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;; 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                                      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