Business Plan Contest accepting online entries

The 16th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest will accept online entries, including student entries, for the 2019 competition until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31.

The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-enabled businesses in Wisconsin. It links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, management talent, and possible sources of capital.

Finalists will share in more than $150,000 in cash and service prizes. There is no cost to enter.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit a 250-word (or 2,000-character) idea abstract online at www.govsbizplancontest.com. That’s where contestants will also find business plan templates and other information, such as the Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit. The toolkit provides business startup information and assistance, networking contacts and technical resources.

Contestants who advance to subsequent contest rounds will expand their plan in stages. Contest categories are Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 3,700 entries have been received and about $2.2 million in cash and services (such as legal, accounting, office space and marketing) have been awarded.

Wisconsin residents 18 years old and older are eligible, as are teams from Wisconsin-based businesses and organizations.