MADISON – Twenty-four entries
representing sectors as broad as software, agriculture,
water technology, medical devices and innovations in manufacturing are
competing in the finalist round of the 11th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan
The contestants have survived two rounds of judging in the
contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council
and its programs. A lead sponsor is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
“This is an exciting range of
finalists that are emblematic of Wisconsin’s vibrant entrepreneurial
ecosystem,” said Toni Sikes, Tech Council chairwoman. “Not many other
contests can blend together industries as varied as life sciences, augmented
reality and crowdsourced beer.”
One top entry from UW-Madison’s G.
Steven Burrill Business Plan Contest will join these 24 plans in the Phase 3
judging round in early May.
Software and business service
plans include systems and applications for real estate, augmented reality,
monitoring ROI, step-by-step Medicare guidance, focus groups through social
media, a lactose-free milk concentrate and an IP software for lawyers.
Entries focused on sports and
recreation innovations include a web-to-print game publishing company, a 3-D
immersive fitness environment and a live scoring system for golf outings.
Manufacturing ideas include
technology for recovering phosphorus from wastewater, self-lubricating aluminum
composite components, craft beer manufacturing by crowdsourcing and an advanced
portable water purification system.
Health-related plans include: a
naturally occurring biopesticide platform; a wearable blood collection device;
an animal health vaccine for Johne’s Disease; a portable mobility assessment
system; a non-cellular biomaterial for non-healing wounds and stem cell
delivery; a non-invasive test to monitor the health of donor organs; a
tag-reader system to localize breast cancer for surgical removal; a DNA-based
microbial analysis for water quality; image processing techniques to aid
pathologists in identifying fatty liver disease; and chemical compounds for
treating nervous system disorders.
The contest began in late January with 292 entries. To be eligible for the contest, participants cannot have
raised more than $25,000 in private equity by the start of the contest and are
required to be based in Wisconsin.
Finalists will submit 15- to 20-page business plans for
review by a panel of more than 80 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 3 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Category
winners, as well as the 2014 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced during the
BPC Awards Luncheon on June 4. More info on the conference can be found at www.WiTrepsConference.com.
Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal
assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing and more. About $1.7 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been
awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004.
Sponsors of the 2014 contest thus far include: 100state;
5Nines; Aberdean Consulting; American Family Insurance; American Transmission
Company; AT&T; BDO; Cleantech Open; Cresa Madison; Exact Sciences; Kollath
& Associates; Madison Gas & Electric; Makin’ HEY Communications;
Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Michael Best & Friedrich; Midwest
Prototyping; Mortenson Construction; Murphy Desmond; Nelson Schmidt; Pieper
Properties; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; Revelation PR,
Advertising & Social Media; Smith & Gesteland; State
of Wisconsin Investment Board; Tweedee Productions; University Research Park;
UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; and the Wisconsin Economic Development
To become a sponsor, contact Joy
Sawatzki at 608-442-7557.
For the full list of finalists, click here. Reporters wishing to contact
individual contestants may do so through the Tech Council by calling