‘Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen’ to present live May 31 at Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee

‘Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen’ to present live May 31 at Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee

Finalists representing diverse tech-based sectors in Wisconsin’s early-stage economy will present live to judges and others Wednesday, May 31, in Milwaukee as part of the 20th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The presentations at the Italian Community Center will be followed immediately by the opening reception for the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

The 13 contestants emerged from three rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the contest and conference with its partners and sponsors. The competition began in late January with nearly 150 entries; more than 4,600 entries have been received since the contest began in 2004.

This year’s finalists will deliver seven-minute pitches on their business ideas beginning 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 31. Winners will be announced June 1 at the close the Entrepreneurs’ Conference. To register for the conference at The Italian Community Center in Milwaukee, visit: WiTrepsConference.com.

Entries were submitted in four categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Advanced manufacturing ideas include a lower-cost, patented biogas upgrading purification system that produces renewable natural gas; a battery that utilizes organic salts dissolved in benign water to store energy; and a startup on a mission to enable next-generation, high-performance electronics based on aligned carbon nanotubes.

Entries focused on business services include an affordable franchise model designed for the handy entrepreneur and “non-handy” home owner; a high-tech, cutting-edge education experience in central Wisconsin that facilitates classes, activities, camps, clubs and events tailored to K-6 grade school students; and a company that connects restaurant and hospitality businesses with available talent to fill open shifts while also helping talented people enhance their skills and abilities over time.

Information technology plans include a web-based app designed to make workplaces inclusive through the use of relationship-building content; a cloud-based enterprise resource planning service for the construction industry; a user-friendly clinical decision support software, integrated to the electronic health records, that eases oncologists’ cognitive burden in the clinic.

Life sciences plans include revolutionizing pet care with its groundbreaking at-home therapy for dogs that have ingested chocolate; a cloud-based solution that supports assisted living facilities in determining if new admissions are appropriate for the clinical capabilities offered at the facility and provide recommendations for staffing to the facility’s average acuity levels; a handheld syringe adapter that allows medical professionals throughout healthcare and pharmacy to perform strenuous and precision syringe tasks with greater accuracy, sterility, productivity and comfort; a company that can provide solutions to the physically challenged through user-inspired design, innovation and technology.

Finalists submitted a 15-minute video pitch deck for review by a panel of about 70 judges and their scores on those video pitches will be a part of the final scoring. Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, describes the management team, and provides key financial data.

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing and more. About $2.6 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 2023 contest thus far include AT&T;  The Creative Company; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE; StartingBlock; Ward4; Associate sponsors include Aberdean; Makin’ Hey!; Michael Best; UW Madison Office of Business Engagement; Wisconsin Technology Council and AmpliPhi + Spencer X Smith. Additional sponsors are Applied Management; Forward Biolabs;  Irontek; Madison Gas & Electric; Murphy Desmond; Neider & Boucher; Reverbal Communications; Versiti and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.  

The 2023 “Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen” are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557.


Submission Name Name City
Chocolate Rescue for Dogs Co. Arek Schmocker Germantown
Empower2Retain Emily Elsner Twesme Eau Claire
Energy Tech Innovations Bryan Johnson Milwaukee
FASTMedical Lauren Davis Beloit
Flux XII Patrick Sullivan Madison
Graceful Management Systems Tommy Stanek Madison
Gud Medical Joseph Ulbrich Winneconne
Home Perks Network Josh Lavik Madison
IQDecide Victor Fernandes Madison
RoseTech Creativity Center Tia Bertz Marshfield
SixLine Semiconductor Katy Jinkins Middleton
Soul Mobility Troy Tesmer Oconomowoc
WORKSHIFT Bekki Yang West Allis