The Wisconsin Technology Council has secured a record number of judges for the 2016 Governor’s Business Plan Contest, the organization announced this week.
The contest aims to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin and includes $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to be shared by finalists.
Contestants have until 5 p.m. Jan. 31 to enter their 250-word business ideas at www.govsbizplancontest.com.
The field of judges for this year’s contest has the strongest representation from early stage investors since the contest’s inception, with about 40 percent coming from investment groups active in the upper Midwest. The groups include Wisconsin Investment Partners, Golden Angels Investors, American Family Ventures, BrightStar Wisconsin, Capital Midwest, 4490 Ventures, HealthX Ventures, Venture Management, Inventure Capital, Angels on the Water, Wisconsin River Business Angels, Wisconsin Super Angels Fund, Northwoods Angels, Stateline Angels, NEW Capital Management, Symphony Corp. and Vue Ventures.
Other judges are advisors from accelerators and incubators; executives in larger businesses that often do business with startups and emerging companies; professionals from financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions; and experienced service providers working in the trenches with startups on a daily basis.
“This talented cross-section of judges and mentors allows for a thorough review of contest entries – as well as valuable feedback to contestants from people who know their way around technology, investing and business,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.
Past finalists have launched companies that have raised $200 million in grants, loans and private equity financing, according to organizers.