Finalists in Gov’s Biz Plan Contest offer ideas in ag and food tech, health, IT, more

Finalists in Gov’s Biz Plan Contest offer ideas in ag and food tech, health, IT, more

Twenty-five entries representing broad sectors such as advanced manufacturing, business services, information technology and life sciences will compete in the finalist round of the 2024 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.

“Young companies such as those advancing in this year’s contest are examples of innovation that cuts across industry sector lines in Wisconsin,” said Gary Frings, chair of the 57-member board of directors for the Tech Council.

Advanced manufacturing plans include use of drones and AI for underground resource exploration; a “mocktail” and mixer to boost mood and improve health; a high-end “white noise” machine for children and adults; rapid lead detection in drinking water; a sensor-based system to more precisely spray fruit citrus and nut trees; and precision spraying of powdered feedstock for 3D printed ports in multiple industries.

Plans tied to business services include a diversity and equity recruiting and retention firm with scalable options; an app to better connect farmers and customers through farmers’ markets; immersive meal kits and family-style meals that provide cultural experience; a plan to provide ice options and sections for use in custom drinks; an online AI platform that connects college students and employers, mostly small businesses; and a blockchain-secured system for inspecting safety in food supply chains.

Information technology plans include democratizing real estate financing by helping investors raise money outside traditional sources; an integrated threat indicator to spot dangerous event and product notifications, safety routes and more; a tool to encourage children to write using pictures from published books; a real-time adaptive traffic control system that uses object detectors and vision technology to run stoplights more efficiently; a Medicare online shopping site for enrollment choices; and a secured, virtual platform to keep speech pathologists and therapists in touch with patients before and after they visit.

Life sciences plans include a mobile app to screen head shapes of infants to identify risk of craniosynostosis; a trajectory guidance system for accurately and quickly placing needle-like devices in the brain; nano-composite carbon polymer wound dressing for diabetic food ulcer treatment; an advanced acoustic pest monitoring device for crops to aid early detection and efficient treatment; modeling of human central nervous system development in cell culture for screening; disease modeling drug discovery; a robotic exercise devise to improve stroke rehabilitation by compelling use of paralyzed limbs; and a platform technology for in-home diagnosis of common diseases.

Finalists will submit a 15-minute pitch deck for review by a panel of about 70 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,” which are the top 12 business plans announced in late May, will present live June 5 at the 2024 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, with winners announced June 6. Category winners, as well as the 2024 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced at the close of the Milwaukee 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 $2.8 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 2024 contest thus far include AT&T;  Phil Ouellette EOS Implementer; Quarles & Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; SCORE; AmpliPhi + Spencer X Smith; StartingBlock; Ward4; Associate sponsors include Aberdean; Makin’ Hey!; UW Madison Office of Business Engagement; Wisconsin Technology Council and. Additional sponsors are Applied Management Irontek; Madison Gas & Electric; Murphy Desmond; Neider & Boucher; and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.  

Contact Julie Johnson at the Tech Council if you would like to become a sponsor.

Finalists are listed below, in alphabetical order of the company or plan name. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Tech Council by calling 608-442-7557.


Entry Applicant City
Colorful Connections (Business services) Morgan Phelps Milwaukee
CranioSure (Life sciences) Daniel Cho Madison
Dirac Labs (Advanced manufacturing) Aishwarya Das Praveen Madison
e-States (Information technology) Matthew Schneider Hales Corners
ImgGyd (Life sciences) Walter Block Middleton
InMEDBio (Life sciences) Ashwinraj Karthikeyan Oshkosh
Insect Eavesdropper (Life sciences) Dev Mehrotra Madison
Lotza (Advanced manufacturing) Laura Markewicz Menomonee Falls
Luna (Advanced manufacturing) Thomas Kauer Brookfield
Market Mate (Business services) Graham Moody Hartford
Metal 3D Powder Tech (Advanced manufacturing) Luis Escano Madison
Neurosetta (Life sciences) Randolph Ashton Madison
Nommli (Business services) Padmini Chintakayala Middleton
Rockhopper Ice Collective (Business services) Daniel Guenther Pewaukee
Safepro Technologies (Information technology) Paul Eckert Dousman
Scriptive (Information technology) Bob Wood Dodgeville
Septillionth (Advanced manufacturing) Ihnjea Choi Whitefish Bay
Shepherd Traffic (Information technology) Joel Roberts Milwaukee
SideShift (Business services) Canyon Pergande Madison
Spectacle Health (Information technology) Erika Poole Fitchburg
Spraycision (Advanced manufacturing) Dervis Gursoy Madison
TRT Speech Labs (Information technology) Joey Tenuta Racine
Venus Rehabilitation Technologies (Life sciences) Sheila Schindler-Ivens Shorewood
Vessey (Business services) Brandon Johnson Janesville
Vista Biomedical (Life sciences) Sam Adams Middleton