WIN eNewsletter

In This Edition

Apply for 2015 Tech Summit
YES! contest is open for entries
'White papers' available online
WISC Partners at WIN-Milwaukee
HealthX Ventures at WIN-Madison
BPC enters judging round
TechAmerica Fly-in this week
TURBO program update
'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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 Entrepreneurs' Toolkit
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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.

 Upcoming WIN Events
Innovation Accelerator, Wauwatosa
Feb. 12

Sheraton Hotel, Madison
Feb. 17

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UWM Research Foundation

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Welcome to the February 2015 WIN eNewsletter

Dear readers -

This edition of the WIN eNewsletter captures a cross-section of events, programs and policy initiatives that make up the work of the Wisconsin Technology Council. It will update you on how to get involved in the March 23 Wisconsin Tech Summit, advances two business innovation contests for adults and youth, describes upcoming WIN events focused on new Wisconsin investors, summarizes our biennial “white papers” report to the governor and Legislature, and captures the work of emerging businesses and our partners through news outlets such as “ The Show.”  Please read on to learn more!

Tom Still

Tech Summit Logo 
Emerging companies can apply through Feb. 16 to meet with major firms and explore likely business relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the second annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

The day-long event will be held Monday, March 23, 2015, at the GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha, Wis. Participating major companies thus far are American Family Insurance, Aurora Health Care, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Dedicated Computing, Direct Supply, Faith Technologies, GE Healthcare, HP Enterprise Services, Intel, Johnson Controls Inc., Kraft Foods/Oscar Mayer Information Systems, Marshfield Clinic, Rockwell Automation and TASC (Total Administrative Services Corp). Others are being invited.

More information, including an application form, can be found at Read Tom Still's recent "Inside Wisconsin" column on the event here.

Wisconsin YES student biz plan contest now open for entries

 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

'White papers' recommend investing in next-generation jobs

Improving access to capital for Wisconsin entrepreneurs, building the supply of human capital, enhancing the startup and business climate, and improving tech development, delivery and transfer are four major themes of the Wisconsin Technology Council’s 2015 “white papers” report.

The Tech Council is the bipartisan, non-profit science and technology policy adviser to the governor and the Legislature, and a catalyst for tech-based development in Wisconsin. The Tech Council periodically issues “white papers” and special reports to assist those policymakers.

See highlights of the 2015 report, “Investing in Next-Generation Jobs," here. Download the full report here.

WISC Partners to outline new fund at Feb. 12 WIN-Milwaukee event
David Guinther, founding general partner of WISC Partners, will outline the new fund’s investment priorities, as well as its unique commitment to mentorship of early stage companies, at the Thursday, Feb. 12, meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network’s Milwaukee chapter in Wauwatosa.

The meeting will also feature a brief tour of the UW-Milwaukee’s new Innovation Accelerator, 1225 Discovery Parkway, Wauwatosa. Located on what many area residents would know as the Milwaukee County Grounds near Highway 45 and Watertown Plank Road, the Innovation Accelerator is the first installment in a larger UWM Innovation Campus that will eventually fill 89 acres.

Registration, networking and hors d’oeuvres begins at 4:30 p.m. Two 20-minute tours of the facility will be offered at 4:40 p.m. and 5 p.m., with the presentation at 5:30 p.m. Learn more and register here.

HealthX Ventures to unveil new fund at Feb. 17 WIN-Madison

Mark Bakken, managing partner of the Madison-based venture capital firm, HealthX Ventures, will outline the fund’s focus on local healthcare start-up companies at the Tuesday, Feb. 17, luncheon of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison. Bakken will discuss why the timing is right for such a fund in Wisconsin. 

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

Biz Plan Contest entry deadline passes; judging underway

The Jan. 31 deadline for the annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan contest yielded about 240 entries from 70 communities across Wisconsin. Those entries included 84 in the contest’s information technology category, 79 in business services, 39 in advanced manufacturing and 36 in life sciences. Judging is underway with 80 judges and a strong poll of mentors. As with past years, the contest will be conducted in phases culminating with live presentations at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison, June 2-3. A “boot camp” for contest semi-finalists will be held in Waukesha in early March.

A major sponsor is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The UW-Extension’s Center for Technology Commercialization and SCORE Wisconsin will assist with mentoring throughout the contest. Additional sponsors of the 2015 contest thus far include: 100state; Aberdean Consulting; American Family Insurance; AT&T; Exact Sciences; Kollath & Associates; Madison Gas & Electric; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Michael Best & Friedrich; Nordic; SCORE Wisconsin; Tweedee Productions; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; and the Wisconsin Technical College System.

Tech Council’s Still part of TechAmerica ‘fly-in’ on Capitol Hill  

Tech Council President Tom Still will take part this week in a congressional “fly-in” organized by TechAmerica to discuss tech-based economic development issues with members of Congress. Nearly two-dozen states with organizations similar to the Tech Council will meet in Washington, D.C. Their agenda included extending a 17-year-old ban on taxing Internet access charges; writing rules to protect an open Internet; better sharing of cybersecurity threat data; freeing unlicensed wireless spectrum for rural broadband, Wi-Fi and more; helping keep highly skilled immigrants in the United States; and providing incentives for research, development and private investment.

TURBO growing the food industry through research, tech transfer

In less than a year, the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research’s TURBO program – short for Tech Transfer, University Research and Business Opportunity – has connected nearly 25 companies with economic development assistance. Located within the dairy research center on the UW-Madison campus, this business accelerator was developed with help from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Food or beverage businesses interested in licensing TURBO technologies or working with the program on their own ideas should visit or contact program coordinator Vic Grassman at

 '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 Tricia Braun, vice president of economic and community development at WEDC, discussing the agency's recruitment and attraction strategies for 2015. Also, Tom Still previews the March 23 Wisconsin Tech Summit and Liz Schrum presents the Stock Report, which covers residential real estate and the Kenosha casino.


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.

Upcoming guests:
Derek Hei, Waisman Biomanufacturing Center
Greg Piefer, SHINE Medical Technologies

Guests on recent shows:

Katy Sinnott, WEDC
Joe Kremer, Isomark

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

Options for state transportation financing range from novel to complex

Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal calls for about $1.3 billion in borrowing over the next two years to meet the state’s transportation needs, from building or repairing roads and bridges to supporting mass transit to improving ports, airports and more.

Coming debate over UW funding, structure deserves public attention

The stage is set for a state Capitol debate over the future of the University of Wisconsin System, from its smallest two-year campus to its flagship research powerhouse in Madison. Here’s hoping the debate is an honest effort to improve the performance, accessibility and accountability of the state’s largest higher education system, not a political exercise driven by perception rather than fact.

Low gasoline prices ideal for consumers; major challenge for alternative fuels

With gasoline prices hovering around $2 per gallon or less for regular grade across Wisconsin, drivers are saving money every time they fill up their tanks. The story for producers of alternative fuels and researchers seeking to unlock next-generation biofuels is very different. Their tanks are running on vapors.

Risk-averse Milwaukee makes raising money difficult

Tom Schuster, a seasoned corporate executive and turnaround expert who is now the managing general partner for the Wisconsin Super Angel Fund, spoke Thursday at a meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Wauwatosa. He outlined the investment goals for the $9 million fund while pointing out just how hard it is to raise such a fund in a financial risk environment that may be too cautious for its own good.
 Innovation news round-up

JSOnline: Wausau, Madison companies raise money from investors

Madison Startups: Next gener8tor class begins

2013 research expenditure data show UW-Madison ranks 4th

Madison ranked top metropolitan area in U.S. for STEM graduates

BizTimes: Tech experts list cyber security, Internet of Things among top 2015 trends

Milwaukee Institute partners with NSCA, a leading national supercomputer center

JSOnline: Academic research seen as vital to economy

State Journal: State budget calls for expanded tax credits for investing

State Journal: Exact Sciences' hiring soars

State Journal: Tech leaders say Madison shouldn't be Silicon Valley, but it can grow

Nordic recognized as KLAS Category Leader in 2014 Best in KLAS Report

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation near the top of the patent charts for 2013

Xconomy: MobCraft sold on virtues of equity crowdfunding despite missed goal

9 UW 'treps to receive up to $325,000 in grants from Ideadvance Seed Fund

Xconomy: Capital Midwest eyes $150 million for third WI VC fund

JSOnline: Milwaukee start-up Okanjo Partners raises $1.7 million from investors

JSOnline: Heath care technology company Mpirik raises $1.75 million

CapTimes: Start-up incubator StartingBlock Madison moving closer

WisBusiness: StartingBlock could turn Madison into ‘world-class entrepreneurial city’

JSOnline: Vilas County group taps brain power, wealth for growth

Wisconsin firm named to “Innovation AveNEW”

State Journal: Wisconsin companies invited to join WEDC trade trip to East Africa

Supreme Court Justice Bradley and Candidate Daley address Tech Council board

Madison Development Corp. receives $2 million for technology businesses

Healthcare IT News: Mayo Clinic moves to Epic

Midwest healthcare companies raise $1.8 billion in 2014

Chancellor Blank addresses Wisconsin Technology Council board of directors

JSOnline: Madison biotechnology company raises $2 million from investors

Travel & Industry Development: Wisconsin stays at the forefront of R&D

JSOnline: Number of firms drawing venture capital investments rises in Wisconsin

JSOnline: Three groups chosen to manage $4 million in venture capital

Xconomy: Ebullient Heats Up With $1M For Computer Cooling Tech

High-tech companies get commercialization boost via $75,000 grants

BizTimes: BrightStar expands investment portfolio with five companies

 News, events and opportunities

UWM Innovation Accelerator, Wauwatosa
Feb. 12

Deadline for emerging company applications, Wisconsin Tech Summit
Feb. 16

Sheraton Hotel, Madison
Feb. 17

2015 Wisconsin Tech Summit
GE Healthcare Institute, Waukesha
March 23

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

Aurora Health Care

City of Fitchburg

Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences

Marvel Medtech LLC

Milwaukee Institute

Reinhart Boerner Van Dueren s.c.

UW Extension / Center for Technology Commercialization


Individual Members
Todd Boehm

Nick Cray

Steve Dinehart

Dave Gee

Don Higgins

Grayson Hoberg

Mark Nelson

Peg Rickard

Richard Schmidt

Craig Stanley

Eric Thomas

Bob Winding

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.
Phone: (608) 442-7557
Fax: (608) 231-6877
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