Dear readers, September 2019

A number of successful companies in Wisconsin have pitched over the years at the Early Stage Symposium #ESSWI, where their business ideas were heard by scores of investors from the state, region and nation. That’s what sets it apart from many other conferences and events: Investors are on hand because they trust our steering committee to deliver on excellent choices for them to review.

The deadline to present is Sept. 20, so apply now for chances to present and meet with leading investors. Read more below!


Tom Still, president

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Tech veteran, investor Jeff Schumacher to speak Nov. 7 during Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium

Venture capitalist and tech veteran Jeff Schumacher, known internationally for his work around “decentralized technologies” such as blockchain and encryption used in financial and e-commerce transactions, will speak the morning of Nov. 7 during the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison. Schumacher is a UW-Eau Claire graduate who recently launched 55 Catalyst Capital, which invests in decentralized technologies and next-generation internet infrastructure. Read more on our Nov. 7th keynote speaker!

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Calling all companies! Apply for three chances to pitch at Early Stage Symposium

Applications are being accepted now from young companies that want to tell their stories to investors at our annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium #ESSWI, to be held Nov. 6-7 at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The 2019 format includes two pitch opportunities – the Tech Council Investor Networks track and the popular Elevator Pitch Olympics – as well as a repeat segment that debuted in 2016, “Investor Intros,” which will allow pre-selected companies brief, one-on-one meetings with targeted angel and venture investors.
Find more details, application link and instructions here!

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Visit UWM’s Lubar Entrepreneurship Center at Sept. 12 Tech Council event in Milwaukee

It’s open for business – especially the business of inspiring entrepreneurs! Get a front-row view of UW-Milwaukee’s Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and learn how it will affect Milwaukee’s emerging economy.The event will take place in the AmFam Dream Studio. Panelists include Lubar’s Brian Thompson, director; Ilya Avdeed, director of innovation; Loren Peterson, entrepreneur-in-residence; Lindsey Roddy, a startup entrepreneur; and Chris Decker, the Kern Institute lead for the Medical College of Wisconsin, a partner with the center. Read more + register.

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Cross-border investing: Minnesota, Wisconsin VCs set for Sept. 17 Tech Council luncheon in Eau Claire

The state of Wisconsin and Minnesota have a great deal in common: Both states also have talented angel and venture capital investors who look broadly for deals. Panelists are Jonathon Horne, managing director of Idea Fund of La Crosse, a seed stage venture capital fund established in 2016 to invest in pre-revenue and early stage revenue startup companies; and Mike Schulte, head analyst and head of legal of Great North Labs, which is an early-stage venture fund for the upper Midwest.
Read more + register.

Is universal flu vaccine on the way? FluGen founder to speak Sept. 24 at Tech Council luncheon in Madison

Ever wondered why the flu shot you got in the fall didn’t work during the height of winter’s influenza season? Progress toward a “universal” flu vaccine that could help solve that problem for millions of people will be the topic. Internationally renowned virologist Dr.Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a UW-Madison scientist and co-founder of FluGen, will explain how flu viruses naturally mutate – often into more dangerous strains. Such was the case in the 1918 pandemic that killed about 50 million people worldwide.Read more + register.
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Anatomy of a project: Exact Sciences, Findorff partnership topic at Oct. 22 Tech Council luncheon

Get an insider’s view of the planning, technology and resources that went into construction of the recently opened Exact Sciences clinical laboratory. Findorff, one of Madison’s oldest construction firms, wrapped up work this summer on Exact Science’s clinical laboratory space on the city’s southwest side. Panelists are Gary Frings, chief information officer of Exact Sciences, Bob Hougard, science and technology lead of Findorff and Eric Lawson, president and CEO of Potter Lawson. Read more + register.


Cap Times Idea Fest schedule is out now!

If you missed Idea Fest 2018, it was two days of lively talks on everything from politics to the economy, journalism and culture. Check for the full schedule of sessions on Sept. 13-14. There will be fun events, too, like a Smarter Than You Trivia session on the 13th before that evening’s keynote event and an improv comedy performance by Monkey Business Institute on the evening of the 14th. Check for more information. Read more on the featured speakers.

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Andy Burish
The Burish Group at
UBS Financial Services

Guest column: What’s your personal benchmark? It’s a question worth asking yourself

Whether it’s a vacation home, a set of premium golf clubs or a financial plan, one size does not fit all. That’s why investors managing their life savings should think twice about tieing those savings to an off-the-shelf stock market benchmark (or index) such as the large-capitalization S&P 500, or the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, or the venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average.

In fact, what most people need is a customized, personalized benchmark – one that might consist of three to five benchmarks carefully blended, weighted and tweaked to reflect their shifting financial goals, risk tolerances, and life circumstances. Those benchmarks might come from a broad array of asset classes, including U.S. and international equities, global fixed income, domestic real estate, and perhaps private equity for accredited investors.

Read full column by Tech Council Innovation Network member Andy Burish of The Burish Group at UBS Financial Services.


Week of September 9-11

F35A public hearing: Thu Sep. 12 at Alliant Energy
WisBusiness: the Podcast with Andrea Dlugos, co-manager for Wisconsin Investment Partners
Milwaukee Business Journal: AI startup founded at UW-Madison finds investor in billion-dollar data company
Wisconsin Business Journal: Fetch Rewards exchanges receipt photos for rewards points, gift cards
WisBusiness: Head of new UW-Madison school looking to expand industry-sponsored research

Week of September 2-6

WEDC: Gov. Evers announces appointment of Missy Hughes to serve as CEO of WEDC
Madison Startups: MOSAIC Box Wins Doyenne’s 5x5x5 Competition
CapTimes: StartingBlock unveils 'last piece of the puzzle' with larger, later-stage startups
Release: Nuclear medicine industry expert Buurlage joins SHINE
Wisconsin State Journal: Emergency notification system made in Madison wins security and safety awards
WisBusiness: The Podcast with Grady Buchanan, CEO and co-founder of OmniValley

Week of August 26-30

WisBusiness: Professor finding new ways to improve medical imaging
Release: Former House Speaker Paul Ryan appointed to SHINE’s Board of Directors
WisBusiness: Dodles founder says startup enthusiasm on the rise in Fox Valley

Week of August 19-23

WisBusiness: Bill tweaking investment tax credit program could attract out-of-state investors
WisBusiness: Hemp bill amendment addresses concerns of law enforcement groups
BusinessWire: Purdue University College of Pharmacy, NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes announce agreement
Milwaukee Business Journal: Startup company pilots AI-based food ordering in Milwaukee
BizTimes: Clicking with Milwaukee: Stakeholders work to attract and retain tech talent

Week of August 12-16

WisBusiness: SwanLeap near top of fastest-growing companies list
Xconomy: WI Watchlist: AmFam, Venture Investors, Understory, gener8tor & more
CapTimes: From earthquakes to active shooters, Madison company Singlewire specializes in emergency notifications


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Tom Still 2017
Tom Still
Tech Council


09/05/19: InsideWis: With new director Erickson, UW computing efforts take step forward
08/29/19: InsideWis: Corporate investors offer another avenue for young companies
08/22/19: InsideWis: Beyond the rhetoric, signs of progress on trade
08/15/19: InsideWis: More on Wisconsin’s rural economy: Many challenges mean mix of solutions

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Dana Guthrie
Alchemy Angel Investors

09/10/19: ‘WisBiz: The Show’covers Tech Metrics, Tom Still commentary; interview with Jed White of TASC Ventures

09/04/19: ‘WisBiz: The Show’
covers Tech Metrics, Tom Still commentary; interview with Ben Juarez of i.c. stars Milwaukee

08/29/19: ‘WisBiz: The Show’ covers Tech Metrics, Tom Still commentary; interview with Dana Guthrie of Alchemy Angel Investors


WisBusiness: Fetch Rewards CEO says rapid growth driven organically
Wisconsin State Journal: AIQ Solutions of Madison raises $3.2 million for cancer treatment assessment software
Milwaukee Business Journal: Northwestern Mutual partakes in $33 million funding round for Japanese diagnostics company
Milwaukee Business Journal: Report: These two Wisconsin firms rank top 10 in VC activity in Great Lakes region
BizTimes Milwaukee: Milwaukee startup Frontdesk raises $2.75 million bridge round
BizTimes Milwaukee: Milwaukee startup Xena Workwear completes $750,000 seed round
Madison Startups: Redox sees growth in 2019
BusinessWire: Silatronix awarded $10.1 million Navy ONR contract
BizTimes Milwaukee: Advocate Aurora Health subsidiary to invest up to $200,000 in startup
BizTimes Milwaukee: Milwaukee health care startup WellnessScript LLC raising $1.5 million
Milwaukee Business Journal: Yahoo co-founder, Samsung part of $11.5 million round for cloud company with ties to Brookfield

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Tech Council Investor Networks membership:
Your $750 Investor Networks membership entitles you to one free pass to our two major conferences (Entrepreneurs' Conference and Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular Tech Council Innovation Network events.


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