For other entrepreneurs like Renee, Gallagher or Timm, the door is wide open to enter this year’s competition run by the Wisconsin Technology Council. The free online registration process is open until January 31 at 5 p.m. at govsbizplancontest.com.
It doesn’t take much to get started. In their first round applications, applicants will submit a 250-word (approximately 2000 characters) idea summary online. Participants will also find business plan templates, startup information, networking contacts, and technical resources from a mix of state and national resources on the website.
The competition is large enough to capture most of the shots. The four categories of the competition are advanced manufacturing, business services, information technology and life sciences.
Those first 250 words due Jan. 31 may not seem like a barrier, but it forces applicants to condense their ideas into four themes: What is your core product or service? Who are your potential customers; what problems do they have and how will your product or service solve them? How do you define the broad market and your sales strategy? Who are your real and potential competitors?
Candidates who move forward will develop their plan in stages, those who move on to phase 2 will write a 1000 word summary. Approximately 80 volunteer judges from Wisconsin’s finance and investment, sales, marketing, research and technology industries will rate the entries and provide commentary on the entries.