Wisconsin businesses of all sizes and in all industries are demonstrating resilience, ingenuity and compassion—all traits our state is well known for—in their response to COVID-19. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is recognizing and rewarding these companies with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding through the We’re All Innovating Contest, administered in partnership with the Wisconsin Technology Council.
Contest Details and Eligibility
The We’re All Innovating Contest is open to new and established Wisconsin businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Funding from the contest is intended to support companies that have introduced innovations responding to direct health andeconomic impacts of COVID-19; launching new innovations, including business models and best practices for COVID-19 operations that would otherwise remain dormant; and providing access to capital statewide, including rurally located and ethnically diverse entrepreneurs. Financial awards will help offset costs incurred since March 1, 2020, and/or anticipated through Dec. 30, 2020.
Judging of We’re All Innovating Contest entries will be done by industry experts throughout the state. With $3 million in prize money available, the We’re All Innovating Contest’s goal is to reward as many Wisconsin companies as possible, with approximately 195 awards in the following categories:
- Technology innovation to address COVID-19 impacts on health
Innovations targeted at combating the impact of the virus on health. This could be safety equipment, detection and testing technology, treatment or prevention medicines, medical devices and equipment, or any other innovations related to the health and medical side of the pandemic.
- Technology innovation to address COVID-19 impacts on businesses
Innovations intended to address the business and economic impacts of COVID-19. These innovations could be software for remote work and education, new products to meet demand created by social distancing, tools to allow businesses to operate more efficiently under safer practices, new e-commerce solutions for traditionally brick-and-mortar businesses, and other innovations that help businesses and the economy through these challenging times. If you have a new technology related to COVID and it is not focused on health impacts, this is your category.
- Service and business operation innovations to respond to COVID-19 disruption
Businesses of all shapes and sizes have had to adjust how they do business during the pandemic. Many have come up with creative solutions to continue their business, while others have pivoted to entirely new products and services.
Innovations in this category could be a sit-down restaurant adjusting to takeout and delivery, a retail shop increasing its online presence, a service business finding new ways to meet with clients, or any other business model pivot that allows your business to survive and even thrive during the pandemic.
Applicants for the We’re All Innovating Contest will be asked to provide their Employer Identification Number (EIN), W-9 and a description of their business innovation. The deadline for application is 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.