Two Marquette-affiliated companies are finalists in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest

Marquette startup Rapid Radicals Technology, founded by Paige Peters, a graduate student, and ReinventAuctions, co-founded by Paul Jones, vice president for University Relations and general counsel, are among the 13 finalists for the 19th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. Both companies will present at the 20th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on Wednesday, June 1, and Thursday, June 2, at the Italian Community Center (631 E. Chicago St.). 

Register to attend online. Marquette faculty and staff are eligible for the discounted individual member rate. 

“Putting early stage pieces together” is the theme of this year’s conference, where entrepreneurs from around Wisconsin will showcase their innovations, services and technologies. The conference is one of the Midwest’s premiere “how-to,” hands-on events for entrepreneurs of all ages and experience levels. Attendees range from entrepreneurs who are still developing their ideas to emerging company leaders who have already attracted angel and/or venture funding. These businesses cover a broad span of categories, from information technology to cleantech, from advanced manufacturing to the life sciences, and from business services to consulting. 

Fifty-five entries from 24 communities advanced after Phase 1 of the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. They represent the geographic diversity of Wisconsin, with 30 coming from outside the state’s two largest cities. Fourteen of 55 entrants are women and 14 represent people from diverse ethnic backgrounds. 

Twenty-six entries entered the final round after two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its sponsors and volunteers. The 13 finalists selected from that group will give live presentations at the conference. Category winners and the grand prize winner will be announced during the event. 

Dr. Kalpa Vithalani, executive director of technology transfer in the Office of Economic Engagement, will co-chair the conference and moderate a panel discussion on community and academic resources you can tap to start a company. She is also a judge for the Business Plan Contest.