Twenty-one entries from 14 communities are competing in the finalist round of the sixth annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, contest producers announced Friday.
The contestants have survived two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the contest in conjunction with the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the Wisconsin Angel Network and other statewide affiliates. The contest began in late January with a record 326 entries from about 100 communities.
“The business plans in the final round reflect some of Wisconsin’s core technology strengths, as well as the fact that entrepreneurs can be found in all corners of the state,” said Mark Bugher, chairman of the Tech Council. “It’s worth noting that a number of contestants have taken part in related programs that honed their business plans and presentation skills.”
The 21 plans selected for the final round will be joined later this month by award-winning plans from two university-based contests, bringing the total number of finalists to about two dozen.
Ideas from this year’s crop of finalists include products or services in energy generation, “green” materials and products, software for travel, sports and human resources, drug research and development, and water treatment technology. Other novel ideas include a running shoe for over-40 athletes and light-emitting diode (LED) technology for television screens.
Contestants will submit a 20-page business plan for review by a panel of 71 judges established by the Tech Council, which is the non-profit and non-partisan science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature. Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, list members of the management team and provides key financial data.
The finalists’ executive summaries as well as those filed by semi-finalists are available for inspection by accredited investors through the Wisconsin Angel Network, which has 25 member angel networks, private equity funds or corporate strategic partners.
About $150,000 in cash and in-kind prizes have been pledged thus far for the 2009 contest; first prize in the statewide contest is worth $50,000 in cash and services. Prize winners will be announced June 9-10 at the seventh annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee.
Cities with finalists in the contest are: Appleton, Bayside, Chicago, Ill, Clayton, De Pere, Fitchburg, Green Bay, Hartland, Madison, Middleton, Milwaukee, Monona, Oshkosh and Whitefish Bay. Entries were submitted in four categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.
Sponsors of the 2009 contest so far: Aberdean Consulting LLC; American Transmission Co.; Associated Bank; The Boldt Company; CG Schmidt Co.; EarthIT; Fitchburg Technology Campus; Foley & Lardner LLP; The Gialamas Company; Johnson Block CPAs; Journal Interactive, the digital media division of Journal Communications, Inc.; Kollath & Associates, CPA LLC; Loughrin Accounting & Tax Service; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Madison Gas & Electric Co.; McAllen TEC Campus; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Midwest Airlines; Murphy Desmond, S.C.; Quarles & Brady LLP; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.; Ruedebusch Development & Construction; Smith & Gesteland LLP; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; SuperGroup Outdoor Corporation; TDS Telecom; University Research Park; Wisconsin Department of Commerce; WisBusiness.com; Wisconsin Angel Network; Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.; and the Wisconsin Technology Council.
Finalists for 2009 are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557 ext. 27.
Ophir Ben-Yitschak Scopia Bayside
Mike Casper FLEx Chicago, Ill.
Brian Cole Innovative Sports Strategies Milwaukee
Scott Daigger Sandbox International, LLC Madison
Peter Dietrich Scaleable Anaerobic Digester Madison
Charles Gibson Direct-White Phosphor for LEDs Oshkosh
Greg Gulick Medtric Whitefish Bay
Brian Hans Earth Mimic Appleton
Patrick James DEMET: Resources from Wastes Madison
Jim Jendusa Lightweight Structures Hartland
Michael Kohnen LitroEnergy Clayton
Sarah Manski PosiPair.com Madison
Jim Martin Green 3 Organic Apparel Oshkosh
Michael Miller NxtMile Custom Running Shoes Madison
Kyle Montgomery AquaMost Fitchburg
Dan Norton PLEX Labs Madison
Thomas Primiano Shiloh Laboratories Monona
Bonnie Reinke Eso-Technologies, Inc Middleton
CJ Schmidt Concrete Crack Reducer De Pere
Rishi Shah Flying Cart LLC Madison
Leanne Wick The Fire Blaster Green Bay