Wisconsin’s Governors Business Plan Contest was an early leader in using business plan competitions beyond of the campus. This really isn’t surprising given the state’s history of making the structures and benefits of the university system work for the entire state. (check out Van Hise’s Wisconsin Idea — I have been reading a lot about it in my research on the history of higher education in the United States).
From the announcement officially opening the eighth annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
The eighth annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, a process that has helped start-up companies get up and running with the help of prizes, mentoring and access to private capital, is open for entries for the 2011 contest season.
The BPC has attracted about 1,800 entries in its first seven years, with roughly 160 finalists sharing in $1 million in cash and other in-kind prizes. The contest begins with a 250-word abstract that is filed online at http://www.govsbizplancontest.com no later than 5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2011.
The contest opened at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium this month and the grand prize is $50,000 in cash and services.
The contest has four categories: Advanced manufacturing, business services, information technology and life sciences. In the first stage, contestants cover four topics: Product or service description; customer definition: their needs – your solution; market description, size and sales strategy; and competition.
The contest is conducted in three written phases, culminating in oral presentations at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee in June. Mentoring is available after the first phase, and participants will be eligible to take part in an early March “boot camp.” The contest is judged by more than 70 experienced entrepreneurs, investors and service professionals.
Great stuff. Congratulations to the state of Wisconsin.