darkaero

Brothers River, left, and Ryley Karl display the wings for the airplane kit that their company, DarkAero, plans to sell. DarkAero is one of 13 startups chosen to compete for prizes at the Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest this week.

Thirteen young companies — including seven from the Madison area — have survived three rounds of judging and will get their time in the spotlight at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference this week.

The 13 are the “Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen,” chosen to make seven-minute pitches on their products or services to a panel of judges during the final round of the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

They will vie for a portion of the prizes — about $160,000 worth of cash and in-kind services.

Local contenders are:

  • Auto-Scope, artificial intelligence to help diagnose ear problems
  • Blexx Technology, hypodermic needle disposal device
  • DarkAero, airplane kit manufacturer
  • GrowthChart Records, an app for child care workers to tell parents how their youngsters are doing
  • SpayVac for Wildlife, animal contraceptive vaccine
  • Voximetry, personalized radiation doses for patients
  • Zero Barrier, 3D metal printing

Entrepreneurs representing the 13 startups will make presentations at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee on Tuesday and the winners will be named on Wednesday.

The two-day conference also will feature panels on diversity, on connecting entrepreneurs around the state in an IQ corridor, and on how to raise a startup to maturity. Keynote speakers are Jeff Rusinow, founder of Silicon Pastures, Milwaukee’s first angel investor network, and John Zeratsky, a former tech industry designer and co-author of the book “Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days.”

The conference is presented by the Wisconsin Technology Council. More information is available at https://wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/entrepreneurs-conference or 608-442-7557.

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