Fifty entries from 24 communities have advanced to the semi-final round of the 16th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, contest producers announced.
The contestants were selected from a field of about 200 qualified first-round entries by an independent panel of 95 judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, the Tech Council Innovation Network and the Tech Council Investor Networks.
The semi-finalists reflect the diversity of Wisconsin’s economy and are spread among four broad categories: advanced manufacturing (15), business services (10), information technology (13) and life sciences (12).
Those 50 plans also represent the geographic diversity of Wisconsin, with 32 of 50 plans originating outside Dane County – a semifinal round record. Fifteen of 50 entrants are women.
Plans cover a mix of market sectors. Two plans are tied to Wisconsin’s emerging industrial hemp industry. Energy storage and batteries are also a recurring theme. Virtual reality robotics, on-site hydrogen production and a solar food dehydrator are other examples in the advanced manufacturing category.
Among entries that advanced are software, information or business-to-business systems related to child care, educational toys, construction safety, elder care, recreation, personnel management and using artificial intelligence.
Also moving on to the next round were plans tied to medical breakthroughs, such as mitigating strokes, improving medical needle disposal, better measuring dosages of radioactive therapies, a new system for organizing hospital and surgical room tubes and more.
“Trends reflected in the top 50 entries match up well with Wisconsin’s traditional and emerging strengths,” said Greg Lynch, chairman of the Tech Council. “Good ideas come from all high-growth sectors of the economy.”
The 50 entries competing in Phase 2 of the contest will write 1,000-word executive summaries. Each summary describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, lists members of the management team and provides key financial data.
Once Phase 2 judging is complete in early April, the 50 entries may be made available for inspection by accredited investors through the Tech Council Investor Networks, which has about two-dozen angel networks, early stage funds or corporate strategic partners. About two-dozen plans will move on to Phase 3, in which contestants will write a full 15- to 20-page business plan.
The top dozen contestants will give live presentations at the annual 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.
Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, marketing, web development, prototyping and more. About $2 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest. 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; Hudson Business Lounge & Café; Iron Forge Development; Midwest Prototyping; Pieper Properties; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE; University Research Park; Ward4; Whitewater University Technology Park; Associate sponsors include 100state; Aberdean Consulting; Applied Management; Cresa Madison; Murphy Desmond; Spencer X Smith 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.
Here are the 2019 semi-finalists. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557.
|Cerberus Tactical Robots LLC||Richard||Bowman||Racine|
|Skip and Co. Maritime||Robert||Carsey||Fond du Lac|
|Impact Sports, LLC||Joshua||Cleveland||River Falls|
|Drift & Row||Brenna||Davis||Wauwatosa|
|Fervid Life||Renee||DeGrand||Green Bay|
|SpayVac for Wildlife||Thoms||D’Orazio||Fitchburg|
|Next Generation Precision Calibrator||George||Hartman||Monticello|
|Trinity Gunshot Alarm System, LLC||Stacy||Jax||Baraboo|
|Energy Tech Innovations, LLC||Bryan||Johnson||Milwaukee|
|Vivid Microscopy LLC||Jayson||Kurfis||Hartland|
|AGent+ Cleaners & Protectants||Jeffrey||Lord||New Berlin|
|ReNeuroGen LLC||Stephen||Naylor||Elm Grove|
|Universal Real Time Power Conversion LLC||Debiprasad||Panda||New Berlin|
|Medical Tubing Organizer (MTO)||Lindsey||Roddy||Wauwatosa|
|Simply Solutions 2||Mark||Schweiger||Janesville|
|The Virtual Foundry||Tricia||Suess||Stoughton|
|PumpFive Fuel Delivery Service||Talethea||Thompson||Milwaukee|
|Estrigenix Therapeutics, Inc.||Callie||Troutfetter||Milwaukee|
|All Brick Medical||Joseph||Ulbrich||Madison|
|GrowthChart Records Inc.||Patricia||Wooldridge||Madison|
|OncoGone, Inc.||Xiaoban||Xin||Rockville, Md./UW-Madison|