MADISON, Wis. – Forty-nine entries from 25 different municipalities have advanced to the semi-final round of the 20th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, contest producers announced.

Contestants emerged in first-round competition involving an independent panel of about 70 judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, the Tech Council Innovation Network and the Tech Council Investor Networks.

The semi-finalists are spread among four broad categories: advanced manufacturing (11), business services (13), information technology (15) and life sciences (10). Within those broad categories, plans range from green building materials to workforce solutions, and from medical innovation to software for security, management, education and more.

Those 49 plans also represent the geographic diversity of Wisconsin, with 28 coming from outside the state’s two largest cities. Fifteen of 49 entrants are women; 13 represent people from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

“Trends reflected in the top 49 entries match up well with Wisconsin’s traditional and emerging strengths,” said Gary Frings, chairman of the Tech Council. “Good ideas come from all high-growth sectors of the economy and from all corners of the state.”

The 49 entries competing in Phase 2 of the contest will write 1,000-word executive summaries. Each summary describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, lists members of the management team, and provides key financial data.

Once Phase 2 judging is complete in late March, the 49 entries may be made available for inspection by accredited investors through the Tech Council Investor Networks, which includes angel networks, early-stage funds and corporate funds, among others. About two-dozen plans will tape a 15-minute pitch deck for judges in phase 3.

The top dozen contestants will give live presentations at the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference May 31 in Milwaukee. Category winners, as well as the 2023 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced June 1 during the conference.

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, marketing, social media management and more. About $2.5 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded over time. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is a major sponsor.

Additional lead sponsors of the 2023 contest thus far include AT&T;  Quarles & BradyReinhart Boerner Van DeurenSCOREWard4; Associate sponsors include Makin’ Hey!; and AmpliPhi + Spencer X Smith. Additional sponsors are Applied Management; IrontekMadison Gas & Electric; Neider & BoucherReverbal CommunicationsVersiti and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. 

Here are the 2023 semi-finalists.  Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Wisconsin Technology Council by calling 608-442-7557, extension 1.

Submission NameFirst NameLast NameCity
Auxillium HealthSandeepGopalakrishnanWest Allis
Badger Dental ProductsDavidPoetkerBrookfield
Chocolate Rescue for Dogs Co.ArekSchmockerGermantown
Colorful ConnectionsMorganPhelpsMilwaukee
Divorce in a DayLaurenOttoAltoona
Empower2RetainEmilyElsner TwesmeEau Claire
Energy Tech InnovationsBryanJohnsonMilwaukee
Enhanced Surveillance ProtectionMikeManchesterWatertown
Flip OutfitJimMartinOshkosh
Flux XIIPatrickSullivanMadison
Gud MedicalJosephUlbrichWinneconne
Graceful Management SystemsTommyStanekMadison
Home Perks NetworkJoshLavikMadison
Internship on DemandKeeganMoldenhauerMadison
Kids In Combat BootsDeanneHerberSheboygan
Local CarneJeffreyWernerMadison
RaritiesMarket Inc.ChadTjugumSun Prairie
RoseTech Creativity CenterTiaBertzMarshfield
Sativa Building SystemsZacharyPoppWittenberg
SixLine SemiconductorKatyJinkinsMiddleton
Soul MobilityTroyTesmerOconomowoc
VocaTone StudioGregoryGrissomKenosha
WakeWellRyanDel BalsoPlatteville
Water IntelligenceSpencerSeboMilwaukee
Wisco Road & Trail Running CompanyZachZiesemerMerrill
Wolf Star TechnologiesTimHunterMilwaukee
WorkshiftBekkiYangWest Allis
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