Businesses from Monona and McFarland have made it to the final round in the 18th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest (BPC).

BPC is a start-up competition for local entrepreneurs. According to BPC’s website, the contest aims to “link up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, high-quality education, management talent and possible sources of capital.”

Hosted through the Wisconsin Technology Council, the contest averages roughly 200 entries per year.

This year, Max Coller of Monona and Barbara Zabawa of McFarland were among the 50 semi-finalists and now 25 finalists in the competition.

Coller, a software developer, entered the contest with plans for a business titled Midwest Carbon Exchange. The start-up is based on the idea of paying farmers to take carbon dioxide from the air and store it in their fields.

Zabawa, a lawyer and professor, entered with a fashion start-up called Pursesuitz. The clothing brand is aimed at designing a more equitable landscape for women’s clothing through microbial shapewear with storage pockets for phones, keys, and wallets.

Moving forward, Coller and Zabawa will both submit 15 to 20 page business plans to be reviewed by a panel of 80 judges. The top 12 candidates will be announced in May, with the 2021 grand prize winner set to be announced in the first week of June.

A full list of finalists is located on the BPC website.

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