MADISON – Entrepreneurs from 87 communities across Wisconsin
submitted 292 entries in the 11th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan
Contest, contest organizers announced Thursday.

Those entries included 98 in the contest’s business services
category, 87 in information technology, 57 in advanced manufacturing and 50 in
life sciences. The entries represent 283 individuals and include entries from 13 communities that had not
previously participated in the contest.

Judging in the first round of the contest begins this week. More
than 85 judges have volunteered to participate this year, a record number that
includes judges with collective experience in launching companies, vetting
technologies, investing in startups and providing services to emerging
companies. About 50 plans will move to the contest’s second round in late

entrepreneurs have once again demonstrated they have strong ideas and a
willingness to undertake the hard work of transforming those ideas into
businesses,” said Toni Sikes, chairwoman of the Wisconsin Technology Council.
The Tech Council produces the annual contest.

Since its
inception in 2004, more than 2,900 entries have been received from nearly 2,500
individuals in 293 different Wisconsin communities. About $1.7 million in cash
and in-kind prizes have been awarded through 2013.

As with past
years, the contest will be conducted in phases culminating with live
presentations at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison, June 3-4.
A “boot camp” for contest semi-finalists will be held in Waukesha in early

“The response
to this year’s contest demonstrates that entrepreneurs with good ideas can be
found in all corners of Wisconsin,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal
assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing and more. A
major sponsor is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The UW-Extension’s Center for Technology
Commercialization and the Service Corps of Retired Professionals, or SCORE,
will assist with mentoring throughout the contest.

Additional 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; Mortenson Construction;
Murphy Desmond; Pieper Properties; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; Revelation PR,
Advertising & Social Media; Smith & Gesteland; Tweedee Productions; University
Research Park; and UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations.

To become a sponsor or to learn more about the contest,
visit or contact Joy Sawatzki at