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UW students and research fellows among finalists for Governor’s Business Plan Contest

May 30, 2012 By Käri Knutson

Four University of Wisconsin–Madison students and research fellows are leading teams among 25 finalists in the ninth annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Ankit Agarwal, Chris Johnson, Aleia McCord and Justin Reed will compete in the final round, representing sectors as broad as medical devices and educational software to alternative energy production and advanced manufacturing.

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 will be announced June 5-6 at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee. About $200,000 in cash and in-kind prizes will be awarded.

“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.

The UW–Madison students and research fellows include winners and finalists from the G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition held at the Wisconsin School of Business.