From software to medical devices to hunting, Biz Plan Contest finalists show state’s tech range
MADISON – Twenty-four entries representing sectors as broad as software, agriculture, water technology, medical devices and innovations in manufacturing are competing in the finalist round of the 12th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
The contestants have survived two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs. A lead sponsor is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
“This is an exciting range of finalists that are emblematic of Wisconsin’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Toni Sikes, Tech Council chairwoman. “Few contests can blend together industries as varied as life sciences, gaming and hunting.”
One top entry from UW-Madison’s G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Contest will join these 24 plans in the Phase 3 judging round in early May.
Software and business service plans include systems and applications for personal finance; photo organization and management; step-by-step Medicare guidance; continuing medical education courses; reducing readmission rates and improving health outcomes; conference and event management; assisting collegiate athletes in finding post-graduation employment; and flight training management for small business flight schools and facilities.
Entries focused on sports and recreation innovations include a unique hunting platform stand; a service connecting hunters and landowners to facilitate hunting land lease transactions; and a digital adaptation of an award-winning card game.
Manufacturing ideas include technology for recovering phosphorus from wastewater; self-lubricating aluminum composite components; a wireless electrical weapon; digital tools for shop-floor management; industrial reactors that employ cold-plasma technology for water and wastewater treatment; 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 point-of-care test for early detection of heart attack; a naturally occurring biopesticide platform; therapeutic and diagnostic solutions for gastrointestinal disorders; a medical imaging and lighting system enabling fluorescence image-guided surgery of cancerous lesions and other diseased tissues; a diagnostics assay that allows for rapid analysis of multiple myeloma patients’ own tumor cells response to different chemotherapy regimens; and a device that monitors fertility and pregnancy based on salivary hormones.
The contest began in late January with 238 entries. To be eligible for the contest, participants cannot have raised more than $25,000 in private equity by the start of the contest.
Finalists will submit 15- to 20-page business plans for review by a panel of more than 85 judges. 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. Finalists are also encouraged to provide feedback from a potential or current customer.
The “Diligent Dozen,” or top 12 business plans announced in late May, will present in front of a panel of judges and conference attendees at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 2 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Category winners, as well as the 2015 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced during the BPC Awards Luncheon on June 3. More information on the conference will be available in the coming weeks.
Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, 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; AT&T; Exact Sciences; Kollath & Associates; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Michael Best & Friedrich; Mortenson Construction; Nordic; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE Wisconsin; 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.
Finalists are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Tech Council by calling 608-442-7557.
|Submission Name||First Name||Last Name||City|
|bluDiagnostics Fertility Finder||Katie||Brenner||Madison|
|The RiverHouse Group||Stacey||Dickert||Milwaukee|
|Sky Ship Studios||Eric||Francksen||Stoughton|
|AltusMedical Group Inc||Daniel||Guerra Jr.||Madison|
|Athlos 360||George||Koonce||Fond du Lac|
|E – Flight Training Records LLC||Amy||Labus-Olson||Holmen|
|Élevé Technical Innerwear||Amy||Miller||Verona|
|Lynx Biosciences LLC||Chorom||Pak||Madison|
|LS Optimal Inc.||Leyuan||Shi||Madison|
|Harvey Allen Outdoors Inc.||Charlie||Slater||Grantsburg|
|Forsythe & Storms Technologies LLC||Christopher||Storms||Oak Creek|
|Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling LLC||Menachem||Tabanpour||Madison|