Finalists named in 2018 Governor’s Business Plan Contest

The field has been narrowed to 12 finalists in the 2018 Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which began with 200 entries in January.

Now, the “Diligent Dozen” in the Wisconsin Technology Council contest will pitch their tech-based startups at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison on Tuesday, June 5.

The contest includes four categories: Advanced Manufacturing; Business Services; Information Technology; and Life Sciences. Applicants submitted their business plans to a panel of more than 110 judges, describing their core product or service, defining their customer base, estimating market size, identifying competition, describing the management team and offering key financial data.

The 12 finalists will each receive a cash prize. The top 25 competitors will receive a combination of cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing, prototyping, web design and event space from contest sponsors. Among the lead sponsors is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. WTC has not yet determined the amount of the cash prize, but the cash and services combined will be roughly $190,000, said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

The finalists are:

“With all of them, it’s a matter of writing a really cogent plan that describes the problem, talks about their solution, and then suggests how they plan to make money on it,” Still said of the finalists. “They have all hit the mark on those basic parameters.”

Still also described why each of the 12 finalists made it through to the finals:

  • “AmebaGone, I think that stood out because they have been through the contest before, they have gotten stronger as they’ve gone along and they have really pinpointed what they want to do.”
  • “AquaMetals, the notion of working on especially industrial water streams and waste is a big deal no matter where you’re at and they had a great plan.”
  • “DataChat I think is a great example of successful technology around artificial intelligence.”
  • “Fast Forward Forensics is another company that had been in the contest before and keeps improving; they really hope to help solve some of the problems around keeping DNA samples in the right kind of state.”
  • “Impact sports, everybody’s talking about football helmets and concussions in sports and they think they’ve got a better helmet.”
  • NovoMoto has a global outlook on producing better water quality systems, specifically in Subsaharan Africa.
  • Pyran is developing a more environmentally-friendly ingredient to replace a common chemical in paints and plastics.
  • “Pyxsee is all about what drives a lot of parents batty, which is the notion of kids spending too much time on screens.”
  • “ReNeuroGen, they want to help with the stroke aftermath and what they have is a system that can help with that.”
  • Replace-A-Lace: “It’s kind of a low-tech but ingenious way of replacing shoe laces.”
  • Shockray Self-Defense: “With all the news about how police handle certain situations, they have a device that combines a variety of things that are better able to stay on an officer’s belt and provide a non-lethal response.”
  • “Swirl Insurance Services is a great example of using technology in the financial services world.”

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