Wisconsin Technology Council: Finalists in Gov’s Biz Plan Contest offer innovation in health, environment, more

Twenty-six entries representing sectors such as health care, cleantech, education, software and innovations in products or services are competing in the finalist round of the 19th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

The contestants have emerged after two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its sponsors and volunteers.

“Young companies such as those advancing in this year’s contest are examples of innovation that cuts across industry sector lines in Wisconsin,” said Greg Lynch, chairman of the Tech Council and a partner at the law firm of Michael Best.

Advanced manufacturing ideas include an energy efficient process to remove salt from wastewater and convert it into useful chemicals; a water purification system to remove contaminants such as PFAS; an electric cargo delivery bike used for delivery and facilities maintenance; battery technology for grid energy storage; bioplastics for food packaging; a high-rate municipal wastewater treatment system; and an automated spraying system for certain types of trees.

Plans tied to business services include a B2B workforce platform designed for restaurants and hospitality businesses; an artificial intelligence system to help small companies identify contract risks; an international money transfer platform for immigrants in the United States; cybersecurity services tailored to coming federal regulations; a mentoring program for school districts hiring teachers new to the profession; a B2B digital auction for vehicles; and a camp for middle-school girls who want to become engineers.  

Information technology plans include a virtual reality platform for producing 3D images of small molecules and biological macromolecules for medical and scientific research; a machine-learning app that allows consumers to better recycle products where they live; wearable human-computer interfaces help users interact with virtual and augmented reality systems using their hands; cybersecurity that customizes code to reduce points of attack; an e-government software tool to help government workers, elected officials and others to interact online; and a terrestrial wildfire warning and detection device.

Life sciences plans include a dental stabilizer that levers stability of healthy teeth to hold injured teeth in place; an over-the-counter pet nutraceutical for itch relief; a blood flow contrast injection technology to quantify blood flow while reducing patient contrast dose; a syringe device to collect and ergonomically dispense accurate volumes of fluids; a medical device to treat blood clots in the heart; and an over-the-counter hearing aid.

Finalists will submit a 15-minute pitch deck for review by a panel of about 75 judges. Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, list members of the management team and provides key financial data. Finalists are also encouraged to provide feedback from a potential or current customer.

The “Diligent Dozen,” which are the top 12 business plans announced in late May, will present live at the 2022 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, June 1-2. Category winners, as well as the 2022 Grand Prize Winner, will be announced at the close of the Milwaukee conference. More information will be available in coming weeks at www.witrepsconference.com.

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing, event space and more. About $2.5 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is a major sponsor.

Additional lead sponsors of the 2022 contest thus far include AirDeckAT&TQuarles & BradyReinhardt Boerner Van DeurenSCOREStarting BlockThe Creative Company; and Ward4; Associate sponsors include  Aberdean ConsultingMakin’ Hey!Murphy DesmondSpencer X Smith and AmpliPhi. Additional sponsors are Applied Management; ExpansiveIrontekMadison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic Health SystemReverbal Communications; VersitiWisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.  

Finalists are listed below. Reporters wishing to contact individual contestants may do so through the Tech Council by calling 608-442-7557.

EntryFirst NameLast NameCity
Badger Dental ProductsDavidPoetkerMadison
ChloBis WaterMargaretLumleyMadison
Cold Water TechnologiesJordanSandVerona
CompRexZhijunJiaLa Crosse
Contrast DynamicsErickOberstarVerona
Fleet CyclesMichaelBasarichMonona
Flux XIIPatrickSullivanMadison
Gud MedicalJosephUlbrichMadison
HeyGovDustinOverbeckSturgeon Bay
Inspired Together LearningMicheleVosbergMadison
My Hearing CareYiHuMilwaukee
Rapid Radicals TechnologyWilliamSchanenMilwaukee
Stellar Tech GirlsMarinaBagotMadison