APPLETON – Entrepreneurs and others with ideas for new businesses have until Dec. 1 to enter the first Northeast Wisconsin Regional Business Plan Competition, organizers said Monday.

The contest is being sponsored and coordinated by the Northeast Wisconsin chapter of the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN), the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership (NEWREP), the Fox Valley and Bay Area Workforce Development Boards and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. 

Prizes will be awarded to multiple winners under the following format:  $6,000 for first place; $4,000 for second place; $3,000 for third place and $2,000 each for places fourth through ninth.  Prize money must be used to put the business plan into action within one year of its receipt.

Entries will be accepted through Dec. 1, 2005 and winners will be announced by Jan. 10, 2006.  Entries should be sent to: Business Plan Competition, Business Assistance Center, 835 Potts Avenue, Green Bay, WI  54304. 

Instructions, resource information and suggested business plan content will be available through the Wisconsin Technology Council ( web site or the web site for the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership (

Business plans are a critical tool in the proper planning and launch of new ventures and are the preferred mode of communication between entrepreneurs, innovators and potential investors.  The goal of the Northeast Wisconsin Business Plan Competition is to encourage the preparation of business plans for starting businesses, making significant changes to existing businesses or launching new products in northeast Wisconsin. 

Individuals and companies with businesses currently located in northeast Wisconsin – or which plan to be located in the 18-county region — are eligible to enter. Members of the organizing committee and staff in the region’s economic development offices will be responsible for answering questions and providing a list of resources who are experienced in the preparation of business plans.

For more resources on how to write a business plan, go to and click on the BPC Help Center.

The Northeast Wisconsin Regional Business Plan Contest shares many of the goals of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which is conducted by the Wisconsin Technology Council and WIN chapters across Wisconsin. Like the statewide contest, the Northeast Wisconsin contest is designed to spur new business creation by encouraging start-up companies to submit their business plans, which are judged by professionals with experience in business and/or investing. All contestants receive mentoring and valuable exposure for their ideas, as well as the chance to win prizes.

In the first two years of its existence, the Governor’s Business Plan Contest received more than 530 entries and awarded about $300,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

“Wisconsin needs to step up the creation of new companies, and the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Business Plan Competition is an excellent vehicle for jumpstarting those firms,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. The Northeast WIN chapter is a membership subsidiary of the Tech Council, which is the independent, non-profit science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature.

Still praised the committee that organized the Northeast Wisconsin contest, a group headed by Roger Orlady, president of the WIN-Northeast chapter, and Rob Kleman, president of the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership.

“Regional business plan contests such as this tap into talent close to home and engage entrepreneurs in an exercise that sharpens their business plans and enhances their chances of being successful,” Still said. “The organizers deserve credit for seizing on this opportunity to help grow companies close to home.”

Winners in the Northeast Wisconsin contest may advance to the second stage of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest, assuming their plans fall into appropriate business sector categories set by the statewide contest. The statewide contest will begin accepting first-round entries in early December.