WIN eNewsletter

In This Edition

54 entries advance in BPC
Boot Camp draws 70 'treps
Gunder to keynote March 23
March 24 WIN-Madison
YES! contest deadline is April 6
WIN partners with Film Festival
'WisBusiness: The Show'
Inside Wisconsin columns
Innovation news round-up

Events and opportunities
Get WIN-volved
Sponsor a regional meeting
Promote your events

 WisBusiness: The Show

Click here for the latest episodes of "WisBusiness: The Show," which include a rising-and-falling stock report on Wisconsin business, commentary and an interview with a state business leader. Produced by Tweedee Productions and sponsored by Whyte Hirschboeck DudekUW-Milwaukee and Madison Gas & Electric.

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The Entrepreneurs' Toolkit, a soup-to-nuts guide for Wisconsin entrepreneurs, is available at and through the Wisconsin Technology Council website. It was launched in April and is designed to give innovators a pathway to resources available in the state and beyond. Those resources include information on business assistance programs, sources of financing, permits and regulations, how to choose a business structure, how to write a business plan and more.

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Sheraton Hotel, Madison
March 24

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Welcome to the March 2015 WIN eNewsletter

Dear readers -
Events produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council through WIN have drawn enthusiastic crowds of late, with recent meetings in Madison focusing on the launch of HealthX Ventures and “StartingBlock Madison,” and forums in Milwaukee on exports and the new WISC Partners Fund. The line-up continues with the upcoming Tech Summit (March 23 in Waukesha), a WIN-Madison event featuring an “Internet of Things” partnership (March 24) and more. We look forward to seeing you this spring!   

Tom Still

Fifty-four entries from 26 communities have advanced to the semi-final round of the 12th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The contestants were selected from a field of 238 qualified first-round entries by an independent panel of more than 80 judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, the Wisconsin Innovation Network and the Wisconsin Angel Network. Learn more and see the full list of semi-finalists here.

BPC 'Boot Camp' draws more than 70 entrepreneurs

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More than 70 entrepreneurs from communities across the state took part in the annual “boot camp” sponsored as a part of the 12th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The afternoon exercise consisted of peer-to-peer practice pitches, tips on how to win the contest, a blueprint for best practices in writing a business plan and a review of what investors look for in emerging companies. The boot camp was hosted at the Waukesha offices of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

Speakers included Dan Cooper, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; Paul Jones, Michael Best & Friedrich and Angels on the Water; Henry Schwartz, MobCraft Beer; and Tom Still, Wisconsin Technology Council. Representatives from SCORE and the Center for Technology Commercialization were also on hand to serve as mentors. Participants included most of the 54 semi-finalists, as well as others from the original field of first-round entries.

American Family's Gunder to keynote March 23 Tech Summit

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Peter Gunder, the chief business development officer for American Family Insurance and one of the architects of the company’s involvement in Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial scene, will speak March 23 at the close of the 2015 Wisconsin Tech Summit in Waukesha.

Gunder will anchor a day-long agenda that will include a host of “speed dating” meetings between 16 major companies such as Madison-based American Family, which has nearly $20 billion in assets and $7 billion in annual revenues, and more than 50 emerging companies from across Wisconsin. The second annual event will also include an opening panel discussion, "office hours" presentations, a continental breakfast, networking lunch and an onsite reception. Visit for more information on the event.

'Internet of Things' partnership topic of March 24 WIN-Madison
Leaders of SOLOMO and Berntsen International will discuss a recent tech-based business partnership at the Tuesday, March 24, luncheon of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison. This innovative partnership utilizes location-based technology to increase the speed, quality and reliability of a manufacturer’s existing product line.

The luncheon will be held at the Sheraton Hotel on Madison’s John Nolen Drive. Registration and networking begin at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. Learn more and register here.
Wisconsin YES youth biz plan contest entry deadline is April 6
YES logo web version  
Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, a statewide youth business plan contest modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest, is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. April 6, 2015.

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 the website. Entries that advance to Phase 2 of the competition will expand their idea into a 1,000-word executive summary. Throughout the process, students get feedback from professionals across Wisconsin who will serve as judges.

The Tech Council produces the contest. Major sponsorship is provided by IBM and WEA Trust, with additional support from the Wisconsin Technical College System. Learn more at Interested in sponsoring the contest or serving as a judge? Email
WIN partners with Wisconsin Film Festival

Highlighting the connection between the arts, technology and the “creative economy,” the Wisconsin Innovation Network will partner with the 17th annual Wisconsin Film Festival.

A select number of tickets to the 2015 Film Festival will be given away at the March 12 and March 24 WIN meetings. The film festival will be held April 9 through April 16 at several UW-Madison campus venues. For more information visit
 'WisBusiness: The Show' covers news, commentary
Please watch these latest editions of "WisBusiness: The Show," the twice-a-month Web show covering state business news and issues.

This episode features an interview with Marsha Barwick, director of Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences, about the clinic's research and tech transfer. Tom Still talks about the sharing economy and what it means for Wisconsin, and Liz Schrum presents the Stock Report, which covers bank lending and right-to-work.


Click here view the biweekly show, produced by Tweedee Productions for the Wisconsin Technology Council and, as well as archives of past shows.

The show is sponsored by Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., Madison Gas & Electric and UW-Milwaukee.

Guests on recent shows:
Derek Hei, Waisman Biomanufacturing

Greg Piefer, SHINE Medical Technologies

 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
 Still headshot for newsletter

Portals for doing business abroad are wide open for Wisconsin companies
TLX, which makes electromechanical solenoids, adjusters and control valves for the automotive industry and other industrial sectors, is a prime example of a Wisconsin-based company that has cracked into emerging foreign markets in recent years.

True freedom, dedicated funding key to UW System Authority proposal

Much criticism of Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal for the University of Wisconsin System has focused on the $300 million in cuts envisioned for the coming two years. Much less attention has been centered on the likely benefits of creating a UW System Authority as well as a long-term mechanism for providing state tax support.

Cities that try to block ‘shared economy’ risk missing an innovation trend

Whether the phenomenon is called the “shared economy” or the “on-demand economy,” companies that capitalize on making more efficient use of people and their possessions are changing some traditional business models.

Internet access battle far from over in Congress

“Net neutrality” is one of those buzzwords that inspires populist support, but it’s not as simple as the big guys conspiring to shove mom-and-pop websites into the Internet’s slow lane.

When does ‘right to choose’ on vaccinations hurt others?

I asked a top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health the other day for his take on why some parents are choosing not to get vaccinations for their kids. His answer was simple enough: Those parents have no memory of why such vaccinations became a public health standard in the first place. They lack any first-hand knowledge of the serious, sometimes fatal, nature of the diseases in question. 

In the 114th Congress, tech issues could unite Republicans, Democrats on growth

Even in a city where partisanship is a way of life, there are glimmers of hope that 2015 will be a year in which Congress gets down to work on issues that drive the nation’s $1 trillion information technology economy.
 Innovation news round-up

State Journal: Madison health IT start-up, HealthMyne, draws investors

JSOnline: HealthMyne, Phoenix Nuclear Labs raise funds

Five Wisconsin companies present at Chicago showcase for emerging companies

StarTribune: Minnesota and Wisconsin - How did two peas in a pod grow apart?

BTN LiveBIG: Wisconsin grads bring color to 3-D printing

JSOnline: Water Council CEO Dean Amhaus awash in activity

JSOnline: Madison social media marketing firm Shoutlet raises $5 million

BPC semi-finalist featured in Fond du Lac Area Business News & Notes

JSOnline: Scott Walker wants to end funding for renewable energy program

JSOnline: Badger Fund of Funds will launch first venture capital funds

CapTimes: With a new hub for venture funds downtown, investors look to cash in

Exact Sciences could receive $9 million in state tax credits

JSOnline: UW Extension seed fund supports tech innovators in Milwaukee

State Journal: Rowheels - Reinventing the wheel (chair)

Xconomy: Renaissance Learning’s UClass purchase spells Golden Angels windfall

WisBusiness: Madison a national hub for medical IT software development

JSOnline: Epic Systems said to be prepared to launch app store

WAICU: State’s technology leaders advocate for Brainworkers

JSOnline: Neenah company raises additional funds

 News, events and opportunities

2015 Wisconsin Tech Summit
GE Healthcare Institute, Waukesha
March 23

Sheraton Hotel, Madison
March 24

2015 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference
Alliant Energy Center, Madison
June 2-3

Get WIN-volved! Membership has its privileges
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Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) is The Tech Council's membership subsidiary - a community-based economic development organization dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. In association with the Tech Council, WIN programs focus on the needs and challenges faced by new and growing technology-based businesses in Wisconsin. When you become a WIN member, your membership applies to all chapters, statewide. Membership is for one year starting with the month you join. Go here to learn more about the benefits of a WIN membership.

Thank you to the following individuals and organizations that have recently joined or renewed their WIN memberships:

Corporate Members

Erhard & Payette


Venture Investors


Individual Members
Melinda Caughill
Bruce Janda
Michael Kvalo
Peter Qian
David Scholtens

George Stone
Constantin Tivis
Craig Workinger

Allyn Ziegenhagen

Click here to fill out an online application to become a new member or renew your current membership! 

Sponsor your next regional meeting
Sponsoring your chapter's next WIN meeting will give you and your company immediate exposure to Wisconsin's best and brightest people. WIN is a network dedicated to giving a voice to the technology community as a whole - from the bottom up! Sponsorship opportunities are available on a monthly or annual basis. Contact Maurice Cheeks for more information.
 Post events in our community events section
Click here to add your event to the Tech Council Community Events section that is designed to assist in the development, growth and success of science- and technology-based businesses in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) eNewsletter is a periodical of news, events and programs about the needs and challenges faced by the new and growing technology-based businesses in Wisconsin. WIN has chapters in western Wisconsin, the Lake Superior region, Madison, Milwaukee, northeast Wisconsin and central Wisconsin.
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