MADISON, Wis. – More than 100 nominees are competing to be titled the “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.”

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and Johnson Financial Group on Wednesday kicked off the first round of voting. This year, 150 nominees will compete in a popular vote from Wednesday to Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m.

Nominees this year range from pontoon boats, mining equipment and outboard motors to custom Disney mouse ears, fried chicken fillets and summer sausage.

Wisconsinites can learn more about the nominees and cast their vote once per day per device at

The nominees will compete over the next week for a spot in the coveted Manufacturing Madness tournament-style bracket. The Top 16 vote-getters will be placed into the bracket to compete in head-to-head matchups in the coming weeks. The Top 16 will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 22 via a livestream video on Facebook, YouTube and at

The contest schedule is below:

  • Sept. 15 to Sept. 21 – Popular Vote to Determine the Field of 16

  • Sept. 22 – Announce the Top 16

  • Sept. 23 to Sept. 28 – 1st Round of the Bracket

  • Sept. 29 – Announce the Top 8

  • Sept. 30 to Oct. 5 – 2nd Round of the Bracket

  • Oct. 6 – Announce Top 4

  • Oct. 7 to Oct. 14 – Final Round

  • Oct. 14 – Winner Announced

The winner will be announced at WMC’s Business Day Event in Pewaukee. Registration for Business Day is open at

WMC and Johnson Financial Group have partnered together for this contest since 2016, and Wisconsinites have cast over 775,000 votes since its inception. More than 125,000 votes were cast to determine the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin last year.


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