Entries accepted through Jan. 31 for Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest

The 16th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is accepting entries online for the 2019 competition until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice and mentoring, management talent and possible sources of capital. Over time, the contest has led to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and spurred economic growth in Wisconsin. In 2018, finalists shared in more than $150,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit a 250-word (about 2,000 characters) idea abstract online at govsbizplancontest.com. That’s where contestants will also find business plan templates and other information, such as the Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit. The toolkit provides business startup information and assistance, networking contacts and technical resources.

Contestants who advance to subsequent contest rounds will expand their plan in stages. More than 100 judges drawn from the finance, sales, marketing, research and technology sectors across Wisconsin will score the entries and provide feedback on submissions.

To get started, contestants must create a simple account at govsbizplancontest.com. All entries are submitted through the website. Contestants use their account to gain access to mentors throughout the process, as well as review the judges’ comments and feedback.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 3,700 entries have been received and about $2.2 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.