In This Issue
Early Stage Symposium wraps up
2nd Investor Hall of Fame inductee
BrightStar receives fed approval
Milwaukee venture fund launched
UW-Madison launches D2P              
Social media site starts up             
Deals, acquisitions and news
Upcoming events

 Did You Know?

An MIT alum has launched a dating app that lets people offer gifts and other motivations to go on a date with them. The founder of Carrot Dating claims it helps unattractive, awkward men find companionship. Others find it sexist and offensive.

Acqui-hiring - the process of buying a company to recruit its employees. Facebook, Twitter and Google are a few companies that are often identified with the practice.

 Become a WAN Member
Your $750 WAN membership also includes a membership to the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN). This "dual" membership is a $500 value included at no additional cost to you.

Your WIN membership entitles you to one free pass to both major conferences (Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference and Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular WIN events in Madison, Milwaukee, Appleton, Central Wisconsin, Western Wisconsin and the Lake Superior regions.

For more information on WAN memberships, call
608-442-7557 or
click here to join.
 WAN Leadership
Advisory Committee
Tim Keane (Chair)
Golden Angels Network
Lisa Johnson
Wis. Economic Development Corp.
Dick Leinenkugel
Northwoods Angels
Thomas Shannon
Shamrock Partners
Tom Still
Wisconsin Technology Council
Brad Taylor
Wisconsin Investment Partners
David Ward
Angels on the Water

Emeritus: Lorrie Keating Heinemann, co-founder

Dan Blake

 'WisBusiness: The Show'
On the latest episode, Liz Schrum speaks with Mark Bakken, CEO of the Epic consulting firm Nordic Consulting, about the growth potential for health information technology in the state; Tom Still congratulates George Mosher on his recent induction into the Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame; and the WisBusiness.com Stock Report for mid-November 2013 features Talgo and the Oshkosh Corp.

Previous Show:
Mark Schmitz, ZEBRADOG Studios
Al Wearing, Group Health Coop

 Wisconsin Technology   Council
The Wisconsin Angel Network is a program of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Join the Tech Council's mailing list to stay up-to-date on news, events, programs and more!

Other quick links:
Wisconsin Innovation Network
Tech Council Newsroom
Inside Wisconsin by Tom Still

 Newsletter Sponsors


November 2013 
2013 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium sets attendance record
 ESS13 Web Header compressed small
The 2013 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, held Nov. 5-6 at Madison's Monona Terrace, saw record attendance with more than 550 registrants over the two-day event. Attendees traveled to Madison from all over Wisconsin, the Midwest and beyond. Forty-four companies had the opportunity to present to investors during the Wisconsin Angel Network tracks and the Elevator Pitch Olympics. 

Below are profiles of some of the presenting companies, written by students in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Life Sciences Communication department:

Session 1
Advanced Cooling Therapy: Looking for a new way to regulate patient temps
Find My Spot
: Startup hopes to make finding an apartment a 'moving' experience
: Ultrasound software startup aims to diagnose injuries more quickly
EasyG: Wireless monitoring device seeks to save time and lives
Brandbumps: Covering the uncovered space in the advertising world
: New company's jet ski seeks to give everyone access to the water
3D Dairy Foods: 'America's Dairyland' home to new dairy foods startup
Co-D Therapeutics: Fighting cancer, one nanometer at a time

Session 2
Quantitiative Insights: Imaging work station aims to improve breast cancer diagnoses
Voxel Metrics: 3D scanning startup offering affordable solutions to precision measurements                       
MedTrak: Striving to keep surgical procedures and imaging on right track
Imbed Biosciences: A silver lining for wound dressings
Isomark: Detectiving infections can be breathtaking experience
HealthMyne: Madison company seeks to implement new software platform for medical imaging
Ronin Studios & Consulting: Ronin seeks to redefine e-learning -- with fun
MEI: Precision tool uses radiofrequency to help liver cancer surgery go better
KayO Technology: KayO brings precise strength test system to physical therapy

Investors interested in learning more about the companies can contact Dan Blake, director of the Wisconsin Angel Network. 

2013 post-conference materials:

• The full attendee list can be found here.

• See Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still's recap of this year's event here.

• View downloadable photos of presenters, exhibitors and speakers here.

• Watch a slideshow of conference photos here.

• Read a comprehensive list of media coverage here.


 Milwaukee investor Mosher inducted into Wis. Investor Hall of Fame
George Mosher, a Milwaukee-based angel investor who has invested in more than 175 companies over time, was inducted into the Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame the night before the kick-off of the Early Stage Symposium. Mosher was awarded the honor during the Wisconsin Angel Network dinner at Nakoma Golf Club in Madison. He was introduced by last year's inductee, Dick Leazer, the former head of WARF and the founder of Madison angel group Wisconsin Investment Partners.

In his acceptance speech, Mosher outlined some of the lessons he has learned in angel investing, which you can read here. For more on Mosher's investing history, see the 1985 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story entitled "Mosher willing to help firms at start."

Mosher will also be a featured speaker at the Dec. 12 Wisconsin Innovation Network luncheon.

BrightStar Foundation receives IRS determination letter
BrightStar Foundation, a new initiative to create a non-profit fund to invest in startup companies, received notification from the IRS that it will be allowed to operate as a tax exempt organization, a major development for the effort.

BrightStar hopes their new fund will help fill the gap to fuel job growth in the state. The firm has raised $6 million from 8 founding donors and has received a $1 million commitment from Ab Nicholas, the founder of Nicholas Co. investment firm.

The announcement paves the way for the firm to start making investments out of their existing funds and begin raising more, the firm's president, Tom Shannon, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

 New Milwaukee venture fund looks to help new firms

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has committed at least $10 million of his own money to a venture capital fund that will invest in early-stage companies in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the Midwest.


The fund, which launched in May, made its first investment recently in Scanalytics Inc., a Milwaukee company with a software for tracking traffic in retail stores and other locations. The company raised $550,000 from CSA Partners, along with Ken Johnson, a Madison investor, and Dan Neely, founder of Networked Insights, a Chicago marketing analytics firm.


CSA Partners will be looking to invest $50,000 to $500,000 into companies, many which will be at a pre-revenue stage.

UW-Madison entrepreneurship initiative launched on campus
The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) announced the launch of a major new partnership focused on entrepreneurship on the UW-Madison campus this month.

Discovery to Product or D2P is an initiative focused on moving UW-Madison-inspired technology and innovation to market and will be partner to faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs.

“D2P is a big step forward in our support of entrepreneurship among both faculty and students,” UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in announcing the initiative. A nationwide search for D2P's first director is underway.    
 Madison social networking site Nextt launches
, a private social networking site based in Madison, launched this month and has begun attracting users. The company says its site will help people create and follow through on plans for face-to-face activities. 


The company was founded by entrepreneur Mark McGuire and has raised $925,000 from founders and investors that include Venture investors and Great Oaks Venture Capital. Read more from the Wisconsin State Journal.


 Deals, acquisitions, exits and news
Catalyze.io, a Madison health IT firm that helps build applications for health and wellness that meet security and data requirements, raised an amount undisclosed by investors and the company. Investors included Baird Capital, Arthur Ventures, Chicago Ventures, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Gener8tor, Angels on the Water and other individual investors. Baird Capital

Fiberstar Bio, an Eau Claire company that uses raw, waste material products in industrial and food applications, has closed a $500,000 funding round with an undisclosed investor from Brazil. 

Renewable World Energies, a Neshkoro company that owns and operates small hydroelectric facilities, closed a $2.3 million venture debt financing agreement with Geo Investors Fund. 

Simply Incredible Foods, a Port Edwards company that has developed a patented process for removing acid from cranberries, has raised $1 million. Investors included the Wisconsin Super Angel Fund and NEW Capital Fund. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Cover 5, an online fantasy sports platform, raised $250,000 from the Wisconsin Super Angel Fund. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

My Health Direct, a Milwaukee company that offers a web platform for connecting providers and healthcare patients, raised a $500,000 bridge loan financing round. Investors were not disclosed. 

Central Standard Craft Distillery, a Milwaukee distillery that plans to sell spirits that include whiskey, vodka, gin and brandy, has secured $750,000 from investors. Milwaukee Business Journal

MdotLabs, a Madison company that helps advertisers avoid invalid and fraudulent internet traffic, raised $1.25 million. Investors included Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital and angel investors, including Ray Zemon (founder of Shopbop.com). News release

HarQen, a Milwaukee voice technology firm that was a presenter at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, received a $300,000 loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. Milwaukee Business Journal

Upcoming Events
WIN-Madison: Federal health reform effects on small business, Nov. 26

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