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Companies with WSB Ties Take Top Prizes in 2019 Governor’s Business Plan Contest

By Clare Becker

June 10, 2019

Two startups with Wisconsin School of Business ties took top prizes at the 17th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council (WTC).

GrowthChart Records, Inc. won the grand prize for its voice-activated platform that allows child care providers to log observations hands-free while in the classroom. The company is a consulting client of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Wisconsin School of Business.

“I have been meeting primarily with Brent Benner, one of four founders on the GrowthChart team, and the focus has been on sales growth and creating operational efficiencies to manage scaling,” says Michelle Somes-Booher, director of the SBDC. “We also provided feedback on the company’s pitch prior to the business plan contest.”

GrowthChart is announced the winner at the Governor’s Business Plan Contest. Photo via Wisconsin Technology Council

GrowthChart beat out 12 other finalists to win this year’s grand prize and also took home the award in the information technology category.

“GrowthChart has created an innovative platform to save time for certified child care centers that are often recording data by hand on paper, which ties up professionals who could be caring directly for kids,” said Tom Still, president of WTC. “It’s a subscription model that helps childcare centers and parents alike.”

Blexx Technology, co-founded and run by Business Badger Erin Tenderholt (BBA ’19), won in the business services category for its design of a device that disintegrates hypodermic needles. Tenderholt, who graduated this spring with a double major in entrepreneurship and risk management and insurance, previously won WTC’s Elevator Pitch Olympics for Blexx Technology.

According to WTC, the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest encourages entrepreneurs in technology-enabled startups in Wisconsin. This year, contestants pitched their ideas to the panel of judges during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference held in Milwaukee. In conjunction with WTC, contestants receive support and preparation during the five-month lead-up to the June contest.