Top 10 reasons to enter the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest


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

2.      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.

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

4.      You can win valuable prizes. The contest will feature cash and in-kind prizes such as a year’s worth of space in premier technology parks and top-notch commercial offices. Other prizes include legal and accounting assistance, public relations help, information technology consulting and more stuff start-up companies need.

5.      You’ll get some free advice. Judges in the contest are experienced in their respective fields and often provide feedback to contestants. Also, the 50 semi-finalists will be invited to a free “boot camp” to be held March 1 in Milwaukee.

6.      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.

7.      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.

8.      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.

9.      You might get a chance to talk about your idea live at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. The top 12 finalists present in the contest’s annual “Diligent Dozen” showcase, held as a part of the conference in Milwaukee.

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. 31st!