Finalists representing diverse tech-based sectors in Wisconsin’s startup economy will present live to judges in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest during the 12th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison.
The 13 contestants (the total includes one tie) have survived three rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the contest in conjunction with its partners and sponsors. The contest began in late January with nearly 300 entries; more than 2,900 entries have been received since the contest began in 2004.
This year’s finalists will deliver seven-minute pitches on their business ideas beginning
3:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, during the conference. Winners will be announced June 4 during a closing luncheon – and all 25 finalists will be eligible for prizes. To register for the conference at Madison’s Alliant Energy Center, visit www.WiTrepsConference.com.
Ideas from this year’s crop of finalists include software and business service plans tied to real estate searches, interactive fitness technology, golf tournament scoring and management, using social media for focus groups, software to help pathologists diagnose certain liver diseases, and Medicare decision-making software. Manufacturing ideas cover innovations in lightweight composite castings, water purification, colorized 3-D printing and “crowd-sourced” craft beer. Health-related plans include a test for monitoring transplant rejection, 3-D analysis for people who must recover from falls, and a wireless marker system for breast cancer removal.
Entries were submitted in four categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.
Finalists submitted full business plans for review by a panel of more than 80 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, describes the management team and provides key financial data.
The executive summaries of the Top 25 contestants are available for inspection by accredited investors through the Wisconsin Angel Network, which has more than 25 member angel networks, private equity funds or corporate strategic partners.
More than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes have been pledged thus far for the 2014 contest. Sponsors of the 2014 contest thus far include: 100state; 5Nines; Aberdean Consulting; Ascendancy Advisors; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Co.; AT&T; BDO; Cleantech Open; Cresa Madison; Exact Sciences; Kollath & Associates; Madison Gas & Electric; Makin’ HEY Communications; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Michael Best & Friedrich; Midwest Prototyping; Mortenson Construction; Murphy Desmond; Nelson Schmidt; Pieper Properties; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media; Smith & Gesteland; Sports AdvantEDGE; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; Tweedee Productions; University Research Park; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. To become a sponsor, call Joy Sawatzki at 608-442-7557.
The 2014 “Diligent Dozen” are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557.
Melinda Caughill, 65 Inc. Mequon
Marianna DeMyer, Roving Blue Lena
Don Fleming, Organic Research Corp. Oak Creek
Heather Johnston, Find My Spot Milwaukee
Laura G. King, Elucent Medical Madison
Cedric Kovacs-Johnson, Spectrom Madison
Michael E. Mitchell, TAI Diagnostics Elm Grove
Judy Reinhold, Kaliber Imaging Inc. Elgin, Ill.
Will Robus, Little Green Pencil Madison
Pradeep Rohatgi, Intelligent Composites Milwaukee
Henry Schwartz, MobCraft Beer LLC Madison
Bill Sotis, WebRacing LLC Madison
Monika Wingate, Digsite McFarland
Other conference highlights include:
- Nationally known speakers, such as Jack Lynch of Renaissance Learning and Dave Lambert of Internet2
- The annual Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” award, which will go to Craig and Lea Culver of Culver’s Franchising System
- Panel discussions for emerging companies on how to “Launch, Grow and Succeed”
- Innovation Showcase featuring more than 50 companies from around the state
- Plenty of chances to connect with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments
Register or learn more by visiting www.WiTrepsConference.com