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“Join us in reviewing new ideas and solutions to fight COVID-19 – volunteer to be a judge today!”


We hope you will consider lending your time and expertise to serve as a judge for the “We’re All Innovating” contest, to be produced this fall by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. with the help of the Wisconsin Technology Council.


Judging the competition is a great opportunity to help Wisconsin-based small businesses that have responded – and will continue to respond – to the COVID-19 pandemic with innovative solutions aimed at reducing impacts on human health, business viability and general operations.


Judges will include a variety of professionals who may have experience in owning, managing or consulting with small businesses, as well as investors, experienced entrepreneurs and other professionals interested in promoting the success of small businesses that will define Wisconsin’s economic future.



If you would like to participate as a judge in the 2020 “We’re All Innovating” contest:


  • Please confirm your interest by emailing julie@wisconsintechnologycouncil.com by noon on Sunday Oct. 25, 2020.
  • Please let us know which of our three innovation categories you would prefer to judge: Health impacts, business impacts, operational impacts. Based on need, we might assign you to a category other than your top pick.
  • You may be asked to judge entries within all business size categories: 5 or fewer employees; 6 to 20 employees; and 21 to 50 employees.
  • We will follow up with a link to your “We’re All In” judging account after you are approved. The judging process will begin in late October.



What is the goal of the ‘We’re All Innovating Contest’?


The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will distribute $3 million in federal CARES Act funding to about 195 vetted applicants based on scoring during the contest. The contest will:


  • Support the financing needs of companies facing challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis
  • Provide funding for innovations responding to direct health and economic impacts of COVID-19
  • Help launch new innovations that would otherwise remain dormant
  • Support business model solutions and best practices for COVID-19 operations



How does the process work?


The contest will run through wisconsininnovates.com with the assistance of the Wisconsin Technology Council, which has managed contests such as the Governor’s Business Plan and Wisconsin YES! since 2004. The BPC is also affiliated with WEDC.


As a judge, you will be asked to review a randomly assigned number of plans and to score them through metrics tied to applicant answers to six questions.


After we confirm your participation, we will send you a link to your judging account. That will be followed by an email with instructions and information on judging. At that time, you will be able to log into your account and view the entries assigned to you once the application deadline has passed.


The judging period will last two weeks, so plan on devoting time to the process. That process will include reviewing each entry and assigning a numerical score (1-10, with 10 being the highest) to each section of the entry.



Important reminders


  • Remain impartial and at a discreet distance from the participating applicants/teams during the competition.
  • Guard the confidentiality of the innovation plans reviewed during the competition.
  • Judges can enter the contest so long as that entry is NOT in a category they will be assigned to judge


Please consider volunteering to judge the “We’re All Innovating” contest, which will help to continue Wisconsin’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.