MADISON – Sixty-five contestants from 34 communities across Wisconsin are competing in Phase 2 of the first Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, contest producers announced Tuesday.

The contestants were selected late last month from a field of 330 entries by a panel of judges selected by the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is producing the contest in conjunction with its membership subsidiary, the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) Foundation, and other statewide affiliates.

“Our judges were impressed by the quality of the brief business plan ideas submitted by entrepreneurs from across Wisconsin – so much so that it was difficult to reduce the number of plans selected for the next phase of competition,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council and WIN. “The quality of the competition so far supports our belief that Wisconsin has the ideas and the entrepreneurs necessary to succeed in the 21st century economy. This contest will help some of the ideas grow into companies.”

The 65 contestants competing in Phase 2 of the contest are writing summary business plans of no more than 1,250 words. The eight elements of that plan include an executive summary, product and service, customer definition, market size, sales and marketing strategy, management team, financial highlights, capital requested and planned use of funds. To see a composite example of a summary business plan, go to and look in the “Help Center.”

Summary plans must be submitted to the Tech Council by 5 p.m. March 15; Phase 2 judging will take place throughout until April 1. The top 20 plans will move on to Phase 3, in which contestants will write a full business plan. Prize winners will be announced June 2 at the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held at the Milwaukee Hyatt Regency.

Entries were submitted in four categories: Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology and e-Commerce, and Business Services. Judges used a numerical scoring system to rank each plan within each category.

Phase 2 semi-finalists, their community and the name of their plan are listed on the website,

Sponsors of the first Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest include the state Department of Commerce, American Transmission Co., Mason Wells Private Equity, J.P. Cullen and Sons, and the Wisconsin Technology Council.