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May 19, 2020

Dear readers: 

The U.S. Treasury Department’s printing presses continue to whirl

Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday his administration will dedicate about two-thirds of the $1.9 billion the state received from the federal CARES Act for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, buying needed supplies and emergency operations.

The $1.2 billion announced Tuesday also includes aid for local communities, with more than one-third of that amount – about $445 million – earmarked for hospitals and communities to help them prepare for a possible surge of COVID-19 patients over the summer and fall. Still to be designated in Wisconsin is about $600 million in federal CARES Act money.

‘Bird of a feather’ can flock together at June 4 Entrepreneurs’ Conference

Please read our latest release below on the make-up of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held on an interactive, virtual format June 4. In addition to previously announced features, five concurrent workshops will allow participants to choose sessions ranging from personnel to Paycheck Protection, and from marketing to managing your cash wisely.

Click here to register here for the conference!

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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?


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)
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!

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GUEST COLUMN: Who cares about energy during COVID-19 crisis? We all should

Like many Americans, I’ve been struggling to adjust to the dramatic changes that have taken place over the last few months. It may sound cliché at this point, but it rings true nonetheless: COVID-19 and the worldwide effort to combat it have scrambled everything around us. Indeed, even energy markets have not been immune to sudden, dramatic and unprecedented changes.

Over this period, I’ve struggled with a central question: “Who cares about energy when tens of thousands of Americans are dying and millions are losing their livelihoods?”

Click here to read Coenen’s full column.


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 “Pedal-Motive.”

Keeping bikes safe from the elements, and bikers active, is Pedal-Motive's motive
By Elizabeth Schreiber

Pedal Motive aims to keep people riding their bikes year-round with “Speedcase,” a fully enclosed bike transmission. 

Every day, people rely on bikes for recreation, training and commuting. Traditional bikes rely on exposed derailleurs to shift gears and provide an optimal riding experience with minimal pedaling effort.

Click here to read the full story.


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UW-Madison Chancellor Blank: Planning for a safe return to campus

We recently ended a very strange semester and celebrated the achievements of more than 8,500 students who received degrees as part of the Class of 2020. No one could have anticipated the incredible change and challenges presented to us by the COVID-19 pandemic and I can’t tell you enough how impressed and proud I am of our campus’ response.

As we’ve emerged from dealing with the immediate issues of this crisis, we are now looking forward. I want to tell you how we are preparing for a phased reopening over the course of the summer and what we are doing to make decisions about the fall semester.

Click here to read Blank’s full letter.

Blank, Becky

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 soon!


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


Fox6: Gov. Evers announces $1 billion statewide effort to support COVID-19 testing, response
Wisconsin State Journal: Evers administration won't pursue new COVID-19 restrictions amid impasse with GOP
Austin Business Journal: Everlywell gets key federal approval for COVID-19 at-home collection kit
Milwaukee Business Journal: Dr. Raymond watching short-term jump in COVID contagiousness, eyes vaccine developments
CNBC: [Video] Epic Systems: A unique view of the crisis-healthy returns with Judy Faulkner
NBC: Carbon emissions dropped 17 percent globally amid coronavirus
STAT: 9 ways COVID-19 may forever upend the U.S. health care industry
Milwaukee Business Journal: MMAC, MCW launch toolkit to help businesses reopen Dane County unveils re-opening plan, relaxes some restrictions
Wisconsin State Journal: Madison and Dane County launching plan to reopen economy in phases
BizWomen: 2020 Fortune 500 CEOs include a record number of women
Milwaukee Business Journal: Milwaukee Public Museum partners with Google for virtual tour
The New York Times: Notre Dame plans to reopen its campus in the fall, skipping fall break
Wisconsin State Journal: MGE proposes $31.7 million solar farm in Fitchburg to serve state, UW and industrial customers
Quartz: Retail is one of the biggest employers in the US and it desperately needs help
BizTimes Milwaukee: Internal expertise allows MGS to join the coronavirus fight
The New York Times: Trump threatens to leave W.H.O. and permanently end funding
Wisconsin State Journal: Child care centers in line for $51 million bailout, or far less than what's needed, advocates say
The New York Times: If Democrats hold a big convention, will anybody come?
BizWomen: Americans are excited to resume travel — slowly
The Business Journals: #WFH Chronicles: Prepping for a new normal
Leader-Telegram: Reactions sought about workplace risks
BizTimes Milwaukee: Wisconsin receives 210,000 masks from Taiwanese government, international businesses
LinkedIn: Is the pandemic driving a new marketing rebellion?
USA Today: Congressional leaders: U.S. needs bipartisan push for scientific research after coronavirus

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