MADISON, Wisconsin – The 19th Annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Competition is accepting online entries for the 2022 competition until 5 p.m. on Monday, January 31, 2022.
New this year: the third round of the competition will accept narrated pitch decks from the finalists who advance beyond the written summary.
The competition is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the early stages of technology startups in Wisconsin. It connects aspiring entrepreneurs to a statewide network of community resources, expert advice and mentoring, management talent and potential sources of capital.
Over time, the competition has led to valuable public and media exposure for the best business plans and spurred Wisconsin’s economic growth. In 2021, the finalists shared over $ 125,000 in cash and service prizes.
For their initial applications, applicants will submit a 250 word (approximately 2000 characters) idea summary online at govsbizplancontest.com. Participants will also find business plan templates, startup information, networking contacts, and technical resources from a mix of state and national resources on the website.
Competitors who advance to subsequent rounds of the competition will expand their plan in stages. Approximately 80 volunteer judges from across Wisconsin’s finance, sales, marketing, research and technology industries will rate entries and provide feedback on the entries.
To get started, applicants should create a simple account at govsbizplancontest.com. All applications are submitted through the website. Candidates use their account to access mentors throughout the process, as well as to review judges’ comments and feedback.
Since its inception in 2004, over 4,300 applications have been received and approximately $ 2.5 million in cash and services (such as legal, accounting, office and marketing) have been awarded. The competition categories are advanced manufacturing, business services, information technology and life sciences.
Wisconsin residents aged 18 and over are eligible, as are teams from Wisconsin-based businesses and organizations. Out-of-state businesses or teams are also eligible to compete if they demonstrate an intention to found or expand their business in Wisconsin. Entrepreneurs can also enter multiple ideas, although each idea should be separate and distinct.
Companies or individuals who have not received angel or venture capital for their business plan in its current form are eligible. There is no charge to enter. As with past competitions, the 2022 competition will take place in stages:
- In phase 1, which is open until 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 31, 2022, the competition will accept abstracts of ideas on the website. Entries should be approximately 250 words (or no more than 2000 characters including spaces) and will be scored by the BPC panel of judges. The top 50 Idea Summaries will move on to Phase 2.
- In phase 2, which takes place from February 18 at 5 p.m. March 12, 2022, the top 50 idea abstracts will submit an abstract. The top 20 abstracts will move on to phase 3. A supervised “training camp” for applicants will take place during this phase.
- In phase 3, which takes place from April 4 at 5 p.m. April 25, 2022, the 20 best executive summaries will prepare “pitch decks” with a voice-over lasting no more than 15 minutes. Judges will review the videos and choose three finalists in each of the four categories to advance to the final round of live presentation. Supervised training sessions will be offered to the top 12 at the end of May.
The first 12, or “Dozen diligent”, will compete with live presentations at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference in June 2022.
The former finalists have launched companies that have raised more than $ 300 million from angel investors, venture capitalists, grants and venture capital debt over time, while creating jobs and economic value for Wisconsin. The main sponsors of the competition are the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
The 2021 grand prize winner was Medical Atrility, a Madison-based company, which has a device that facilitates more effective monitoring and treatment of atrial arrhythmia, which is a rhythm disturbance that can be difficult to detect with current equipment. The category winners in 2021 were Smart well (Advanced manufacturing), Reporters online (Business services), Disturbed nurse (Information technology) and Medical Atrility (Life sciences).
To participate, become a judge or find out more about sponsorship opportunities, visit govsbizplancontest.com.