2014 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest


The mission of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest is 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.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 2,600 entries have been received across four categories – advanced manufacturing, business services, information technology and life sciences. The contest has led to cash and in-kind prizes (such as legal, accounting, office space and marketing) valued at about $1.7 million. More important: Contestants have raised at least $70 million in private equity.

And the “survival rate” of BPC finalists is high: More than three-quarters of past finalists are still in business, according to past surveys.

Produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and a growing list of partners, the Governor’s Business Plan Contest engages contestants in a five-month process that includes the opportunity to work with mentors and receive feedback from judges. It also leads to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and helps spur economic growth in Wisconsin.

The contest includes three written phases. Phase 1 entries, 250-word (or 1,400-character) idea abstracts, are due 5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2014. Contestants that advance to Phase 2 will submit a 1,000-word (or 6,200 character) executive summary. The field is then further narrowed down for Phase 3, which requires a 15- to 20-page business plan. The “Diligent Dozen,” or top 12 finalists, will square off in the final phase of the contest with oral presentations during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 3 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

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

This statewide contest is an opportunity to compete for cash and prizes, but it’s also a chance to get constructive feedback on your business plan and to help move it from a virtual business to a reality. In 2014, finalists will once again have the opportunity to share in upwards of $100,000 in cash and services!



Competition Organizer

Wisconsin Technology Council

Local US Event
Madison, WI
Submission Date


Awards Date


Total Prize Cash (US Dollars)


Competition Category
  • Graduate - Local U.S.
  • Undergraduate - Local U.S.
  • Business - Local U.S.
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Technology - Green
  • Technology - Other
  • Women or Minority-owned
  • PitchBurner
Who's Eligible

Individuals, teams or companies are eligible if they:
- Are Wisconsin residents 18 years old or older, and who have a business plan that employs or leverages technology. Examples of technology include an eCommerce platform, a life sciences application or an advanced manufacturing process or system.
- Are a Wisconsin-based firm and/or plan to locate a business in Wisconsin.
- Have received less than $25,000 in private equity funding for an idea in its current form. For the purposes of this contest, private equity funding includes ONLY angel or venture funding. It does not include SBIR/STTR, bank loans or funding from friends or family who are not angels or venture capitalists.

Entries must fall into one of the following categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Information Technology, or Business Services