Wisconsin entrepreneurship students and graduates won big in the recent Governor's Business Plan Competition. Out of 250 initial entries five UW-Madison students and graduates placed in the finals.
Wisconsin School of Business MBA graduate Kendra Hill took first place in the Business Services category for Style Shuffler - a mobile app used to pair outfits with scanned merchandise. In April, Style Shuffler held a launch party at the GAP store in downtown Madison. Hill also participated in the Wisconsin Advanced Ventures in Entrepreneurship (WAVE) seminar class and placed in the recent G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition.
Other 2012 Burrill participants who made the finals in the Governor's Business Plan Competition include: Chris Johnson's Pilot Training Systems, which placed third in the Information Technology category, and Justin Reed's C-Motive Technologies, which placed second in the Advanced Manufacturing category and won the $10,000 Crowdfunding award. Reed was also a past participant of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp.
Ankit Argarwal, top finisher in the 2010 Burrill Competition, placed second in the Life Sciences category for Imbed Biosciences - a plan for bandages that help heal wounds faster.
Finalists survived two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the contest in conjunction with the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the Wisconsin Angel Network and other statewide affiliates.
The contest began in late January with 248 entries, and winners were announced June 5-6 at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee. About $200,000 in cash and in-kind prizes were awarded in total.
“The business plans in the final round reflect some of Wisconsin’s core technology strengths, as well as the fact that entrepreneurs can be found in emerging business sectors as well as familiar industries,” says Mark Bugher, chairman of the Tech Council.
Contestants submitted full business plans for review by a panel of more than 60 judges established by the Tech Council, which is the non-profit and non-partisan science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature. Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, list members of the management team and provides key financial data.
The finalists’ executive summaries as well as those filed by semi-finalists are available for inspection by accredited investors through the Wisconsin Angel Network, which has more than 25 member angel networks, private equity funds or corporate strategic partners.