Submissions to the Gov.’s Business Plan Contest Exceed Expectations in Wisconsin

The first Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest has attracted more than 300 ideas from 234 individuals in more than 100 communities, exceeding contest organizer estimates.

WTN News

The mission of the first-ever statewide contest is to encourage entrepreneurs in the creation, start-up and early growth stages of high-growth businesses in Wisconsin. Participants have the chance to win seed capital and services to help launch their businesses. Winners will be announced in June.

Entries received since mid-November were spread over four contest categories aimed at capturing Wisconsin’s best technology-based ideas: Business services (approximately 31 percent of the total), information technology and e-Commerce (27 percent), advanced manufacturing (29 percent) and life sciences (13 percent). The common thread in all four categories is the use of cutting-edge technology to leverage the idea. The deadline for entering the contest was Jan. 31.

The number of entries in the contest was larger than what contest organizers at the Wisconsin Technology Council expected which sent an encouraging message about the state’s untapped entrepreneurial talent.

Entries came from 101 communities, which contest organizers took as evidence that Wisconsin’s technology innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are not confined to a few high-tech hot spot.

“Entrepreneurs live everywhere in Wisconsin, and they are building businesses where they live,” said Mark Bugher, chairman of the Wisconsin Technology Council and director of the University Research Park in Madison. “Our goal at the Tech Council is to help them bring their ideas to the marketplace.”

The Governor’s Business Plan Contest is the collaboration among the Tech Council, other tech-based organizations, individual entrepreneurs and Gov. Jim Doyle, who unveiled the contest at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in June 2003.

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