‘Diligent Dozen’ selected to present live June 2 at Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference

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 13th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison.

The 13 contestants (the total includes one tie) have emerged from 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 about 240 entries; more than 3,100 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 2, during the conference. Winners will be announced June 3 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 for personal finance; step-by-step Medicare guidance; medical and healthcare licensing and certification; and conference and event management. Manufacturing ideas include technology for recovering phosphorus from wastewater; self-lubricating aluminum composite components; a wireless electrical weapon; and technically designed underwear for under yoga pants and leggings. Health-related plans include a clinical therapeutic device to help stroke patients retrain the fundamentals of balance required for walking; a medical imaging and lighting system enabling fluorescence image-guided surgery of cancerous lesions and other diseased tissues; and a device that monitors fertility and pregnancy based on salivary hormones.

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.

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, marketing and more. About $2 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004.

Sponsors of the 2015 contest thus far include: 100state; Aberdean Consulting; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Co.; Ascendancy Advisors; AT&T; Cresa Madison; Exact Sciences; Honkamp Krueger & Co.; Kollath & Associates; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Michael Best & Friedrich; Midwest Prototyping; Mortenson Construction; Nordic; Pieper Properties; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.; SCORE Wisconsin; Smith & Gesteland; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; Tweedee Productions; University Research Park; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; Wisconsin Economic Development Corp; and Wisconsin Technical College System. To become a sponsor, contact Maurice Cheeks at 608-442-7557.

The 2015 “Diligent Dozen” are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557.

 Entry                                                                                 Presenter                                       City

65 Incorporated Melinda Caughill Mequon
AltusCampus Daniel Guerra, Jr. Madison
bluDiagnostics Fertility Finder Katie Brenner Madison
ConfPlus Inc. Vicky Hu Madison
CountAbout Joseph Carpenter Madison
Élevé Technical Innerwear Amy Miller Verona
Forsythe & Storms Technologies Lorne Forsythe Oak Creek
Hunt Butler Derric Francis Rio
Intelligent Composites Chris Jordan Okauchee
KIINCE Kreg Gruben Madison
Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling Menachem Tabanpour Madison
OnLume Adam Uselmann Madison
Pellucid Water Mark Raabe Milwaukee

Produced by the Tech Council, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference is one of the largest events of its kind in the Upper Midwest. Other highlights include:

  • A keynote presentation by Jerry Jendusa, co-founder and former CEO of EMTEQ and now a principal with STUCK LLC
  • The 2015 Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” award recipient Jim Berbee, founder of Berbee Information Networks Corp.
  • Fifteen panel discussions for emerging companies on how to “Launch, Grow and Succeed,” including a plenary session that will explore trends in digital health
  • Innovation Showcase featuring more than 45 companies from around the state
  • Plenty of chances to connect with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments

For more information, visit www.witrepsconference.com or call 608-442-7557.

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