Experienced mentors from across Wisconsin will be available to offer advice to contestants during the 13th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Initial entries of 250 words are due by 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. There is no cost to enter. Visit www.govsbizplancontest.com for more information and to get started.

At any point during the competition, contestants may submit their questions to veteran business mentors who have volunteered their time and expertise to assist entrepreneurs who enter by Jan. 31. Mentors will respond directly to contestants to offer one-on-one consultation.

This year’s group of volunteers includes representatives from SCORE Wisconsin and the Center for Technology Commercialization, which has federal, state and university ties.

SCORE offers free business consulting, business mentoring and business resources, plus low-cost business trainings. The CTC provides support and resources as companies bring their innovations to market, particularly with applications for grants from the federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

As another resource, SCORE will offer access to a number of fee-based training classes around the state to all 2016 contestants at no charge.

In addition to access to mentors, contestants will receive feedback from more than 85 judges as the contest progresses.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 3,100 entries have been received and about $2 million in cash and in-kind services have been awarded. Contest categories are advanced manufacturing, business services, information technology and life sciences. Past finalists have launched companies that have raised $200 million in angel, venture, grants and venture debt over time – all while creating jobs and economic value for Wisconsin.

Produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council, the contest’s major sponsor is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Additional sponsors to date include Aberdean; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Co.; AT&T; Madison Gas & Electric; PowerBuy 4 You; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE Wisconsin; Smith & Gesteland; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. To enter, become a judge or a sponsor, visit www.govsbizplancontest.com.