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Nominations Open for Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin

By Portage County Business Council

WMC and Johnson Financial Group Launch 4th Annual Contest

MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and Johnson Financial Group will accept nominations for the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest from Aug. 12-30. Any product manufactured in Wisconsin has the chance to be crowned the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin, but you must fill out the form at to nominate a product. Self-nominations from companies are encouraged.

The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest is back for a fourth straight year. The annual competition aims to highlight the state’s manufacturing industry – which employs nearly 1 in 5 Wisconsinites – and ultimately determine the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.

“This contest has quickly become one of the best ways to highlight the state’s vibrant and diverse manufacturing industry,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt R. Bauer. “As we approach Manufacturing Month in October, we hope this contest will bring attention to not only the cool things made in this state, but the outstanding career opportunities available in Wisconsin’s largest economic industry.”

WMC and Johnson Financial Group have partnered together for this contest since 2016, and Wisconsinites have cast over 400,000 votes since its inception. Last year alone, roughly 150 products were nominated and over 185,000 votes were cast to determine the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin. Products have ranged from motorcycles, military vehicles, cheese products, boats, generators, food carts, iron castings, beer, all-terrain vehicles, snow blowers and much, much more.

“Johnson Financial Group is excited to kick off our 4th Coolest contest in partnership with WMC,” said Johnson Financial Group CEO Jim Popp. “Every year we are blown away by all the cool things we make in the state, and we cannot wait to see what comes out on top this year.”

Nominations will be accepted from Aug. 12 through the end of the month. Following the nomination period, a popular vote will determine the Top 16 products that will be placed in a bracket-style tournament called Manufacturing Madness. Products will compete against one another in head-to-head match-ups, and the products that receive the highest votes in each match-up will advance to the next round.

Here’s the breakdown:

Aug. 12 to Aug. 30 – Nominations Accepted

Sept. 9 to Sept. 15 – Popular Vote to Determine the Field of 16

Sept. 16 – Announce the Top 16

Sept. 17 to Sept. 22 – 1st Round of the Bracket

Sept. 23 – Announce the Top 8

Sept. 24 to Sept. 29 – 2nd Round of the Bracket

Sept. 30 – Announce Top 4

Oct. 1 to Oct. 8 – Final Round

Oct. 8 – Winner Announced

Products that move onto the next rounds will be announced via Facebook Live, and the winner will be announced on Oct. 8 at WMC Foundation’s Business & Industry Luncheon at State Fair Park in Milwaukee.

To nominate a product for the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest, visit  Watch the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin video HERE.