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May 22, 2020

Dear readers: 

As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, many Americans are pondering what comes next for them, their families, friends and neighbors, and the nation’s economy. Amid it all, let’s not lose sight of the sacrifices by those American service members who came before us, thus creating a nation strong enough to endure today’s hard times.
Visit to participate in the state’s virtual observances, including a 9 a.m. Monday ceremony and a 3 p.m. Monday live national moment of silence.

Stay tuned as we roll out more highlights of the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in the coming days and watch for news media coverage of the June 4 event:  You may register here for the conferenceGet early access today!

Make sure to check out our newsroom below for fast-changing information about Wisconsin’s reopening proces

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Stay tuned for announcements about virtual Tech Council webinars on COVID-19 issues of interest to our members and others.

Do you have news or best practices to contribute to a future edition of Tech Council Current?

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend, and we'll see you again on Tuesday!

Tom Still, president

Registration now open for our ‘virtual’ Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference!

We recently announced that Brian Pinkerton, Apple’s chief architect for Siri and a graduate of the UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences, will speak June 4 during the
Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference on a virtual platform that will offer plenty of interaction with attendees.

Click here to read the conference press releases: (* NEW)
* Tech Council's virtual event platform launched for June 4 Entrepreneurs' Conference *
Exact Sciences CEO Kevin Conroy to receive the 2020 'Seize the Day' award June 4 at 'treps conference
Five interactive workshops to target post-COVID strategies at June 4 Entrepreneurs' Conference
Panels at virtual Entrepreneurs’ Conference will focus on COVID-19 economic recovery 

‘Virtual’ Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference will offer plenty of ways for attendees to engage
‘Siri, did you know your boss will speak June 4 at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference?’

We’ll announce more conference highlights soon, including engaging ways for attendees to network among themselves and presenters. Nothing beats live, but this will come close! Among the features of the conference over time have been the Governor’s Business Plan Contest (see more below) and a presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, or YES!, contest. A full release on the young people advancing in that competition is linked here, as well.

Please stay tuned for more about panel discussions, workshops and special networking activities.                                                                    
Register here!


GUEST COLUMN: COVID-19 has only intensified the broadband gap

We are living in a new world, a world racing online as social distancing forces many of us to work, communicate and connect in new ways. In the United States alone, state and local directives have urged 316 million Americans to stay in and, when possible, work from home. As communities around the world adapt to a world with COVID-19, broadband connectivity and access are more critical to our lives and livelihoods than ever before.

Broadband already powers much of our modern lives, but COVID-19 has acted as an accelerant, a fuel of sorts that has driven many essential activities online. All learning, services, commerce, most workplaces and daily interactions online require a high-speed connection to the internet. Click here to read Smith’s full column.

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The BPC class of 2020: Finalist profiles

The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest began in late January and will culminate June 4 during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. Some contest finalists were profiled by senior and graduate students in a UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication capstone class. Visit, our “Student Stories” and our BPC website to see more stories about these young companies. Today’s feature story is about “Last Lock.”

What happens when you mix tradition with technology? You lock up success! 
By Brianna Van Matre

It’s hard to believe that during a time of technological innovation, people sometimes forget to incorporate tradition in their ideas.

For Jack Ryan, his idea began by looking at a traditional gated entryway and wondering how it could become better.

Ryan has developed a “smart lock” that is able to give people a more secure and advanced lock, while keeping the traditional look and function of a normal deadbolt. Ryan, founder of Last Lock, has designed a lock with “smart” software features as well as functions for a variety of uses.  Click here to read the full story.


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Our Business Plan Contestants could use your support!

We announced a crop of 28 finalists in the 2020 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest this week, and we’re looking forward to the competition entering the next phase. If you’re able to contribute services to the prize kitty – legal, accounting, consulting, office space, media and design, cash or something else a young company might want – please contact us. Email your ideas to: and she’ll get back to you. Thanks for helping this exciting group of entrepreneurs advance their companies during a challenging time.

Watch for the "Diligent Dozen" presentation videos coming next week!


WPR: Where stay-at-home orders and other COVID-19 restrictions are in effect in Wisconsin
WISN: Counties, municipalities that reopened & remain closed
Dane County issues its own order, continues Safer At Home measures
City of Milwaukee Health Department: COVID-19 Public Health Plan for the City of Milwaukee
Wisconsin State Journal: 13 of 72 Wisconsin counties and the city of Racine have extended stay-at-home orders
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Here's which Wisconsin counties and cities have continued or started new stay-at-home orders
Urban Milwaukee: Cities respond to pandemic with public space experiments
The Journal Times: After the coronavirus: Your next road trip may look like this
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: What we've learned about how to protect yourself from coronavirus in reopened Wisconsin
Milwaukee Business Journal: Employers need to weigh legal and health ramifications when reopening, experts say As Memorial Day tempts people outdoors, precautions advised *


WisBusiness: the Podcast with Buckley Brinkman, executive director and CEO of Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity discusses the upcoming June 4th Entrepreneurs’ Conference
: Gov. Evers announces $100 million for long-term care, home and community based services, and emergency medical services
Milwaukee Business Journal: Nimble Therapeutics working on diagnostics of virus that causes Covid-19
Wisconsin State Journal: Federal lawsuit filed against Dane County COVID-19 stay-at-home order
Wisconsin Public Radio: CEO of nursing homes: 'We are at center of this storm. We need help' Conservatives continue to press for everyone-for-themselves strategy
BusinessNorth: BusinessNorth: COVID-19 impact forces Essentia Health to cut 900 employees
The Cap Times: Dane County businesses to reopen Tuesday with restrictions
CNN: CDC estimates that 35% of coronavirus patients don't have symptoms
WisBusiness: Gentueri Inc. to develop COVID-19 oral testing kits
Milwaukee Business Journal: Dr. Raymond says keep cleaning despite CDC update that coronavirus 'does not spread easily' on surfaces
Fast Company: The COVID-19 vaccine will require billions of glass vials—but lockdowns are cratering the supply of recycled glass
WisBusiness: UW Professor to develop rapid COVID-19 test for large institutions
The Cap Times: Dane County Board sets priorities for CARES funds
Wisconsin State Journal: Close to half of Wisconsin businesses say they wouldn't survive 10 months in continued shutdown
Milwaukee Business Journal: Companies consider mandatory masks, cutting meetings as they take steps to reopen
WisconsinEye Morning Minute: [Video] Department of Tourism Secretary Sara Meaney
Milwaukee Business Journal: 'Quite a road': How restaurants are reopening dining rooms
Wisconsin Public Radio: Wisconsin Farmers to receive $50 million from federal COVID-19 aid
Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin's unemployment rate more than quadruples to 14.1% in April; 385,900 private-sector jobs lost
Milwaukee Business Journal: The current pandemic is upending many investment and estate-planning strategies
Fast Company: 7 ways flying could change in the age of COVID-19 (and 1 way it definitely won’t)
Wisconsin State Journal: Virtual Brat Fest online fundraiser to replace World’s Largest Brat Fest

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