The 15th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest (BPC) is now open for entries.

The contest helps connect innovators throughout the state with resources, mentoring and prospective sources of capital, to help boost Wisconsin’s startup environment and encourage entrepreneurs to set up shop in Wisconsin. Finalists receive more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

The 2018 competition will take place in phases:

Phase 1: Idea Abstract
Nov. 27, 2017-Jan. 31, 2018, 5 p.m.
The contest will accept idea abstracts on their website until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. Entries should be approximately 250 words (or no more than 2,000 characters, including spaces) and will be graded by the pool of BPC judges. The top 50 idea abstracts will advance to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Executive Summary
Feb. 19-March 12, 2018
Runs from Feb. 19 to 5 p.m. on March 12, 2018. The top 50 idea abstracts will submit an executive summary, and the top 20 executive summaries will advance to Phase 3.

A mentored “boot camp” for contestants will be held in early March.

Phase 3: Business Plan
April 2-23, 2018
Runs from April 2 to 5 p.m. April 23, 2018. The top 20 executive summaries, as determined by the judges, will be invited to submit full business plans. Judges will review the plans and choose three finalists from each of the four categories to advance to the final presentation round.

Mentored practice sessions will be offered to the top 12 in late May.

Final Phase: “Diligent Dozen”
June 5, 2018
The top 12 will compete with oral presentations during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference at Union South, UW-Madison.

All winners will be announced at the BPC Awards Luncheon on June 6.

Any Wisconsin-based business or entrepreneur over the age of 18 is eligible to enter the contest. However, businesses or teams from outside the state can enter if they demonstrate an intent to base their companies in Wisconsin.

To enter, become a judge or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit