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Stellar Tech Girls Named one of 2022's ''Diligent (Baker's) Dozen''

Finalists representing diverse tech-based sectors in Wisconsin’s early-stage economy will present from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, as part of the 19th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The four-month, staged contest culminates the following day with award announcements during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

The 13 contestants emerged from three rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the contest in conjunction with its partners and sponsors. The contest began in late January with nearly 200 entries; more than 4,300 entries have been received since the contest began in 2004.

This year’s finalists will deliver seven-minute pitches on their business ideas beginning 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 1. Winners will be announced June 2 during the closing of the Entrepreneurs’ Conference. To register for the conference at The Italian Community Center in Milwaukee, visit: WiTrepsConference.com. 

Entries were submitted in four categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Advanced manufacturing ideas in the finals all involve water. They include an energy-efficient process to remove salt from water and convert it into valuable chemicals (such as caustic soda or bleach) and create a sustainable recovery cycle; development of a water and wastewater treatment system for removal of PFAS, which are chemicals commonly found in consumer and manufacturing products; and expanding existing municipal systems to include a decentralized, high-rate wastewater treatment technology to eliminate sewer overflows and basement backups.

Entries focused on business services include a web app that collects contract forms, extracts quantitative risk data using state-of-the-art AI, and automatically produces high-caliber outputs; a business-to-business wholesale marketplace that enables frictionless online transactions between RV, marine, powersports and automotive dealers; and an engineering camp and events for middle-school girls, taught by female role models, to help girls to see their potential as engineers.

Information technology plans include an immersive virtual reality experience for molecular design of pharmaceutical products that gives researchers high-quality images; a digital platform that allows consumers to scan product UPC barcodes to get varied recycling or composting guidelines based on geographic location; a wireless wristband of sensors that allows users to directly interact with AR/VR experiences using a digital twin of their own hands; and an e-government management software with tools that help cities conduct all types of business digitally.

Life sciences plans include an over-the-counter, science-based pet nutraceutical for itch relief that is sprinkled on top of the pet’s food daily; an X-ray based tool that helps vascular surgeons and radiologists better monitor blood flow during interventions; and an over-the-counter hearing aid enabling people with mild to moderate hearing loss to fit and adjust their devices without an audiologist.

Finalists submitted a 15-minute video pitch deck for review by a panel of about 70 judges and their scores on those video pitches will be a part of the final scoring. Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, describes the management team, and provides key financial data.

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing and more. About $2.5 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the inception of the contest in 2004. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is a major sponsor.

Additional lead sponsors of the 2022 contest thus far include AirDeckAT&TQuarles & BradyReinhardt Boerner Van DeurenSCOREStarting BlockThe Creative Companyand Ward4Associate sponsors include  Aberdean ConsultingMakin’ Hey!Murphy DesmondSpencer X Smith and AmpliPhiAdditional sponsors are Applied Management; ExpansiveIrontekMadison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic Health SystemReverbal Communications; VersitiWisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.  

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