MADISON—The popular Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest is open for nominations through Sept. 9. Any product that is manufactured in Wisconsin can be nominated.

The seventh annual competition, hosted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and Johnson Financial Group, is a tradition that highlights the state’s robust manufacturing industry and will ultimately determine what is the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.

“Manufacturing is the backbone of Wisconsin’s economy and an industry full of dedicated, hardworking people who keep this state moving forward,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt R. Bauer. “As we approach Manufacturing Month in October, we hope this contest will showcase the strength and spirit behind Wisconsin manufacturing and provide us with an opportunity to celebrate the state’s largest industry.”

Last year, more than 150 products were nominated and over 200,000 votes were cast to determine the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin. Products have included cranes, motorcycles, military vehicles, cheese products, boats, generators, food carts, iron castings, beer, rifles, all-terrain vehicles, outboard motors, snow blowers and more. Wisconsinites have cast nearly one million votes since the contest's inception. 

Coolest Thing logo

“We are proud to once again join WMC in sponsoring such a popular contest that showcases the vibrancy of Wisconsin's manufacturing industry,” said Johnson Financial Group CEO Jim Popp. “Every year, we’re amazed to discover all of the cool products made within the state and we can’t wait to see what product will be named the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin this year.”

Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 9 at www.madeinwis.com.

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.

The ultimate winner will be announced at WMC's Business Day in Madison event on Oct. 19.