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November 19, 2020

Dear readers, 

It hasn’t been the best of years, as we all know, but we’re still thankful for many things: the fact that most of us have managed to stay healthy during a pandemic, that innovative companies and workers are forging ahead the best they can; and that recent news about vaccines offers light down the long tunnel. Please read on to learn more about events, news and more, including some feature stories on companies that took part in the Nov. 9-11 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. Those stories were written by students in my senior-level class in the UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication.  

CapTimes: Gov. Evers extends mask mandates into January 2021, asks Wisconsinites to stay home
USA Today: CDC recommends that Americans don't travel for Thanksgiving

Madison restaurants: 33 spots to order-in meals and desserts for Thanksgiving
Milwaukee restaurants that will be open or are offering takeout for Thanksgiving
Fox Cities restaurants offering Thanksgiving to go

Also, please read my latest column on a growing threat over the coming months.

Inside Wisconsin: Cybersecurity worries mount for businesses, health care during transition


Make sure to check out our newsroom below for fast-changing information about Wisconsin's reopening process.
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 wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for helping to build a stronger Wisconsin!

Tom Still, president

» NEWplease click here to update your subscription preferences for Tech Council communications!


2020 W·O·M·E·N reception

It wasn’t so long ago that female angel and venture capital investors were rarities in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Today, they’re making a mark in the early stage economy – but with lots of room for growth. Assessing that progress and what comes next will be discussed at the Dec. 2 virtual W·O·M·E·N reception produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council.

The virtual W·O·M·E·N reception (Women Opportunities Mentors Entrepreneurship Networking) will begin at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, with virtual breakout networking sessions with the presentation following from 10 to 11 a.m.

The W·O·M·E·N reception is sponsored by Promega and is open and welcome to everyone.

Panelists are Andrea Dlugos, co-manager of Wisconsin Investment Partners; Dana Guthrie, managing partner of Gateway Capital Partners; and Richelle Martin, managing director of the Winnow Fund. The trio will describe their funds or networks as well as what they see in Wisconsin, the region and beyond. Click here for more details.


It’s a wrap! Read the newest, awards and stories to come out of last week’s Early Stage Symposium.
Full coverage linked here.

WisBusiness: The Podcast with Tom Still, Wisconsin Technology Council
InsideWis: Virtual ‘new normal,’ coastal flight may benefit Wisconsin venture capital
WisBusiness: Boosted Chews looks to stimulate interest in its caffeine product
Wisconsin State Journal: Two Madison-area startups, and one from Minnesota, win prizes in business competition
WisBusiness: Social networking guru says focusing on one platform can jumpstart online success
Release: Mentor, investor Tim Keane is 2020 inductee to Tech Council’s ‘Investor Hall of Fame’
WisBusiness: An Epic Health Research Network duo will explain how it is tapping digital health records to better inform clinical experts
Release: Long-time angel capital leader to receive ‘Triple E’ award at Early Stage Symposium

Please read the UW-Madison LSC student stories listed below:

  • AirDeck helps create on-demand business presentations during COVID-19
  • C-Motive Technologies is reshaping electric motors and generators
  • Qobotix tackles the automated challenges facing manufacturers
  • Don’t worry, ‘Twi’ happy: Find anxiety relief with vitamin-fortified Satori drinks
  • CarePool lowers rural transit barriers for elderly, disabled
  • Is a truly wireless future closer than we think? Eau Claire company thinks so
  • SmarTrac can help alleviate shortage of physical therapists
  • Boosted Chews hopes to boost its reach into the caffeine market
  • Talent Bandit hopes to ‘steal’ its share of the staffing market
  • Estrigenix Therapeutics develops hot flash treatment for menopausal women that minimizes cancer risk



The Tech Council is one of about 50 groups taking part in the “Stop the Spread” coalition, which is a private-sector effort to do precisely what the name suggests: Encourage people to take common-sense steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please watch a video by Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor and federal Health and Human Services secretary.

The Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers recently joined the coalition as well. Watch a video featuring Packer players hereOn Wisconsin!

>> Watch the newest PSA here.


2020 Wisconsin Portfolio now available!

In terms of investment dollars, 2019 was another successful year for the early stage community in the state. At least 123 Wisconsin early stage companies raised more than $450 million in investment capital in 2019, eclipsing the $400 million mark for the first time in a single calendar year in Wisconsin.

This publication also features:

• A profile on Jan Eddy, the 2019 inductee into the Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame
• New charts and graphs
• Policy highlights and updates
• A primer on early stage investing in Wisconsin
• A column by Tom Still about the state’s investment community during COVID-19
• A resource guide

Click here for a downloadable copy.


2020 Portfolio-Cover

Caught holding the (dinner) bag!

About 100 members of the Wisconsin National Guard and public health workers were treated Thursday night to a Veterans’ Week meal as a thank you for their work in testing people for COVID-19 at the Alliant Energy Center. The Student Veterans Association of UW-Madison, Liberty Station Restaurant and private donors pitched in; the Wisconsin Technology Council was a supporting sponsor. Meals and coffee were also served last week.


2020 Vet Dinner

New "WisBusiness: The Show" coming soon!

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.




  • Amazon opens online pharmacy, shaking up another industry
  • CapTimes: Five takeaways from the 2021 Madison budget
  • Wall Street Journal: Hundreds of companies that got stimulus aid have failed
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin DMV investigator uncovers more than $4 million in vehicle title fraud
  • Badger Herald: Madison to decriminalize cannabis, move does not affect UW students
  • Wall Street Journal: Hundreds of firms that received stimulus aid have failed
  • Economist: Why relations between economists and epidemiologists have been testy
  • CNBC: Fewer international students studying in the U.S. cost the country $1.8 billion last year
  • Pandemic creates whiplash effect, uncertain future for Midwest businesses
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Businesses bear brunt of COVID-19 enforcement without being infection hotspots
  • Wall Street Journal: Used delivery boxes are a hot commodity
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Vaccines could usher in improved business, social levels by spring
  • AP News: States plead for more federal help as virus outbreak worsens
  • McKinsey: Rethinking the future of American capitalism


  • Business Mole: Software developed can identify 'fake news' sites with 90% accuracy
  • CBS58: UW-Milwaukee professors’ innovation has potential to take battery technology to the next level
  • WiSys names 2020 Innovators of the Year
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Pump Five delivers gas, One 5 Olive revitalizes the neighborhood
  • Spectrum: Bandage developed by CWRU, VA could revolutionize veteran wound care
  • BizWomen: Ex-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer launches AI startup
  • Startup Health: Company profile – Hucu.AI
  • Wall Street Journal: New entrepreneurs emerge from wreck of COVID economy
  • CTC offers a matching grant up to $100,000 to companies in the process of completing a federal SBIR/STTR projct
  • BizTimes: Wauwatosa-based Zywave acquires global insurance data provider
  • AfroTech: Elliott Eddie creates world’s first and only STEM accredited entrepreneur board game
  • Denver Channel: Diverse team develops groundbreaking device for brain injuries
  • Wisconsin Lawyer: Legal lawyer innovation in 2020


  • Wisconsin State Journal: Tom Still: Early-stage investment is thriving even during COVID-19 #ESSWI
  • Northwestern Mutual dedicates $20 million to advance black entrepreneurs through VC and a new startup accelerator
  • BizTimes: Expanded accredited investor criteria could boost local venture capital ecosystem
  • WisconsinINNO: Madison's DotCom Therapy receives investment from OSF, New Capital Partners
  • Crunchbase: Medable lands $91 million Series C to revamp clinical trials
  • VentureWell: What the patent gap tells us about diversity in innovation


  • NBC15: Dane Co. issues stricter rules on gathering, limit of 10 people
  • Channel 3000: Wisconsin Supreme Court to consider mask mandate challenge
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin prepares to get, deliver COVID-19 vaccine
  • AP News: Dr. Fauci recommends 'uniform wearing of masks'
  • USA Today: Pfizer’s COVID vaccine must be stored at -112 degrees
  • Wall Street Journal: Doctors begin to crack COVID’s mysterious long-term effects
  • NYTimes: With 11 million cases in the U.S., the coronavirus has gotten personal for most people
  • STAT: Pfizer may be within days of filing emergency authorization request for COVID-19 vaccine
  • CNN: Moderna's coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective, according to company data
  • STAT: Rural hospitals can’t afford ultra-cold freezers to store the leading COVID-19 vaccine
  • Channel3000: Midwest governors discuss COVID-19 problems
  • Guardian: Chemicals found in everyday products could hinder COVID vaccine
  • Philadelphia Business Journal: FDA clears Inovio to begin mid-stage testing of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate
  • Wausau Pilot & Review: Evers’ mask mandate, emergency order scrutinized by state Supreme Court
  • WISN: Who gets coronavirus vaccine in Wisconsin & when?
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Rock County reinstates Phase One COVID-19 restrictions as cases rise


  • WISN: Children's Wisconsin to admit adult patients amid coronavirus surge
  • Spectrum: "My Life, My Story" program connects health professionals to veterans
  • Advocate Aurora Health: Winter is coming, so is cold and flu season
  • Channel 3000: Pediatrician says to get kids outside to help with their mental health
  • USA Today: Foster families worry for kids getting lost in the system amid COVID-19
  • Channel3000: Child psychologist recommends staying connected despite being socially distant this Thanksgiving
  • STAT: Why people with diabetes are being hit so hard by COVID-19
  • Fierce Healthcare: Use ancestry or ZIP code—not race—when considering a patient's risk factors, AMA says
  • USA Today: 10 things you need at home in case you or a family member gets COVID-19
  • WISN: Hearing Christmas songs on repeat is bad for your mental health


  • CapTimes: Support for school referenda crosses ideological, economic lines
  • TMJ4: Wisconsin schools and libraries can apply for $3M in grants to support virtual learning
  • Connected Systems Institute: An update from executive director Mary Bunzel
  • Badger Herald: Importance of diversity training poses questions among faculty
  • UW-Madison: Special education teacher residency program supporting rural schools, students
  • Channel 3000: Professor Monica White uncovers the history of farming by Black Americans
  • Dunn County News: 'Extraordinary gift' drives program innovation to Stout University Foundation
  • UW-Green Bay collaborates with Microsoft and LinkedIn
  • WHBL: Politics in the decision to keep schools closed
  • UW-Eau Claire continues as national leader in study abroad
  • CapTimes: Verona high school class connects with peers from Finland through pilot program
  • AP: [Video] Pandemic spurs new interest in public health field
  • CapTimes: Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases
  • Wall Street Journal: Nine ways college could evolve in the next decade

 CoVID-19 news graphic
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Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

Women’s Entrepreneurship Week presents To Bootstrap or to Raise?  Considerations in a COVID-19 World on Friday, Nov. 20

WMEP presents Discover2Recover – Increasing Cash Flow on Friday, Nov. 20

SBDC’s Wisconsin Go Global Initiative presents Global Business Opportunities Abound Featuring WEDC on Tuesday, Dec. 1

Our virtual morning W·O·M·E·N reception is accepting registrations for our annual event, featuring Andrea Dlugos, Richelle Martin and Dana Guthrie on Wednesday, Dec. 2

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce presents the next Virtual Big Night Out in conjunction with the Latino Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Dec. 2

Join CTC (Center for Technology Commercialization) for a discussion with Anne Smith and Nathan Hammons, Directors of the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinics at UW-Madison Law School and Marquette University on Thursday, Dec. 10

WEDC is offering virtual Marketplace 2020: The Governor's Conference on Diverse Business Development offers training, education, networking and mentoring opportunities to Wisconsin small business owners, with particular attention to challenges faced by minority, woman, veteran and LGBTQ entrepreneurs on Tuesday, Dec. 8 – Thursday, Dec. 10

Edible-Alpha LIVE! is a one-day virtual event will showcase national leaders in the food and ag industry for podcast interviews and up-and-coming entrepreneurs for early look presentations focused on impact investing and innovation, taking place Wednesday, Dec. 9

 200x200 Virtual events

·       Gov. Evers’ office regularly updates a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the departments of Financial Institutions, Revenue and Workforce Development. Some specific sites:

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this FAQ document.

·       The Wisconsin Department of Revenue offers these information sources:

·       The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses.

·       Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Outbreaks in Wisconsin

·       NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers are providing services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers such as connecting businesses that are pivoting their production in response to the coronavirus to new supply chains, connecting firms with state resources, advising companies on new operational issues, and providing workforce support.

·        “Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talentis a new project to help those displaced from jobs and employers now hiring

·       Wisconsin Hospital Association releases a COVID-19 dynamic Situational Awareness Update

·       View an interactive map of public wi-fi “hot spots” in Wisconsin

>> WisconsinEye interviews candidates for the Nov. 3 general election.
Click here to watch free on-demand.

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