From software to medical devices, Biz Plan Contest finalists show state’s technology range

April 16, 2014

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 11th 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. “Not many other contests can blend together industries as varied as life sciences, augmented reality and crowdsourced beer.”

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 real estate, augmented reality, monitoring ROI, step-by-step Medicare guidance, focus groups through social media, a lactose-free milk concentrate and an IP software for lawyers.

Entries focused on sports and recreation innovations include a web-to-print game publishing company, a 3-D immersive fitness environment and a live scoring system for golf outings.

Manufacturing ideas include technology for recovering phosphorus from wastewater, self-lubricating aluminum composite components, craft beer manufacturing by crowdsourcing and an advanced portable water purification system.

Health-related plans include: a naturally occurring biopesticide platform; a wearable blood collection device; an animal health vaccine for Johne’s Disease; a portable mobility assessment system; a non-cellular biomaterial for non-healing wounds and stem cell delivery; a non-invasive test to monitor the health of donor organs; a tag-reader system to localize breast cancer for surgical removal; a DNA-based microbial analysis for water quality; image processing techniques to aid pathologists in identifying fatty liver disease; and chemical compounds for treating nervous system disorders.

The contest began in late January with 292 entries. To be eligible for the contest, participants cannot have raised more than $25,000 in private equity by the start of the contest and are required to be based in Wisconsin.

Finalists will submit 15- to 20-page business plans for review by a panel of more than 80 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 3 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Category winners, as well as the 2014 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced during the BPC Awards Luncheon on June 4. More info on the conference can be found at

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing and more. About $1.7 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004.

Sponsors of the 2014 contest thus far include: 100state; 5Nines; Aberdean Consulting; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Company; 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; 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, contact Joy Sawatzki 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
MaxiROi Uma Avinash Menomonee Falls
Dairyvative Technology Joe Balistreri Verona
65 Incorporated Melinda Caughill Mequon
Roving Blue Marianna DeMyer Lena
Amebagone LLC Marcin Filutowicz Madison
Microbe Detectives Trevor Ghylin Milwaukee
Find My Spot Heather Johnston Milwaukee
Elucent Medical Laura King Madison
Zero Nine Kiernan McGowan Madison
TAI Diagnostics Michael Mitchell Elm Grove
Tasso Inc. Ben Moga Madison
NeuroSolis Jeffrey Ockuly Madison
The Game Crafter Tavis Parker Madison
Kaliber Imaging Incorporated Judy Reinhold Elgin, Ill.
Little Green Pencil Will Robus Madison
Lightweight Composite Castings Pradeep Rohatgi Milwaukee
Pan Genome Systems Inc. Jon Sandbrook Madison
Non-cellular biomaterial for chronic wound healing Eric Schmuck Sun Prairie
MobCraft Beer LLC Henry Schwartz Madison
NRU LLC Menachem Tabanpour Madison
Organic Research Corp Scott Vanderbeck Oak Creek
Right on Target Media Eric Weiss Fond Du Lac
Digsite Monika Wingate McFarland
WebRacing LLC Bruce Winkler Madison

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