Finalists in Gov’s Biz Plan Contest poised to aid in post-COVID economic rebound

Finalists in Gov’s Biz Plan Contest poised to aid in post-COVID economic rebound

Twenty-five entries representing sectors as broad as health, cleantech, education and innovations in products or services are competing in the finalist round of the 18th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

The contestants have emerged after two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its sponsors and volunteers.

“It will be young companies such as those advancing in this year’s contest that will help to lead the economic recovery once COVID-19 recedes in Wisconsin and beyond,” said Greg Lynch, chairman of the Tech Council and a partner at the law firm of Michael Best.

Advanced manufacturing ideas include a sustainable alternative to plastic containers used by restaurants; women’s recreational “shape wear” that is antimicrobial and designed to carry items such as smart phones, keys and wallets; sensors and software that remotely monitor and measure the water level of a well without opening it; a lightweight delivery vessel that improves the delivery conditions for food; and a high-rate wastewater treatment system that provides real-time treatment of municipal weather flows; and a simulator that removes time and cost while improving accuracy for industrial testing.

Plans tied to business services include a point-based reward system designed for renters and landlords; a publishing company for women; a multi-state scheduling system for court reporters and videographers; solutions that help people and businesses achieve landfill diversion goals; and a comprehensive curriculum that prepares students for a job in emergency dispatching.

Information technology plans include software that generates a 3D visualization based on information it reads; a platform that will pay farmers to take carbon dioxide from the air and store it in their fields; a low-cost video station that connects providers with patients in hard to reach places; a digital platform for consumers to conveniently schedule clinician house calls or telehealth calls for urgent or immediate care; a cybersecurity solution that alerts businesses to imminent fraud attacks targeting their brand, employees or customers; a free-to-enter story-writing contest for 3rd to 6th graders that digitizes and gamifies handwritten submissions; and a patented image analysis algorithm to quantify the severity of acne using smartphone photos.

Life sciences plans include a hydrogel-based cell that encapsulates oxygen-rich hemoglobin to mimic human blood cells; a drug that can alleviate chronic lung disease (BPD) in premature babies; a device that organizes and secures multiple medical tubes and cords to support patient therapy; a device for clinicians who care for patients after heart surgery by providing continuous atrial ECG monitoring; treatments to support women through the menopause transition by alleviating symptoms and preventing long-term memory decline; a non-sterile, rigid plastic attachment to standard insulin pen needles that is reusable for six months or more; and a device that allows users to ergonomically collect or dispense accurate, precise volumes of fluids.

Eight of the 25 finalists are women and 17 of 25 hail from outside Dane County.

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 live to contest judges and people who attend the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on a digital platform June 2-3. Category winners, as well as the 2021 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced at the close of the conference. More information will be available in coming weeks at

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing, event space and more. About $2.2 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is a major sponsor.

Additional lead sponsors of the 2021 contest thus far include Additional lead sponsors of the 2020 contest thus far include:  American Transmission Company;  Bizzy Bizzy; AT&T; EUA;  Midwest Sales Consultants; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; Relumed; SCORE; StartingBlock; University Research Park; Ward4;  and Neider & Boucher; Associate sponsors include  Aberdean Consulting; Makin’ Hey!; Murphy Desmond; Spencer X Smith and AmpliPhi. Additional sponsors are Applied Management; Hyatt Place Madison/Verona; Novel Coworking; Irontek; Loughrin Accounting; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic Health System; Reverbal Communications; State of Wisconsin Investment Board; the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.  

Finalists are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Tech Council by calling 608-442-7557.

Entry First Name Last Name City
Atrility Medical Nicholas Von Bergen Madison
BookScape Trevor Santarius Milwaukee
Citrus Innovations Naveen Kankate Milwaukee
Compost Crusader Melissa Tashjian St. Francis
Dispatch Coach Training Center Michael Garcia West Allis
eCourt Reporters Karen Renee Burlington
Estrigenix Therapeutics Kylee Marks Cedarburg
Gud Medical Joseph Ulbrich Madison
Intuitive Analytics Matthew Meis Stevens Point
Mathetria Press Laura Gallagher Madison
Midwest Carbon Exchange Max Coller Monona
Natural Synthetics Mandy Wibbing Janesville
Nurse Disrupted Tracy Zvenyach Fitchburg
Pivotal Health Sal Braico Madison
Pursesuitz Barbara Zabawa McFarland
Rapid Radicals Technology William Schanen Milwaukee
Red Cell Source Gene Wright Pewaukee
ReNeuroGen Stephen Naylor Elm Grove
RoddyMedical Lindsey Roddy Wauwatosa
Steady Shot Shawn Michels Milwaukee
Story Squad Graig Peterson Shorewood
Thermonator Holdings Paul Gromowski Hales Corners
Universal Real Time Power Conversion Debiprasad Panda New Berlin
Water Table Measurement Christian Timm Fond du Lac
ZitGenius Adam Simcock Middleton