MILWAUKEE – Eso- Technologies, a start-up company that has developed a monitoring device to reduce the risk of heart attacks for people undergoing surgery, is the Grand Prize winner in the 2009 Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The company has won $50,000 in cash and services. Click here to read a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story on the contest results.

The company is led by a team of medical and device design experts who have worked in settings ranging from GE Healthcare to medical start-ups.

Eso-Technologies’ goal is to launch a new esophageal cardiac monitoring device for surgical and critical care application within three years. The company aims to replace an existing product, which is an invasive pulmonary artery catheter.

Heart attacks are the number one cause of death in surgery. According to Bonnie Reinke, Eso-Technologies CEO and president, current devices lead to an estimated 45,000 operating room complications each year.

Eso-Technologies won the Life Sciences category in this year’s contest, which had 326 entries this year. Other category winners were:

Advanced Manufacturing: NxtMile Custom Running Shoes, Michael Miller: This Madison-area company’s shoes are engineered and custom assembled to address the specific biomechanical and orthopedic needs of over-40 and experienced runners, helping them prevent injury. NxtMile utilizes proprietary pressure-mapping technology. Second place in this category went to CJ Schmidt, FiberMX a green, low-cost blend of recycled cellulose and synthetic fiber used to dramatically reduce cracks in concrete; third place went to Mike Casper, FLEx a company that’s developed a method of capturing and diffusing LED light.

Business Services: Green 3 Organic Apparel, Jim Martin: This Oshkosh company designs, sources, markets and distributes environmentally friendly apparel and soft home products through a nationwide network of specialty stores, as well as global catalog retailers such as Sundance, the Discovery Channel and others. Second in this category went to Scott Daigger, Sandbox International, LLC a firm that has developed a proprietary web application to help market researchers identify creative individuals to participate in consumer co-creation initiatives; third place went to Rishi Shah, a store website with credit card procession, an administrative interface for managing products and orders as well as marking tours and business training. 

Information Technology: Scopia, Ophir Ben-Yitschak: This Bayside-based online utility is a global travel networking, developing innovative online software solutions in two main areas: intermodal itineraries, which integrate air, ground and sea transportation modes into a single trip, and multi-fare level pricing from multiple sources and programs. Second place in this category went to Brian Cole, Innovative Sports Strategies for a budgeting, accounting, accounting, reporting and benchmarking tool in the college athletic financial management market; third went to Dan White, PLEX Labs a game development studio creating next generation learning games.

Life Sciences: Second place in this category when to Behnam Ghasemzadeh, AviMed Pharamaceuticals for a first-in-class schizophrenia drug and optimized technology for developing central nervous system drugs; third went to Kyle Montgomery, AquaMost an advanced water treatment technology that efficiently and economically destroys water-borne pathogens and pollutants.

Winners of the contest were announced at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee. They will share more than $200,000 in cash and in-kind prizes from 33 sponsors. Please see a full list of sponsors below.

Contestants submitted a 20-page business plan for review by a panel of 71 judges established by the Tech Council, which is the independent, non-profit and non-partisan science and technology advisor to the governor and the Legislature. Each plan described the core product or service, defined the customer base, estimated the size of the market, identified competition, listed members of the management team and provided key financial data.

The finalists’ executive summaries as well as those filed by semi-finalists are available for review by accredited investors through the Wisconsin Angel Network.

Sponsors for the 2009 BPC are: Aberdean Consulting LLC; American Transmission Co.;

Associated Bank; The Boldt Company; CG Schmidt Co.; Earth Information Technologies; Fitchburg Technology Campus; Foley & Lardner LLP; The Gialamas Company; Johnson Block CPAs; Journal Interactive; Kollath & Associates, CPAs; Loughrin Accounting & Tax Service; Madison Gas & Electric Co.; McAllen TECH Campus; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Midwest Airlines; Murphy Desmond; Quarles & Brady LLP; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C.; Ruedebusch Development & Construction; Smith & Gesteland LLP; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; SuperGroup Outdoor Corp.; TDS Telecom; University Research Park; Wisconsin Department of Commerce;; Wisconsin Angel Network; Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, S.C.; Wisconsin Technology Council; Wisconsin Technology Network; Xcel Energy


All finalists in the BPC include:

Ophir Ben- Yitschak, Scopia

Thomas Carmona,

Mike Casper, FLEx

Brian Cole, Innovative Sports Strategies

Scott Daigger, Sandbox International LLC

Peter Dietrich, Scaleable Anaerobic Digester

Behnam Ghasemzadeh, AviMed Pharmaceuticals

Charles Gibson, Direct- White phosphor for LEDs

Greg Gulick, Metric

Brian Hans, Earth Mimic

Patrick James, DEMET: Resources from Wastes

Jim Jendusa, Light- weight Structures

Michael Kohnen, LitroEnergy

Sarah Manski,

Jim Martin, Green 3 Organic Apparel

Mike Miller, NxtMile Custom Running Shoes

Kyle Montgomery, AquaMost

Dan Norton, PLEX Labs

Thomas Primiano, Shiloh Laboratories

Bonnie Reinke, Eso- Technologies Inc.

CJ Schmidt, Concrete Crack Reducer

Rishi Shah, Flying Carts LLC

Dan Voell, Mendotasoft

Leanne Wick, Fire Blaster