Northern Star Fire’s E-compass Wins Governor’s Business Plan Contest

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already established relationships with fire chiefs and other leaders in the field, he said.

Dykes said that for firefighters, trying to see through smoke is hard enough before considering that the environment they’re navigating is almost always unfamiliar.

“I’ve never been in your house before,” he said, making an appeal to the audience. “I don’t know what the floor plan is. This little compass is going to … allow me to do my job more efficiently. Then I can save the lives of those who I’m sworn to protect: you.”

Past winners of the business plan contest’s top prize include Hyde Sportswear last year, BluDiagnostics in 2015, and Elucent Medical in 2014.

Northern Star Fire, along with three other startups that took first place in their categories, were selected from more than 170 entries. Here are descriptions of the three category winners from the Wisconsin Technology Council, which helps organize the contest:

Compost Crusader (business services): the Milwaukee-based startup picks up organic material from municipalities and other organizations that do not want it to end up in a landfill.

DotCom Therapy (information technology): the Madison-based company has developed software designed to connect certified speech-language pathologists with students and patients who require their services.

Nano Red (life sciences): the Milwaukee-based startup is developing technology aimed at delivering immune system-boosting therapeutics to tumors while also keeping chemotherapeutic material at the tumor site from leaking out into healthy tissues.

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Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email: Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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