Governor’s Business Plan Contest can help highlight innovation during tough times

What do these companies have in common? Pinterest, Groupon, Mailchimp, Uber, Slack, WhatsApp, Airbnb, Square, Instagram, Google and PayPal. (Hint: It’s more than just tech.)

The first nine companies on the list were born during the Great Recession of the late 2000s and the latter two during the DotCom bust nearly a decade earlier. If you look back to earlier recessions, you can add Microsoft, Apple and even Burger King to the list.

The takeaway is that innovation and opportunity can spring from hard times, such as the economic turmoil produced by rising interest rates, inflation and continued supply chain troubles in 2022. Providing an outlet for some of that creativity to get noticed is the goal of the annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Launched in 2004, the contest has returned for 2023 and is open to young companies and individuals whose ideas may be the next big thing. Maybe not as big as Google or Microsoft, of course, but capable of leaving a mark on the economic map of Wisconsin and beyond.

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