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March 25, 2021

Dear readers, 

The proposal to create a “Wisconsin Fund” with a privately matched, $100-million investment by the state continues to receive attention.

Click here to watch a recording of the Wisconsin Technology Council’s March 24 webinar on the idea, which featured a panel of WEDC’s Sam Rikkers, MadREP’s Jason Fields, entrepreneur Karen Renee and Rep. Mike Kuglitsch, R-New Berlin. 

That same day, Senate Committee on Economic and Workforce Development held a public hearing on the appointment of WEDC’s Missy Hughes as Chief Executive Officer, during which she was asked about the $100-million fund.

Please read my latest Inside Wisconsin column, which focuses on the “fund of funds” proposal through the eyes of eCourt Reporters co-founder Karen Renee. Also, see more below about a section in our newsroom that drills in on the proposal and watch the latest edition of “ The Show,” in which Taha Jangda of HealthX Ventures talks about the importance of the fund.

Finally, please share the upcoming “Wisconsin YES!” student business plan contest deadline and information to middle- and high-school students or educators you may know. It’s a great way for young people to get introduced to entrepreneurism.

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

How campus R&D fuels Wisconsin economy is topic of April 1 Tech Council webinar

The chancellors of Wisconsin’s two largest public research universities and a venture capitalist whose firm and partners focus on campus-based innovation will take part in a 10 a.m. Thursday, April 1 webinar produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Panelists include Rebecca Blank, chancellor of the UW-Madison; Mark Mone, chancellor of the UW-Milwaukee; and Scott Button, managing director of Venture Investors, which has offices in Madison and Ann Arbor, Mich.

Click here to learn more and register.

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Wisconsin YES!
Back to business: Students have month to enter ‘Wisconsin YES!’ business plan contest online

The countdown is under way for middle- and high-school students to enter Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, a statewide youth business plan contest modeled after the successful Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. It is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. April 14, 2021.

Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through

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Guest column: How to start a conversation about finances with your significant other

By Andy Burish

Having a meaningful conversation about money with your significant other can be difficult, especially if you’re not entirely sure what the conversation needs to accomplish.

According to UBS’s “Own your worth” report, avoiding these financial conversations can have detrimental effects for women, especially considering that eight out of 10 women will be solely responsible for their financial well-being at some point in their lives, whether through divorce or widowhood. The advice from women who are on their own is clear: Educate yourself now about investment decisions and be a full participant in your financial future.

Click here to read the full guest column.


Congratulations to Dana Guthrie on the recent success of Gateway Capital Fund closing on $6 million:

Gateway Capital Fund reaches initial fundraising milestone of $6 million
WisconsinINNO: Venture fund targeting Milwaukee-area investments hits first goal
MKE Journal Sentinel: A new venture fund will invest in Milwaukee-based pre-revenue companies
Biz Times MKE: Dana Guthrie’s Milwaukee VC fund raises $6.25 million in four months

Click here to read more about Guthrie and our other members.

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Jo Handelsman, director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, talks about the groundbreaking women of science history and the continuing challenges women face today, and how WID and others are supporting women during Women's History Month and beyond. Click here to watch her message!

Congratulations to Isabel Agasie, who won our Women’s History Month Quiz with a perfect score, winning a $25 gift card to her favorite coffeehouse!

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>> NEW "WisBusiness: The Show"

The latest episode of “ The Show” spotlights Taha Jangda, a partner at HealthX Ventures in Madison. Jangda talks about what brought him to HealthX, one of Wisconsin’s most active venture capital firms, and the recent closing of its $75.5-million second fund.

Jangda also comments on the importance of the proposed $100-million state investment in a privately matched fund of funds.

In addition, Tom Still gives an update on “Vision 2020,” a report in which the Tech Council recommended goals for the state’s tech-based economy.

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.

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Track news/developments on Gov. Tony Evers’ fund-of-funds proposal

Read the Tech Council’s 2021 “white papers” report for background on the fund-of-funds proposal.

>> Read a continuously updated FAQ on the $100 million “Wisconsin Fund.”

>> Click here to watch a recording of the Wisconsin Technology Council 03/24/21 webinar on the $100 million dollar fund, featuring WEDC’s Sam Rikkers, MadREP’s Jason Fields, entrepreneur Karen Renee and Rep. Mike Kuglitsch.

The “2021-23 Budget in Brief” is a summary of Gov. Tony Evers 2021-2023 budget proposal, which includes a $100-million venture capital “fund of funds” plan as well as other initiatives to spur economic growth.  The document summarizes budget proposals across the board in state government and will be subject to legislative review and approval. The next fiscal year begins July 1. Read the 2021-23 Budget in Brief.

Also, read news articles and Tom’s Inside Wisconsin columns that follow the progress of the $100-million fund.

Click here to access the page.

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Department of Health Services update update through March 25

>> Wisconsin continues to be a leader in the nation for vaccine distribution: 2,463,534 doses have been administered. 15.8% of Wisconsinites have been fully vaccinated: 917,203 of the 5.8 million total population.
Note: Approximately 20% of the population is under 16 and not authorized to be given the vaccine at this time.

Helpful links:

The State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee’s (SDMAC) Vaccine Distribution Subcommittee is responsible for making distribution decisions. SDMAC holds public meetings and anyone can submit public comments. You can find information about the SDMAC here. To register for the DHS weekly newsletter, click here.



Current listings this week include opportunities at:
Johnson Controls, UW-Madison, ATC, WHEDA, CHIME, WARF, KW2, Tesla, Affiliated Engineers, UW Health, von Briesen & Roper and Findorff.

Have an opening?  Current members are encouraged to email
to have opportunities listed weekly for no charge.



  • CapTimes: Missy Hughes: The ingenuity and grit of small business leaders are key to recovery in Wisconsin
  • Madison Magazine: Latino Chamber CEO’s dreams for her organization are much too big to fit on a single sticky note
  • Badger Institute: Eloise Anderson’s ‘Removing the lower rung of the ladder’
  • WisBusiness: DWD to use federal grant to start modernizing UI system
  • Connected Systems Institute: [Video] Understanding team dynamics and creating more inclusive work environment
  • WEDC: MilliporeSigma expands operations in Verona, investing $65 million
  • WSJ: COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in U.S. races ahead
  • BizWomen: The gender pay gap had been narrowing. Then the pandemic hit
  • Women In Trucking Association announces 2021 Top Women to Watch in Transportation
  • MKE Business Journal: The Wisconsin Department of Tourism increases target markets in 2021
  • CNN: After Biden stimulus, U.S. economic growth could rival China's for the first time in decades


  • At Pyran, Kevin Barnett is out to replace petroleum with plants
  • BizWomen: How a first-time entrepreneur turned a local VC's 'no' to 'yes'
  • Kenosha News: UW-Oshkosh seeks entrants for high school entrepreneurship competition
  • BizWomen: Fifth Third awards $1.2 million to help Black, women entrepreneurs
  • Madison365: Madison teen entrepreneur Nabil Hamdan featured on TODAY show
  • Forbes: Nurturing pre-seed stage tech entrepreneurs from overlooked communities
  • BizWomen: BrainScope launches concussion assessment tool, aims to raise millions for commercial rollout


  • Franklin Templeton: Women entrepreneurs and the benefits of equal access to capital
  • Crunchbase: Sole female founders raised $1 billion less in 2020 despite record venture funding surge in U.S.
  • Inc.: Steve Case has bet on rust belt startups for years. In the pandemic, more VCs have joined him
  • ChicagoINNO: M1 Finance raises $75 million, plans to double headcount
  • The Lonely Entrepreneur: [Video] Shaping responsible investing
  • Affinity: 5 women leaders who are changing venture capital
  • WisconsinINNO: American Family VC unit leads $1.75 million seed round in crowdfunding platform
  • ChicagoINNO: Cannabis payments startup Leaf Trade raises $5.5 million


  • MKE Business Journal: Milwaukee health officials vigilant as COVID-19 case counts increase
  • La Crosse Tribune: WHA 2020 Health Care Workforce Report reflects burden of COVID-19
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Madison companies still pursuing COVID-19 vaccines, more options needed
  • NY Times: How much weight did we gain during lockdowns? 2 pounds a month, study hints
  • WaPo: AstraZeneca’s U.S. trial shows coronavirus vaccine is 79 percent effective
  • BizWomen: Amazon to pilot in-person healthcare as it prepares to sell Amazon Care services
  • NYTimes: They had mild COVD, until their serious symptoms kicked in
  • WISN: Nursing homes across US easing rules on visitors


  • One City Schools to buy $12 million building with large donation, expand to 4K-12
  • Tech Transfer Central: UW-Madison launches internal fund to support internships, industry collaborations
  • Spectrum: UW-Platteville program creating new opportunities for women in STEM
  • Telegraph Herald: Director hired to lead new innovation lab in Platteville
  • Youth Apprenticeship Program puts students on career path
  • UW-Madison pioneers master’s program in therapeutic use of psychoactive drugs
  • UW-Madison further invests in computing, data science industry partnerships with latest hire
  • U.S. colleges tout hopes for return to new normal this fall
  • WSJ: Schools that have been open for months offer lessons
  • Chancellor Becky Blank: Creating the new normal: Returning to UW-Madison campus
  • Diverse Disruptors: Milwaukee engineer-turned-principal is empowering Black students to study computer science

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Help us stay on top of events for our readers!
Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

King Quantum Thought presents Money & Mindset with Didi King on Monday, March 29. There is an intricate relationship between the way you think and the amount of money that you have. Create a mindset that is a magnet for money, make simple shifts that open the flow for the wealth you desire and do what you love and love what you do. 

Gov Evers to host “Badger Bounceback Live Session” on Transportation & Infrastructure on Thursday, March 30, 2021. The session will cover topics such as investments in transportation and infrastructure, fixing our roads and bridges, investing in transit and transportation alternatives, expanding access to broadband, and supporting local communities and government.

Up next in Morgridge Institute’s COVID-19 Series: How to talk about vaccines (and find common ground) on Wednesday, March 31. Panelists include Dominique Brossard, PhD MPS Professor and Chair of Life Sciences Communication, UW-Madison; Tess Ellens, RN BSN Immunization Coordinator with Public Health Madison & Dane County and Ajay Sethi, PhD MHS Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences, UW-Madison. 

Wisconsin LGBT Chamber’s Virtual Lunch & Learn presents Social Media for Small Businesses on Wednesday, March 31. Our goal is to equip you with tools that will help you develop, schedule and manage your content easily so you can spend more time focusing on other aspects of your business.

UW-Madison Digital Skills Bootcamp presents Wonder Women: Celebrating Women in Tech on Wednesday, March 31. Want to break into tech? Looking for inspiration in your current field? This enriching discussion is a unique opportunity to hear our inspiring and accomplished panelists speak about their experiences in tech and their journey to success in the field.

If you are a woman technologist, join us for Northwestern Mutual’s first-ever Women in Technology Speed Coaching event on Friday, April 23, where you can get advice from an experienced tech leader in a 20-minute one-on-one online coaching session. Register by Friday, April 2.

UW-Oshkosh presents Lessons Learned in a Pandemic World: The Impact of COVID-19 on Business Owners on Wednesday, April 7. Presenters will include Jeff Sachse of UWO Center for Customized Research and Services, Sam Rikkers of WEDC, Barb LaMue of New North, Ann Franz of NEW Manufacturing Alliance, Dan Brosman of Small Business Development Center at UW Oshkosh and Bill Bowman of AEGIS Financial.

Center for Technology Commercialization and Wisconsin SBDC offers Debt Financing for Startups on Tuesday, April 13. Debt financing is often overlooked as a potential source of funds for startups. In this free Quick Chat, three financing leaders from the Eau Claire area will discuss debt-based funding opportunities for small businesses, including bank loans and gap financing from regional business funds.

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