin is building a pipeline of entrepreneurs,” said Mark Bugher, chairman of the Tech Council.  “The quality of the ideas submitted was very strong again this year, supporting our belief that Wisconsin has the ideas, the innovative culture and the entrepreneurs necessary to succeed in the 21st century economy.”

The 51 entries competing in Phase 2 of the contest are writing summary business plans of no more than 1,000 words.  Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, list members of the management team and provides key financial data.

Phase 2 plans will be filed online by 5 p.m. March 13; the next judging period will last about two weeks.  All of the Phase 2 contestants and their teammates have been invited to a Business Plan Contest “boot camp” Wednesday in Waukesha to help them write their Phase 2 plan.

Once Phase 2 judging is complete, the 51 entries may be made available for inspection by accredited investors through Wisconsin Angel Network, which has 25 member angel networks, private equity funds or corporate strategic partners.

The top 20 plans will move on to Phase 3, in which contestants will write a full business plan. About $150,000 in cash and in-kind prizes have been pledged for the 2008 contest thus far. First prize in the statewide contest will be worth at least $50,000 in cash and services.  Prize winners will be announced June 9-10 at the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee.  Finalists from 2004 through 2007 have raised more than $12 million in private equity.

Here is a breakdown of the entries that advanced by category:  Business Services (11), Information Technology (11), Advanced Manufacturing (18) and Life Sciences (11).  That proportion roughly reflects the mix of Phase 1 entries in the contest’s four categories.  Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants or learn more about their Phase 1 plans should contact Liz Katz or Tom Still at 608-442-7557.

Sponsors thus far for the 2008 BPC are: Aberdean Consulting LLC; American Transmission Co.;  API Software; Associated Bank; Axley Brynelson LLP; The Boldt Company; CG Schmidt Co.; Foley & Lardner LLP; J.P. Cullen & Sons; Johnson Block CPAs; Journal Interactive, the digital media division of Journal Communications, Inc.; Loughrin Accounting & Tax Service; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Madison Gas & Electric Co.; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Midwest Airlines; Palo Alto Software, Inc.; Quarles & Brady LLP; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C.; Ruedebusch Development & Construction; Smith & Gesteland LLP; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; University Research Park; Wisconsin Department of Commerce;; Wisconsin Angel Network; Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; and the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Here are the 2008 semi-finalists in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.  Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557 ext. 23.

Kirk Olson            Fulfilit                                                     Appleton
Mark Kutnyak       Graphically Illuminated Helmets                  Big Bend
Bob McDonald      X-Tech                                                 Eagle River
Pete Marsnik             Modified Soybean Hull for Water                  Eau Claire
Daniel Kunkel        ESAN                                                   Eau Claire
Brad Rake                So-Lo Guitar                                           Hubertus
Kathleen Gorski        PerceptiScreen                                         Hubertus
Phillip Bautch        Water Conservation Device                        Hudson
William Schwan        Antibacterial Drug for Treating CF Patients             La Crosse
David Holland       Flexible Solutions                                     Madison
Jingxi Sun            Semiconductor Lighting                                 Madison
Matthew Barbian       Helios America                                         Madison
Scott Daigger             Sandbox International                               Madison
Edmond Ramly         Student Outsourcing                              Madison
Cynthia Cauthern      AniMaps                                                Madison
Jean Muckian             ABA Lifeline Interactive                               Madison
Kavi Turnbull            DriveAlternatives                                      Madison
Chao Xie                 GeoNet: Location-oriented Mobile Social Network Madison
Rajai Atalla              Activation of Cellulose                              Madison
Tyler Leeper              ProactiCare: the CareMetric System                  Madison
Abdalla Saad          Intravenous Delivery of Inhaled Anesthetics            Madison
Jeffrey Williams      Portable Asthma Monitor                          Madison
Tony Hartmann      MicroCrush                                             Marshall
David Zethmayr      Hish-speed data transfer                               Mauston
Joan Pougiales            Work English Online                                    Menominee
Gene Wright        LRP Controls                                            Menomonee Falls
Eric Griswold            Mobile Utility Platform (MUP)                    Milwaukee
Whitney Teska      Orchard Street Press                              Milwaukee
Jacqueli Doeler        NeuroGenomeX, Inc                                      Monona
Barbara Israel             Echometrix                                             Mount Horeb
Marcea Weiss         Digital Casting Company                          Oconomowoc
Roland Bogert        Camshaft Grinder Gearbox Retrofit                  Onalaska
Peter Petit               V-Glass                                                Pewaukee
James Hamilton      Graphene Solutions                                     Platteville
Kimberly Trygar        SUV Service Rack                                      Pleasant Prairie
Kimberly Trygar        Semi-Automatic Pill & Liquid Dispenser            Pleasant Prairie
Kimberly Trygar        Medication Liquefier                                  Pleasant Prairie
Sheila Milbrath      2DX2 Geothermal Systems, Inc                     Racine
Bruce Keyes               WaterSmart                                             Shorewood
Ann Hippensteel      Solar Flair (TM), photovoltaic culture            Sturgeon Bay
Van Krzywicki            Pea Pod Homes LLC                                     Sturgeon Bay
Gregory DePue&#
60;        KidVestment                                            Sussex
Timothy Lohman        AfibAlert                                              Sussex
Daniel van der Weide      Optametra complex signal analys                  Verona
Randal Mueller       Steinbine Systems – New Hydro                    Watertown
James Schroeder      Personalized Orthopaedic Implants                  Waukesha
Michael Miller        NxtMile                                        Waunakee
Eric Parks               NuTek Bio                                              Waupun
Joseph Scott               Closed loop air/fuel tuning system                  Wauwatosa
Pat James               DEMET                                                  West Allis
Pat James              Tesla HTC/MRI                                          West Allis