The mission of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest is to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-enabled businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert judges, mentors and possible sources of capital.
Produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and a growing list of partners, the Governor’s Business Plan Contest engages contestants in a five-month process that includes the opportunity to work with mentors and receive feedback from judges. It also leads to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and helps spur economic growth in Wisconsin.
In cash and in-kind prizes
In investor/grant funding
Finalists still in business
Visit our sponsorship page to view our associate and additional sponsors and to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
"The Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest helped us develop the infrastructure for our continued success. It allowed Atrility to improve its business plan, to connect with Wisconsin startups and investors and provided prizes including in-kind support. "
"The Governor’s Business Plan Contest was one of the best programs in which we have participated. eCourt Reporters Inc., continues to benefit greatly with our improved business plan and the guidance from many connections through the process. We highly recommend that entrepreneurs in the state of Wisconsin take part for significant growth in a new business!”"
"We have participated in the BPC contest over the last several years. The competition is incredibly well organized, the staff immeasurably helpful, and the fairness and transparency of judging compelling. The competition epitomizes the commitment of Wisconsin to developing the small business community. In addition, the prizes offered to competitors are exceedingly useful in terms of both cash and in-kind services. A great competition to enter and participate in during the three stages of evaluation."
"Participating in the Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest was a pivotal point of growth for our company. It challenged us to think outside the box, honing our ideas into compelling value propositions. The Governor's BPC is an absolute must for every entrepreneur truly serious about growing their business."
"As a woman over 50, I was always curious about how far I could go in the competition. I became a finalist, in the top 3, in the services category. Whatever stage or age you're at, I encourage you to show up and do the work. The rewards are there for those who dare!"
"The Wisconsin Business Plan Contest is an excellent way for a founder to get top-notch feedback from highly experienced investors, entrepreneurs, and startup company managers. The process forces you to answer key questions about your business with a timeline to keep your business moving forward. The BPC was invaluable for Pivotal Health to help us identify holes in our plan as we were launching our business and to also get exposure to potential investors. I highly recommend the BPC for any entrepreneur."
"MyGenomeRx had a fantastic experience with the BPC with benefits that still impact us today. The initial application process helped us organize our corporate branding materials and develop our business plan and pitch deck. Then we got tremendous exposure to investors and strategic partners during the live pitch competition, propelling us forward not just locally but nationwide. Finally, through write-ups the Tech Council team has helped highlight MyGenomeRx as an emerging player in the field of pharmacogenomics. "
"I enjoyed sharing our story with the Wisconsin entrepreneurial and investment community. The response was quite enthusiastic. It was also great to see the awesome work of other entrepreneurs and to catch up with people that I had not seen in a few years."
"The Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest is something every startup business in Wisconsin, no matter the phase they are in, should be encouraged to enter. The Wisconsin Technology Council creates an incredible environment that allows entrepreneurs, of all levels, to learn about various aspects of growing and making their organizations and products appealing to investors. The participants and peers attending Tech Council and BPC events are approachable and willing to share personal experiences. The open dialogue provides a conduit to networking, valuable information, and diverse perspectives. As a 2020 Diligent Dozen finalist and winner of the first BPC People’s Choice Award, AGent Plus Solutions gained a better understanding of who we are as an organization and as individuals."
"The Governor’s Business Plan Contest really helped us hone our message. The Tech Council staff worked with us to focus on what was important to investors. We came away with much sharper communication that has proven to be successful in the marketplace."
"The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Competition (BPC) is an impressive and well-organized event that brings the best that Wisconsin has to offer in a single forum. It provides a state-wide platform for emerging startups to refine and showcase their company. The contest has helped DataChat think about the next big steps that we must take. It has also provide valuable feedback and support during the most formative stage of our company (the first year), which I think will be crucial to the company."
"The Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Competition is one of the greatest resources available for growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem and fostering economic growth in this state! The feedback, resources, networking, and prizes made available to entrepreneurs throughout the competition are unrivaled and helped shape the company we are today. A company we plan to grow right here in Wisconsin, adding fuel to local job growth and economic development!"
“Participating in The Governor’s Business Plan Contest meant that we had the certification theme from the Governor endorsing the competition and our winning, which gave us the credibility that was needed to go forward to these prominent organizations, the cities, the counties and be a trusted tool that they can use.”
"I think the Governor’s Business Plan Contest really launched us. The win in that competition was a result of assistance and mentorship from people across Wisconsin… the accumulation of a lot of help. Since then, we have gotten incredible attention. That win sent us on a course to succeed."
“Moving through all four rounds of the 2012 Governor’s Business Plan Contest, we built a winning business plan and started a new company in Madison – Rowheels, Inc. The well-orchestrated BPC process facilitated by Wisconsin Technology Council kept us on track to conduct research, uncover obstacles and gain confidence moving forward through our engineering prototype design and financial modeling phases. By Nov. 2012, Rowheels is creating jobs, is certified as a Qualified New Business Venture under Wisconsin’s Act 255 Early Stage Business Investment Program and is raising working capital for manufacturing.”
“As an absolute newcomer to business it gave me an opportunity to meet a few people who are now working with me. I might even get some startup funds from them and got great PR from the event.”
“The Governor’s Business Plan Competition award has given WiRover a great boost in terms of both visibility and performance. Since winning this competition, WiRover has significantly increased its revenue, is forming alliances with new partners, and has also received a SBIR grant… The exercise of going through the competition alone was quite instrumental in streamlining WiRover’s emerging business strategy and planning.”
“The business plan contest process provided us the opportunity to really focus our vision and strategy and concisely articulate the message. The examples provided and direct assistance from mentors was a huge benefit to making a successful presentation.”
“I can strongly endorse the Governor’s Business Plan Contest. Not only was it a great exercise, it was fun and insightful as well. In addition, the publicity that we received from the contest resulted in us adding several new key customers.”
“Participating in the BPC and conference was fun and very educational for our team. We all feel strongly that it has helped move our company many steps forward and hope to encourage every entrepreneur in Wisconsin to do so as part of their strategy.”
“The Governor’s Business Plan Contest is an outstanding opportunity for early stage organizations to showcase their innovative ideas in a highly competitive environment. Becoming a finalist is an attention-grabber enterprise for the new organizations in the eyes of potential investors, potentially resulting in a lucrative and positive partnership.”
“The GPC was an exceptional opportunity to gain invaluable visibility. We were contacted by groups outside of the state because of the press associated with the contest.”
"The [GBPC] took us through a process of increasingly detailed planning, and the comments we received helped us focus even more. Our presentations sparked interest from venture capital, further refining the business plan. ….Participation in the GBPC will help a young company raise capital in challenging times, and the advice, though free of charge, was priceless.”
“The best part of the Business Plan Contest experience was also the most difficult part and that was writing the business plan. It was a rigorous process. It forced me to think about the most important component parts of Extract Systems’ business plan and weed out all the other stuff.”
“I entered the Governor’s Business Plan Contest for the networking opportunities and exposure to expert advice on starting a business. ….. a number of investors have approached Vector Surgical and demonstrated an interest in investing in the company.”