From Hartland to Holmen, 52 entries advance in 2020 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest

From Hartland to Holmen, 52 entries advance in 2020 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest

MADISON – Fifty-two entries from 22 communities have advanced to the semi-final round of the 17th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, contest producers announced.

The contestants were selected from a field of more than 200 qualified first-round entries by an independent panel of 95 judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, the Tech Council Innovation Network and the Tech Council Investor Networks.

The semi-finalists are spread among four broad categories: advanced manufacturing (13), business services (10), information technology (15) and life sciences (14).

Those 52 plans also represent the geographic diversity of Wisconsin, with 30 of 52 plans originating outside Dane County. Fourteen of 52 entrants are women.

Plans cover a mix of market sectors. The Advanced Manufacturing group includes systems for producing hydrogen and methane, a 3-D printed violin, a modular hunting blind system, a do-it-yourself airplane kit and a long-lasting household disinfectant.

The Business Services category includes plans tied to educational toys, safety clothing for women, maritime training and an online system for selecting and scheduling court reporters.

Information Technology plans feature systems to improve a mix of businesses and endeavors, from skiing to audio-visual systems, and from construction equipment management to voice-activated retail store searches.

Also moving on to the next round were plans tied to Life Sciences breakthroughs, such as diagnostics or therapeutics for conditions such as intestinal ailments, heart disease, cancer, sickle cell, wound healing and hearing. There are also systems for organizing hospital and surgical room tubes, an ergonomic syringe and a way to better manage insulin injections.

“Trends reflected in the top 52 entries match up well with Wisconsin’s traditional and emerging strengths,” said Greg Lynch, chairman of the Tech Council. “Good ideas come from all high-growth sectors of the economy.”

The 52 entries competing in Phase 2 of the contest will write 1,000-word executive summaries. Each summary describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, lists members of the management team and provides key financial data.

Once Phase 2 judging is complete in early April, the 52 entries may be made available for inspection by accredited investors through the Tech Council Investor Networks, which has about two-dozen angel networks, early stage funds or corporate strategic partners. About two-dozen plans will write a full 15- to 20-page business plan in Phase 3.

The top dozen contestants will give live presentations at the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 4 at Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee. Category winners, as well as the 2020 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced June 4 during the conference.

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, marketing, social media management and more. About $2 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded over time. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is a major sponsor.

Additional lead sponsors of the 2020 contest thus far include:  3Rhino Media; American Transmission Company; AT&T; Eppstein Uhen Architects; Pieper Properties; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE; University Research Park; Ward4; 6 AM Marketing; Associate sponsors include  Aberdean Consulting; Whitewater University Technology Park; Murphy Desmond; Spencer X Smith and AmpliPhi. Additional sponsors are Applied Management; Versiti; Irontek; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic Health System; Reverbal Communications; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.  

Here are the 2020 semi-finalists.  Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557.

RealityBLU Stefan Agustsson Beloit
Replace-A-Lace Nancy Brekke-Jones Rhinelander
Von Buck Bob Buck Holmen
Explorer’s Guide Online Rebekah Carsey Franklin
Impact Sports Joshua Cleveland River Falls
Drift + Row Brenna Davis Wauwatosa
UCHardChip Ulysses Dinkins Marshall
SpayVac for Wildlife Thomas D’Orazio Fitchburg
FixdPicks Caleb Dykema Appleton
Safety4her Melissa Gaglione Milwaukee
MyGenomeRx Annette Gilchrist Wis Dells
Thermonator Holdings Paul Gromowski Hales Corners
Spendstory Benjamin Hansen Madison
Pedal-motive Nickolas Hein Madison
Plumb Pharmaceuticals Jacqueline Hind Madison
NeoCortechs Brian Jenkins Appleton
Energy Tech Innovations Bryan Johnson Milwaukee
Angiogenon Satvir Kalsi Brookfield
Citrus Innovations Naveen Kankate Milwaukee
DarkAero River Karl Monona
GoDx Chang Hee Kim Madison
Vivid Microscopy Jayson Kurfis Hartland
Colorful Connections Manny Lara Glendale
FoodChain Jake Levitt Madison
IVO Systems Howard Lien Madison
AGent Plus Solutions Jeffrey Lord New Berlin
Nudge Therapeutics Robert Lowery Madison
Advanced Ionics Chad Mason Milwaukee
UpStream AV Jim McDougall Eau Claire
Loc8 Peter Menet Milwaukee
Alpen Life / Inland Alpine Olivia Merithew Madison
Steady Shot Shawn Michels Milwaukee
RedFox AI/Maz Nick Myers Sun Prairie
ReNeuroGen Stephen Naylor Elm Grove
Entremere Thomas Olscheske Madison
Bizzy Bizzy Candy Phelps Madison
eCourt Reporters Karen Renee Burlington
Vehroot Thomas Robillard Waunakee
RoddyMedical Lindsey Roddy Wauwatosa
SlingshotVR Cody Ross Sun Prairie
Ascending Hearing Technologies Christina Runge New Berlin
Last Lock John Ryan Milwaukee
ModuTree Trevor Santarius Milwaukee Andrew Schmitz Appleton
YDY, Sweets Jaimie Sherling Madison
Gyld Kahloong Teh Madison
AppEase Nicole Tilot Denmark
Gud Medical Joseph Ulbrich Madison
Da Vinci Industries Anthony Valiulis Janesville
Atrility Medical Nicholas Von Bergen Madison
Partita April Weir-Hauptman Waunakee
OncoGone Xiaoban Xin Potomac, Md.