Participating in The Governor’s Business Plan Contest meant that we had the certification theme from the Governor endorsing the competition and our winning, which gave us the credibility that was needed to go forward to these prominent organizations, the cities, the counties and be a trusted tool that they can use.
- Nick Mastronardi, Polco
Individuals, teams or companies are eligible if they:
All intellectual property used in business ideas and/or plans must be owned or licensed by the BPC entrant. For BPC purposes, examples of intellectual property include but are not limited to trademarks, copyrights, patent-pending status or an issued patent.
There is no upper limit to the number of unique ideas or plans a contestant may submit. For example, one contestant may submit an idea for a new paper pulping process to the Advanced Manufacturing category and an idea for new paper-making software to the Information Technology category. The same contestant may have more than one idea advance though the competition in one or more categories. Be careful, however: Multiple entries also mean divided time.
Contestants need to create a new account for each entry. Each account will require a different email address. If you do not have more than one email address and would like to submit multiple entries, please contact the contest administrator at email@example.com.
Past BPC participants are eligible to enter the contest again. Please note:
No, you can walk before you run. The first phase entry is about 250 words (or 2,000 characters with spaces) spread among four criteria – product or service description; customer definition; market description, size and sales strategy; and competition. There’s no need to submit financials right away.
The four contest categories are deliberately broad – advanced manufacturing, business services, information technology and life sciences. It’s rare that an entry cannot find a logical home. Contest administrators and judges will move entries between categories if necessary, but it seldom is.
All entries are accepted through the online portal – which you can access by clicking “MY ACCOUNT” above. The second and third stages of the contest also take place through that website, culminating in a 15- to 20-page plan. Up to 12 finalists will present live at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. That’s our “Diligent Dozen” phase.
Your chances of winning are a lot better than Powerball! If past contests are any indicator, roughly one in 14 entrants will reach the top 25. About 3,900 entries have been received over time and $2.2 million in cash and service prizes awarded.
The judges and mentors offer years of valuable experience. About 100 judges drawn from the finance, sales, marketing, research and technology sectors across Wisconsin will score the entries and provide feedback. Many of those judges are investors. The mentoring corps will include members of SCORE and the Center for Technology Commercialization.
As you continue to grow your start-up you will inevitably start thinking about the future and next steps. One important question you may ask yourself: how do I continue to fund this company?
If you plan to raise capital from investors there are two important next steps: