‘Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen’ to present live June 5 at Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee

‘Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen’ to present live June 5 at Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee

Finalists representing a mix of tech-based sectors in Wisconsin’s early-stage economy will present live to judges and others Wednesday, June 5, in Milwaukee as part of the 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.

Thirteen 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 4,660 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, June 5. Winners will be announced June 6 during 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 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; and a sensor-based system to precisely spray fruit citrus and nut trees.

Plans tied to business services include a plan to provide ice options and selections 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 a tool to encourage children to write using pictures from published books; 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; and a robotic exercise devise to improve stroke rehabilitation by compelling use of paralyzed limbs.

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 $2.8 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is the 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; Associate sponsors include Aberdean; Makin’ Hey!; UW Madison Office of Business Engagement; Wisconsin Technology Council and. Additional sponsors are Applied Management  Forward Biolabs; Madison Gas & Electric; Murphy Desmond; Neider & Boucher; and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.  

The 2024 “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
CranioSure Daniel Cho Madison
Dirac Labs Aishwarya Das Praveen Madison
ImgGyd Walter Block Middleton
Lotza Laura Markewicz Waukesha
Luna Thomas Kauer Brookfield
Rockhopper Ice Collective Daniel Guenther Pewaukee
Scriptive Bob Wood Dodgeville
SideShift Canyon Pergande Madison
Spectacle Health Erika Poole Fitchburg
Spraycision Dervis Gursoy Madison
TRT Speech Labs Joey Tenuta Racine
Venus Rehabilitation Technologies Sheila Schindler-Ivens Shorewood
Vessey Brandon Johnson Janesville