Prize list grows for 2014 Gov’s Biz Plan Contest; Jan. 31 is deadline to enter

January 28, 2014

MADISON – Entrants in the 2014 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest will once again compete for more than cash this year. The entry deadline for the 11th annual contest is 5 p.m. Jan. 31 at

Wisconsin companies have stepped up to offer a variety of service prizes, 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.

Among the prizes will be office space suitable for startup companies. The following companies have pledged to provide free space to a finalist or finalists in the contest, which will culminate in June at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

  • University Research Park in Madison will provide up to two suites for two companies for one year: one laboratory suite and one office suite at the MGE Innovation Center.
  • Pieper Properties Inc. will provide an office suite for one year at their LEED-CS Silver certified building in Milwaukee.
  • Cresa Madison will contribute one incubator space at their offices located in Machinery Row in Madison.
  • American Family Insurance will provide office space for one finalist for three months.
  • 100state will donate a membership to its co-working community in Madison.

Additional cash and in-kind prizes have been pledged by the following companies to date: 5Nines; Aberdean Consulting; American Transmission Company; AT&T; BDO; Cleantech Open; Exact Sciences; Madison Gas & Electric; Makin’ HEY! Communications; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Michael Best & Friedrich; Mortenson Construction; Murphy Desmond; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.; Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media; Smith & Gesteland; Tweedee Productions; and UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has been a lead sponsor since the contest’s inception.

For the second year, “clean technology” entries that advance to the top 25 will have their application fee waived for the 2014 Cleantech Open Accelerator and will receive a discounted ticket to Cleantech Open’s Midwest Innovation Summit in October. Cleantech entries reaching the “Diligent Dozen” round will gain a full tuition scholarship for the accelerator, which includes both the application and participation fees.

The 2014 contest is accepting entries online at until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. The contest is designed to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into business plans, prepare them to launch a company, get feedback from judges, and to interact with investors and other professionals.

About $1.7 million in cash and other prizes were awarded in the contest’s first 10 years, when more than 2,600 entries from more than 280 different communities across the state were received. Winners of other selected business plan and “pitch” contests in Wisconsin will have an opportunity to segue into the BPC in a later round.

To enter the contest or learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact contest administrators at

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