In This Issue
Early stage bill passes committee
Tax credit
Wis. Portfolio coming soon
Seize the Day winner announced
Start Me Up on June 10
Blake in State Journal
Deals, acquisitions, exits and news
Weekend reads
Upcoming events

 Did You Know?

Michigan had the largest jump in venture capital activity in the nation in 2012, growing from 25th in the national rankings to 12th, according to Crain's Detroit Business. Michigan VC firms invested more than $242 million last year. Wisconsin had less than $100 million in VC investments. 


“Bear Hug” -- One company’s offer to buy the shares of another for a much higher per-share price than what the company is worth. Usually offered when there is doubt the target company's management will sell.

 Become a WAN Member
For the first time, 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.
Richard Leazer
Wisconsin Investment Partners
Dick Leinenkugel
Northwoods Angels
Todd Leonard
Minnesota Angel Network
Thomas Shannon
Shamrock Partners
Tom Still
Wisconsin Technology Council
David Ward
NorthStar Economics

Emeritus: Lorrie Keating Heinemann, co-founder                   

Dan Blake

 'WisBusiness: The Show'
In the latest edition of "WisBusiness.com: The Show,"

Liz Schrum speaks with Marian Singer, CEO of Shorewood-based WellIntel, about groundwater monitoring from above ground; Tom Still discusses the impact of new energy reserves being found in America and around the world; and the WisBusiness.com Stock Report for mid-May covers Wisconsin's business climate rankings and business tax rankings.

Previous shows:
Dan Blake, Wisconsin Angel Network

 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

 Minnesota Angel Network
Click here for more information on the Minnesota Angel Network.

 Newsletter Sponsors


May 2013 
 Early stage investment bill slated for Assembly vote June 6
A bipartisan bill that would create a state-leveraged “fund of funds” to boost Wisconsin start-up companies passed the Assembly Jobs Committee on May 17. Meanwhile, the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted 13-3 to set aside $25 million in the budget to be used for the investment program. The full Assembly plans to vote on the bill June 6.

The Wisconsin State Journal published an editorial in support of the bill, saying “Wisconsin can’t stand still,” and outlined other states’ venture initiatives that have led to job growth and other benefits. Use this link to contact your state legislator if you are interested in supporting Assembly Bill 181 or Senate Bill 169. Investors should also ask their portfolio companies to attend a June 6 “Entrepreneurial Business Day” at the Capitol to directly contact legislators.
 Act 255 investment credits off list for targeted cuts
As some of you may have read, state Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, has been developing a comprehensive plan to eliminate many state tax credits in hopes of lowering state income-tax rates. One credit that could have been targeted by the plan was the Act 255 investor tax credit program, which took effect in 2005 and were expanded in 2009. The Wisconsin Growth Capital Coalition, working with the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Angel Network, made sure information was available about the long-term effectiveness of those credits. In a meeting of Republican legislators Thursday, Rep. Mike Kuglitsch, R-New Berlin, made note of the importance of the credits to Wisconsin’s startup economy and the item was removed from consideration. Thanks to coalition president Steve Lyons for his quick action on behalf of early stage investors and entrepreneurs. Click here for the background story in the Wisconsin State Journal.
 On The Rise: 2013 Wisconsin Portfolio coming soon

The 2013 Wisconsin Portfolio, a publication produced by the Wisconsin Angel Network and the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is an overall look at the state’s entrepreneurial economy, will be released in the coming days. The fifth edition of the publication includes the most complete tracking of early stage deals in the state and will also feature several profiles of Wisconsin’s entrepreneurs and sectors.

Several top trends outlined in this year’s issue:
n  Overall deals are up 7 percent from 2011, with 74 companies receiving more than $163 million.
Out-of-state investors are “discovering Wisconsin,” with roughly half of all deals getting investments from outside the state‘s borders.
n  Wisconsin investors reported making more follow-on investments than in past years, as some state companies struggled to obtain more traditional growth funding.
n  Several super angels reported strong activity, with one reported more than 25 investments.
n  The latest venture capital investment data, which shows Wisconsin trailing other comparable states in those investments.

If you would like to receive a copy of this year’s Portfolio, please contact Gina Leahy at 608-442-7557 or gleahy@wisconsintechnologycouncil.com.

 ETC founder to win 'Seize the Day' award at 'Treps Conference 

Fred Foster, a Madison native who founded ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls Inc.), will receive the 10th annual Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” award at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 4. 

The 11th annual Entrepreneurs’ Conference, June 4-5 in Middleton, Wis. will also feature presentations from the finalists in the 
Governor’s Business Plan Contest. A list of the companies that made the finals is available here

The conference also features several
nationally known speakers; several Silicon Valley investors (who are also UW-Madison graduates) discussing opportunities and challenges for Wisconsin’s tech sector, an innovation showcase, and plenty of networking opportunities.

 ‘Start Me Up’ to connect health IT companies, CIOs and investors 
Healthcare industry leaders, local health information technology startups, investors and other industry leaders will converge at the first “Start Me Up” Meet-up Day June 10 at the Fluno Center on the UW-Madison campus.

The event, produced by WTN Media in collaboration with the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Angel Network, will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, June 10. The event will include presentations from eight emerging health IT companies, and will take place the day before the start of the Digital Healthcare Conference.
 WAN Director Blake Featured in Wisconsin State Journal

Dan Blake, who took over as director of the Wisconsin Angel Network in March, participated in a recent interview with the Wisconsin State Journal. Read his interview with WSJ’s Judy Newman here.

 Deals, acquisitions, exits and news

Snowshoe, a Madison company with a unique, inexpensive technology for authenticating mobile transactions, has been accepted into the TechStars Boulder start-up accelerator program. Read more here and see other members of the class here.

Somna Therapeutics
, a Germantown start-up that has developed a device that keeps stomach acid from rising into the throat has raised 1.2 million in funding. Read the full story.

Brenner Brewing
, a Milwaukee brewing company that brings together craft beer and artistry and design, recently closed a $750,000 funding round. 

Foley & Lardner
, which is headquartered in Milwaukee and has a Madison office, recently raised a $2.6 million venture fund to invest in or with firm clients. Read more

Two state agencies will provide a total of $100,000 to
Revolution Labs, a Milwaukee program aimed at providing best practices training and funding for five inner-city start-ups. Read more

, an online apartment-listing service that launched in Madison and plans for move into other markets soon, recently closed on a $300,000 seed round. 

, which offers timber construction solutions and technology solutions to the forest products industry, recently closed on a $250,000 fundraising round. 

Golden Angels Investors
, a Milwaukee angel group, will put money into a new fund being raised by TechStars Chicago, an organization that accelerates young companies from offices in the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago.

Primorigen Biosciences, Inc. announced that it received a Phase II SBIR
grant of $1,236,000 from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Read more.

 Blog Roll

WAN wanted to pass on several blogs we use to keep up on the latest investing news and tips from around the state:

Tim Keane -- Startups and Angels: Along the way to success 

Paul Jones – Venture Best, Angels on the Water

John Torinus – Straight Talk from the Heartland

Dan Blake - 30Forward

Tom Still - Inside Wisconsin

 Upcoming Events

The 11th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference will be held June 4-5 at the Marriott West in Middleton.

“Start Me Up”
Meet-up Day, Fluno Center, Madison, June 10

Entrepreneurs’ Edge: Racine, June 17

Entrepreneurs’ Edge: Ashland, July 8

Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions