The entry
deadline for the 12th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is
5 p.m. Jan. 31. Don’t miss an opportunity to share in more than $100,000 in
cash and in-kind prizes. Get started at!

Here are 10 reasons
you should enter your business idea:

It’s free.
Other than the cost of your time, there is no cost to enter the contest.

You don’t have
to be Tolstoy.
The initial entry is only 250 words, spread among four
criteria – product or service description, customer definition, market
description and competition. That’s about 62 words per category.

You don’t even need a stamp. The contest is online at

You can win valuable prizes. The contest will feature cash and in-kind prizes such as
office space in premier technology parks and top-notch commercial offices. Other prizes include a variety of services, such as
legal assistance, accounting, video production, marketing and more. For many
contestants, these services will provide an important jumpstart in getting
their businesses rolling.

You’ll get some
free advice.
Judges in the contest are experienced in their respective
fields and often provide feedback to contestants. Volunteer mentors from SCORE
and the Center for Technology Commercialization are available to answer
questions throughout the contest. The 50 entries that advance to Phase 2 will
be invited to a free “boot camp” to be held March 4 in Waukesha.

You’ll meet
other entrepreneurs like yourself.
As much as it may sometimes seem like
you’re alone, you’re not. There are other entrepreneurs like you – and they
often have similar experiences to share. You will meet them at events, such as
the boot camp and more.

There’s a strong
alumni club.
The Wisconsin Technology Council recently surveyed the 136
finalists from the first eight years of the contest and learned 77 percent are
still in business and 58 percent have raised financing for their companies.

 You might meet an investor. Angel and
venture capitalists are among the contest judges, and they’re often keeping an
eye out for up-and-coming companies in the contest.

You might get a
chance to talk about your idea live at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

The top 12 finalists will present in the contest’s annual “Diligent Dozen”
showcase, held as a part of the conference on June 2-3 in Madison.

10.  What better way to move your good idea off
the desk and closer to reality?
There’s no better motivation than a
deadline, so enter by 5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2015!