Jan 31, 2015

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest


Time: 5:00pm on January 31, 2015


The 12th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is accepting entries online for the 2015 competition until 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.

The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the seed, startup and early growth stages of high-tech businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, high-quality education, management talent and possible sources of capital. It also leads to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and helps spur economic growth in the state. Finalists will share in more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 2,900 entries have been received and about $1.8 million in cash and services (such as legal, accounting, office space and marketing) have been awarded. Contest categories are Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Wisconsin residents 18 years old and older are eligible, as are teams from Wisconsin-based businesses and organizations. Businesses or teams from outside the state are also eligible to compete if they demonstrate intent to base their business in Wisconsin. Entrepreneurs may also enter multiple ideas, though each idea must be separate and distinct. Companies or individuals that have raised less than $25,000 in private equity for their plans in a current form are eligible to enter. Generally speaking, private equity refers to angel and venture capital.

As with past contests, the 2015 competition will take place in stages:

  • In Phase 1, which is open until 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, the contest will accept idea abstracts on the website. The top 50 idea abstracts will advance to Phase 2.
  • In Phase 2, which runs from Feb. 23 to 5 p.m. March 16, 2015, the top 50 idea abstracts will submit an executive summary. The top 20 executive summaries will advance to Phase 3.
  • In Phase 3, which runs from April 6 to 5 p.m. April 27, 2015, the top 20 executive summaries will prepare full business plans. Judges will review the plans and pick three finalists from each of the four categories to advance to the final presentation round. 
  • The top 12, or “Diligent Dozen,” will square off with oral presentations during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 2 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. 

Past finalists have launched companies that have raised $160 million in angel, venture, grants and venture debt over time – all while creating jobs and economic value for Wisconsin.

Visit www.govsbizplancontest.com for more information.

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