Four Center for Technology Commercialization clients earned category prizes at the 2019 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
Seedlinked (Dylan Bruce, Viroqua) won the “Bright New Idea” award as a first-time contestant and second place in the Information Technology category in the 17th annual contest, organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council. The company connects plant growers and their data to help breed, source and harvest the best seeds.
Voximetry (Brian Bednarz, Middleton) placed second in Life Sciences, ERbin (Michelle Goetsch, Kronenwetter) took third in Information Technology, and SafeLi (Carol Hirschmugl, Shorewood) took third in Advanced Manufacturing.
Voximetry is an early-stage healthcare technology company working on improvements in nuclear medicine dosimetry. ERbin specializes in digital, place-based consumer recycling education. And SafeLi aims to help power the wireless world while making it a safer place for users of lithium ion batteries.
GrowthChart Records of Stoughton, which developed a time-saving hands-free voice assistant for childcare centers, took home the grand prize.
“Recording data by hand on paper ties up professionals who could be caring directly for kids,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.
GrowthChart Records, a Small Business Development Center client, also won the contest’s Information Technology category.
The Governor’s Business Plan Contest kicked off this year in late January with nearly 200 entries; more than 3,900 entries have been received since the contest began in 2004. This year’s finalists delivered seven-minute pitches on their business ideas during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference at Venue 42 in Milwaukee’s Brewery District.
Finalists submitted full business plans for review by a panel of more than 100 judges established by the Tech Council, which is the nonprofit and nonpartisan science and technology advisor to the governor and the Legislature. Each plan described the core product or service, defined the customer base, estimated the size of the market, identified competition, described the management team and provided key financial data.
CTC clients have won and placed at the contest in the past two years: NovoMoto earned the 2018 grand prize, and Northern Star Fire (also an SBDC client) captured the 2017 grand prize.