Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest names 16 finalists for 2019

The fourth annual Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest, presented by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and Johnson Financial Group, announced the top 16 finalists Sept. 16 via Facebook Live.

According to Nick Novak, senior director of communications and marketing with the WMC, a record number of 43,498 votes were cast in the first round. See the finalists in the attached slideshow.

The top three seeded finalists included the No. 1 Henry Big Boy All-Weather Rifle from Henry Repeating Arms, Mercury Racing’s 450R Outboard Motor at No. 2 and Generac’s DR 30-inch Wide Area Mower at No. 3. A previous winner, John Deere, received the No. 4 seed for its X739 Signature Series lawn tractor.

Several food and beverage manufacturing companies also earned a spot in the top 16. Locally, Milwaukee-based Palermo Villa Inc. earned the No. 6 seed for the company’s Screamin’ Sicilian frozen pizza, and Watertown-based Klarbrunn earned the eighth seed with its Klarbrunn Bucky’s Cherry Berry sparkling water.

Milwaukee-based Spike Brewing Equipment earned the No. 15 seed for its nano brewing system.

A popular vote narrowed down the over 150 nominees to a bracket of 16 contestants. The first round of voting will run from Sept. 17-22. Second round voting begins Sept. 24 and ends Sept. 29. The final four nominees will be announced Sept. 30 with voting from Oct. 1-8.

The 2019 Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin winner will be announced Oct. 8 at the WMC Foundation’s Business and Industry Luncheon at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

Margaret Naczek, Milwaukee Business Journal

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