Twenty-seven entries representing sectors as broad as software, agriculture, water technology, medical devices and innovations in manufacturing are competing in the finalist round of the 13th 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. 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. “Few contests can blend together industries as varied as life sciences, composting and music.”
Software and business service plans include systems and applications to authenticate and standardize bioactive compounds in foods and supplements; analyze water utilities’ real-time information; tune homes to operate at ideal temperatures; connect farmers and veterinarians; collect actionable data about a farm’s feeding system; and remove compostable products.
Entries focused on social or educational innovations include platforms to support animal rescues, shelters and the volunteers; track weightlifting performance data; assist non-profit hospitals get children in their community more active; optimize writing processes to improve productivity and maintain brand integrity; broker live musical performances and instruction; vote and communicate with local government; and fundraise for K-12 schools.
Manufacturing ideas include technologies for onsite treatment of industrial wastewater; continuous measurement of aggregation of particles or droplets in a liquid or gas; intelligent water softener control to replace flow-based systems; non-invasive, breath technology which enables immediate bio-feedback for weight management and sports training; a disposable nozzle for two-part adhesives; a three-dimensional metal printer to enable high resolution manufacturing within a large build volume; an inflatable life jacket; and a smart lock box to secure medications in the home.
Health-related plans include antibody-based cancer detection products utilizing tumor blood vessel growth biomarkers; a robotic-computed tomography device for equine veterinarians; a biopesticide platform; anti-CRR9 antibodies to inhibit lung and pancreatic tumor growth and sensitize tumors to chemotherapy; a new process for collection, identification, tracking, preservation, and processing of biological samples; and an ex-vivo microfluidic assay able to rapidly analyze the therapeutic response tumor cells.
The contest began in late January with 206 entries. To be eligible for the contest, participants cannot have raised more than $25,000 from professional angel and venture capital investors by the start of the contest.
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 7 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Category winners, as well as the 2016 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced during the BPC Awards Luncheon on June 8. 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 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004.
Lead sponsors of the 2016 contest thus far include 3Rhino Media; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Co.; Ascendancy Advisors; AT&T; Madworks Co-working; Pieper Properties; Quarles & Brady; Racine Metal-Fab; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE Wisconsin; University Research Park; Vertz Marketing; Ward4; Whitewater University Technology Park; and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Associate sponsors include 100state; Cresa Madison; Kollath CPA; Makin’ HEY Communications; Midwest Prototyping; Murphy Desmond; Neider & Boucher; and Smith & Gesteland. Additional sponsors are Aberdean Consulting; BizStarts; Bublrbikes; Evolution; EZ Office Supplies; Fine Point Consulting; Madison BCycle; Madison Gas & Electric; PowerBuy 4 You; Red Arrow Production; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; and the Wisconsin Technical College System. To become a sponsor, contact Cassidy Wartenweiler at 608-442-7557.
Finalists are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Tech Council by calling 608-442-7557.
|Responsive Writing Solutions||Dave||Clark||Shorewood|
|Angio360 Diagnostics LLC||Stephanie||Cossette||Wauwatosa|
|Essential Biotechnology LLC||Michael||James||Big Bend|
|The FarmVet Program||Abigail||Jensen||Delavan|
|Candid Brilliance Music||Jocelyn||Kopac||Elkhorn|
|Complete Phytochemical Solutions LLC||Christian||Krueger||Cambridge|
|Fast Forward Forensics LLC||Randy||Nagy||Madison|
|Remex Static Mixer||Eric||Ronning||Madison|
|Compost Crusader LLC||Melissa||Tashjian||Milwaukee|