Count ‘em down: Top 10 reasons to enter statewide Biz Plan Contest by Jan. 31

The entry deadline for the 14th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is 5 p.m. Jan. 31. Don’t miss an opportunity to share in more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. Get started at www.govsbizplancontest.com!

Click here to watch Tech Council president Tom Still and 2016 Life Sciences winner Chorom Pak of Lynx Biosciences discuss the Governor’s Business Plan Contest and the benefits of applying on ‘For the Record’ with Neil Heinen.

Here are 10 reasons you should enter your business idea:

  1. It’s free. Other than the cost of your time, there is no cost to enter the contest.
  1. You don’t have to be Tolstoy. The initial entry is only 250 words, spread among four criteria – product or service description, customer definition, market description and competition. That’s about 62 words per category.
  1. You don’t even need a stamp. The contest is online at govsbizplancontest.com.
  1. You can win valuable prizes. The contest will feature at least $100,000 in cash and service prizes such as office space in premier technology parks and top-notch commercial offices. Other prizes include a variety of services, such as legal assistance, accounting, video production, marketing and more. For many contestants, these services will provide an important jumpstart in getting their businesses rolling.
  1. You’ll get some free advice. Judges in the contest are experienced in their respective fields and often provide feedback to contestants. Volunteer mentors from SCORE and the Center for Technology Commercialization are available to answer questions throughout the contest. The 50 entries that advance to Phase 2 will be invited to a free “boot camp” to be held March 1 in Waukesha.
  1. You’ll meet other entrepreneurs like yourself. As much as it may sometimes seem like you’re alone, you’re not. There are other entrepreneurs like you – and they often have similar experiences to share. You will meet them at events, such as our boot camp and more.
  1. There’s a strong alumni club. An estimated three-quarters of contest finalists were still in business at last count, and those same finalists have raised at least $200 million in grants, angel capital and venture capital or debt over time.
  1. You might meet an investor. More than three-dozen angel and venture capitalists are among the contest judges, and they’re often keeping an eye out for up-and-coming companies in the contest.
  1. You might get a chance to talk about your idea live at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. The top 12 finalists will present in the contest’s annual “Diligent Dozen” showcase, held as a part of the conference on June 6-7 at Union South in Madison.
  1. What better way to move your good idea off the desk and closer to reality? There’s no better motivation than a deadline, so enter by 5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2017!

 

 

For the Record: Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest

Tech Council president Tom Still and 2016 Life Sciences category winner Chorom Pak of Lynx Biosciences discuss the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. Click here to watch the full interview on For the Record with Neil Heinen.

 

 

Statewide business plan contest open online to vets, other entrepreneurs through Jan. 31

MADISON – At a time when more veterans are expressing interest in becoming entrepreneurs, the 14th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is accepting entries online for the 2017 competition until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

In 2016, a Madison-area startup formed by a U.S. Air Force veteran placed first in the Information Technology category of the statewide contest. Nick Mastronardi, a former Air Force officer who also worked as a senior economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and for Amazon, launched POLCO as a civic engagement platform.

The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice and mentoring, management talent and possible sources of capital.

Over time, the contest has led to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and spurred economic growth in Wisconsin. Finalists will share in more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit a 250-word (about 2,000 characters) idea abstract online at www.govsbizplancontest.com. That’s where contestants will also find business plan templates and other information, such as the Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit. The toolkit provides business startup information and assistance, networking contacts and technical resources.

Contestants who advance to subsequent contest rounds will expand their plan in stages. More than 70 judges drawn from the finance, sales, marketing, research and technology sectors across Wisconsin will score the entries and provide feedback on submissions.

To get started, contestants must create a free account at www.govsbizplancontest.comAll entries are submitted through the website. Contestants use their account to gain access to mentors throughout the process, as well as review the judges’ comments and feedback.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 3,350 entries have been received and about $2.2 million in cash and services (such as legal, accounting, office space and marketing) have been awarded. Contest categories are Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Wisconsin residents 18 years old and older are eligible, as are teams from Wisconsin-based businesses and organizations. Businesses or teams from outside the state are also eligible to compete if they demonstrate intent to base their business in Wisconsin. Entrepreneurs may also enter multiple ideas, though each idea must be separate and distinct.

Companies or individuals that have raised less than $25,000 in private equity for their plans in a current form are eligible to enter. Generally speaking, private equity refers to angel and venture capital.

 

 

2017 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest Info Session on Jan. 25

Join us at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Brocach Irish Pub in Madison to learn more about the 2017 Business Plan Contest.

Tom Still, Tech Council president, and Jonathan Fritz, Chief Strategy Officer of Symphony Corporation and 13-time contest judge, will offer an overview of the contest and the benefits of participating, as well as answer attendees’ questions.

6 p.m. – Networking
6:30 p.m. – Informational presentation
7 p.m. – Q & A

There is no charge to attend. Appetizers will be provided. Cash bar will be available. Click here to register. For more information on the contest, visit www.govsbizplancontest.com

Thanks to our event sponsor!

Student entries welcome by Jan. 31 for Govs Biz Plan Contest

MADISON – Looking for a self-directed project this semester that can lead to prizes, mentoring and live connections to the business world? The 14th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is accepting entries online for the 2017 competition until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31.

The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin. It links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, high-quality education, management talent and possible sources of capital.

It also leads to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and helps spur economic growth in the state. Finalists will share in more than $100,000 in cash and service prizes. There is no cost to enter.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit a 250-word (or 2,000-character) idea abstract online at www.govsbizplancontest.com. That’s where contestants will also find business plan templates and other information, such as the Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit. The toolkit provides business startup information and assistance, networking contacts and technical resources.

Contestants who advance to subsequent contest rounds will expand their plan in stages. More than 70 judges drawn from the finance, sales, marketing, research and technology sectors across Wisconsin will score the entries and provide feedback on submissions.

To get started, contestants will need to create a simple account at www.govsbizplancontest.com.  All entries are submitted through the website. Contestants use their account to gain access to mentors throughout the process, as well as review the judges’ comments and feedback.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 3,350 entries have been received and about $2.2 million in cash and services (such as legal, accounting, office space and marketing) have been awarded. Contest categories are Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Wisconsin residents 18 years old and older are eligible, as are teams from Wisconsin-based businesses and organizations. Businesses or teams from outside the state are also eligible to compete if they demonstrate intent to base their business in Wisconsin. Entrepreneurs may also enter multiple ideas, though each idea must be separate and distinct.

Companies or individuals that have raised less than $25,000 in private equity for their plans in a current form are eligible to enter. Generally speaking, private equity refers to angel and venture capital.

As with past contests, the 2017 competition will take place in stages:

  • In Phase 1, which is open until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, the contest will accept idea abstracts on the website. Entries should be roughly 250 words (or no more than 2,000 characters, including spaces) and will be graded by the pool of BPC judges. The top 50 idea abstracts will advance to Phase 2.
  • In Phase 2, which runs from Feb. 20 to 5 p.m. March 13, 2017, the top 50 idea abstracts will submit an executive summary. The top 20 executive summaries will advance to Phase 3.
  • In Phase 3, which runs from April 3 to 5 p.m. April 24, 2017, the top 20 executive summaries will prepare full business plans. Judges will review the plans and pick three finalists from each of the four categories to advance to the final presentation round.
  • The top 12, or “Diligent Dozen,” will square off with oral presentations during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 6 at Union South in Madison.

Past finalists have launched companies that have raised more than $200 million in angel, venture, grants and venture debt over time – all while creating jobs and economic value for Wisconsin. The contest’s major sponsors include the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The 2016 grand prize winner was Hyde, a Madison startup company whose device is a life jacket that offers increased functionality while reducing bulk. Category winners in 2016 were Hyde (Advanced Manufacturing), Compete Phytochemical Solutions (Business Services), POLCO (Information Technology), and Lynx Biosciences (Life Sciences).

Produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council, the contest’s major sponsor is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Additional sponsors to date include American Family Insurance; American Transmission Co.; AT&T; Husch Blackwell; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic; Michael Best; Midwest Prototyping; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE Wisconsin; Smith & Gesteland; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. To enter, become a judge or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.govsbizplancontest.com.