Twenty-five entries representing sectors as broad as social media, health technologies and innovations in products or services are competing in the finalist round of the 16th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
The contestants have survived two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its sponsors and volunteers.
“These finalists are emblematic of Wisconsin’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Greg Lynch of Michael Best, chairman of the Tech Council. “Few contests can blend together industries as varied as life sciences, advanced manufacturing, consumer products and IT.”
Manufacturing ideas include a do-it-yourself airplane kit; a rapid-charging battery for power tools and electric vehicles; a security system that immediately detects gunshots; a liquid-composite body armor; and innovations in metal 3D printing.
Plans tied to health care or life sciences include a safer way to dispose of hypodermic needles; a voice technology system to assist childcare providers; family care software; a better syringe; more accurate diagnosis for ear issues; a drug for the treatment of hot flashes and dementia in post-menopausal women; a nasal spray drug to treat conditions in premature babies; a device to more accurately dispense nuclear medicine doses; and a contraceptive for overabundant and invasive species.
Software and business service plans include professional maritime training; a cloud-based financial engine to track real-time markets; a digital consumer recycling information platform; a nylon shoe strap that replaces standard shoelaces; safer contact sport equipment; a smart spice rack; a web platform for gardening seeds; and a smart construction helmet.
Entries focused on social or educational innovations include toys that support language development and learning, and a female-only rideshare app for safer and more secure rides.
Eleven of the 25 finalists are women and 13 of 25 hail from outside Dane County.
Finalists will submit 15- to 20-page business plans for review by a panel of more than 100 judges. 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. Finalists are also encouraged to provide feedback from a potential or current customer.
The “Diligent Dozen,” or top 12 business plans announced in late May, will present in front of a panel of judges and conference attendees at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 4 at Venue 42 in Milwaukee. Category winners, as well as the 2019 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced during the BPC Awards Luncheon on June 5. More information on the conference will be available in the coming weeks at www.witrepsconference.com.
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. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is a major sponsor.
Additional lead sponsors of the 2019 contest thus far include: American Family Insurance; AT&T; COLLABORATORcreative; Eppstein Uhen Architects; Gravity Marketing; Hudson Business Lounge & Café; Iron Forge Development; Midwest Prototyping; Pieper Properties; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE; Starting Block; University Research Park; Ward4; Associate sponsors include 100state; Aberdean Consulting; Applied Management; Cresa Madison; Murphy Desmond; Spencer X Smith; Whitewater University Technology Park; and AmpliPhi. Additional sponsors are BloodCenter of Wisconsin;; Irontek; Madison Gas & Electric; Kinetic Compliance Solutions; Marshfield Clinic Health System; Neider & Boucher; OneNeck IT Solutions; Reverbal Communications; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; and Wisconsin Technical College System.
Finalists are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Tech Council by calling 608-442-7557.
|Entry||First Name||Last Name||City|
|All Brick Medical||Joseph||Ulbrich||Madison|
|Drift & Row||Brenna||Davis||Wauwatosa|
|Impact Sports||Joshua||Cleveland||River Falls|
|Simply Solutions 2||Mark||Schweiger||Janesville|
|Skip and Co. Maritime||Robert||Carsey||Fond du Lac|
|SpayVac for Wildlife||Thoms||D’Orazio||Fitchburg|
|The Virtual Foundry||Tricia||Suess||Stoughton|
|Trinity Gunshot Alarm System||Stacy||Jax||Baraboo|