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February 11, 2021

Dear readers,

The eighth annual
Wisconsin Tech Summit is an opportunity for leaders of emerging companies to meet with executives from major companies, often those with global footprints. Over time, the event has produced strategic partnerships, investments and more. We’re open for applications from emerging companies through Wednesday, Feb. 17 for the Wisconsin Tech Summit on March 17. Please read more below about how you can go on “virtual speed dates” with 21 major firms.

We released the 2021 version of our “white papers” report this week, with sections on investment capital, human capital, improving the tech infrastructure and making it easier to be an entrepreneur. Learn more below and by reading my latest “Inside Wisconsin” column, which reviews “Vision 2020: A Model Wisconsin Economy.” How did Wisconsin perform against goals set in 2003? Read more here.

As always, please take a look at our upcoming events, news and updates.

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Wisconsin Tech Summit: Call for company applications and registration now open!  

Emerging companies are encouraged to apply by Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 to meet with major firms and explore potential business relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the eighth annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

The day-long event will be held Wednesday, March 17, 2021 virtually via Meeting Mojo. More information, including the online application form, can be found at Past emerging companies are welcome to apply.

The Tech Summit will feature a series of brief meetings, or “speed dates,” to foster communication and partnership. It is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum.

Participating major firms thus far: 3M, Advocate Aurora Research Institute, American Family Insurance, AT&T, Dedicated Computing, Exact Sciences, Findorff, Froedtert Health, Georgia Pacific, J.P. Morgan, Johnson Controls, Kimberly-Clark, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mead & Hunt, Northwestern Mutual, PDS, Promega, Rockwell Automation, Schreiber Foods, Titletown Tech, and WIPFLi.

Click here to learn more, apply and register!


February Member Spotlight: Jessica Silvaggi, Ph.D., Director of Technology Commercialization, UWM Research Foundation

What goals do you have in your role at UWMRF this year?

This year we began the first round of our new Bridge Grant, a gap fund to help our start-ups. The grants will help the companies reach key milestones for their business. We were awarded a $200K capital catalyst from WEDC, but we need to match it 1:1. We are half way there, so my goal is to raise the remaining $100K from donors by June 2021 so we can continue the program for phase 2. We are also creating a quick license template to make start-up negotiation easier and faster for UWM faculty and students.

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

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Tech Council’s 2021 ‘white papers’ urge investing in workforce, capital and broadband

Improving access to investment capital for young Wisconsin companies, educating and training a strong workforce, making it easier to be an entrepreneur and building on the state’s tech infrastructure are four major themes of the Wisconsin Technology Council’s 2021 “white papers” report.

The report is timed for the start of a new session of the Wisconsin Legislature and the start of the 2021-23 state budget debate, which may focus in part on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to ideas in the four focus areas, the report also looks back on goals laid out in 2003 by the Tech Council in one of its earliest publications, “Vision 2020: A Model Wisconsin Economy.”

Click here to read and download the report.

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Tech Council recognizes several prominent scientists who hail from Wisconsin

Black History Month is a time to reflect on the contributions of Black men and woman from all walks of life to American society. We start with just a few examples of people tied to Wisconsin who can be counted among those scientists who left a mark. Please read their stories and email with other Wisconsinites we can feature!

  • Hubert Mack Thaxton
  • Etta Zuber Falconer
  • Brian Nord
  • Percy Lavon Julian
  • Dr. Ivor Benjamin

Also, please read Amplified Digital: 7 ways we can all support Black History Month


>> ICYMI "WisBusiness: The Show"

The latest episode of “ The Show” spotlights Jill Enos, managing director of TitletownTech in Green Bay. Enos works with innovators and startups to bring new business models to market.

Also, Tom Still presents “Tech Metrics,” which chart key indicators and events in the Wisconsin economy. He’ll also preview upcoming Tech Council webinars and opportunities, such as the webinar on Feb. 10 tied to our latest policy recommendations and the March 17, 2021 Tech Summit conference.

Sponsors include
Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.

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2021 Governor’s Business Plan update!

Thanks to everyone who entered the 2021 Governor’s Business Plan Contest! Judging is under way for 253 qualified entries with about 80 volunteers across the state. Some metrics of which we’re proud: More than 100 of the entries came from women, continuing the rise in the number of female entrepreneurs. About 25% came from people of color or diverse ethnic backgrounds. We’ll talk more about the breakdown of the entries in coming weeks.

How can you help? More offers of prizes, both cash and “service” prizes, are needed and welcome. You can help the finalists by chipping in; all cash goes directly to contestants who reach the final stages in June.
Contact Tammy Ehrmann:


Department of Health Services update

To date, 11% of Wisconsin has had at least one round of vaccines, while 3% has completed both rounds.

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.


>> The Tech Council is one of about 50 groups taking part in the “Stop the COVID Spread coalition, which is a private-sector effort to do precisely what the name suggests: Encourage people to take common-sense steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Click here to watch the newest ad and please share with your networks.

“Given the current pace of vaccination in Wisconsin, it will take some time for the vaccine to take hold in the state,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “Regardless of the political debates taking place in Madison, masks and other mitigation behaviors are critical factors in our COVID-19 fight.”

>> Click here for regularly updated metrics on the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

Please watch videos by Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor and federal Health and Human Services secretary; Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan; Green Bay Packers players and healthcare workers from across Wisconsin. On Wisconsin!



  • WisBusiness: Wisconsin cities capable of alluring talent from the coasts
  • Brookings: America’s heartland has a shot at economic revival—if we save its higher education institutions
  • WalletHub: Wisconsin among top 3 states for best recovering unemployment claims
  • MKE Business Journal: Minimum wage hike would help poverty but cost jobs, budget office says
  • TheHill: America must renew its commitment to scientific inquiry with Endless Frontier Act
  • WBAY: [Video] UWO gets final 2020 results in business economic impact survey
  • Wisconsin State Journal looks back at the Act 10 historic debate and protests 10 years ago. What’s changed?
  • WisBusiness: WEDC: City of Madison receives $250,000 state grant to redevelop idle site
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin is fueling the vehicles of the future
  • Urban Milwaukee: Wisconsin families may lose $31 million in tax refunds if tax code not tweaked soon


  • WisBusiness: Disaster response tech startup Safepro Technologies seeks funding to reach potential
  • UrbanMilwaukee: PenFed Foundation ranks Madison, Milwaukee in top 15 of U.S. cities for veteran entrepreneurs
  • WisconsinINNO: MEI raises more capital to help bring surgical product to market
  • WisBusiness: WEDC to award $200,000 in matching grants to boost minority entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneur: Entrepreneurial intelligence, a new form of resilience to face the crisis
  • WisconsinINNO: Madison, Milwaukee ranked best places to live for military veterans turned entrepreneurs
  • BizWomen: Allied BioScience’s Jessica Hilton chooses the passion of a start-up
  • StartingBlock: Last call to apply for StartingBlock’s Social Impact Cohort
  • Transcend is accepting applications for innovation competition from students and recent UW-Madison alumni


  • WisconsinINNO: American Family invests in California company's insurance tech for real estate platform
  • MinneINNO: Preceptis Medical raises $3.8 million after 'Hummingbird' gets FDA clearance
  • BizTimes MKE: Ted Kellner and Paul Sweeney’s joint venture Coyote Fund raises 9.5 million
  • Pitchbook: 53 Black founders and investors to watch in 2021
  • MKE Business Journal: Venture capital fund founder John Miller named to UW Board of Regents
  • WisconsinINNO: Wisconsin Investment Partners invests in neurological diagnostics company
  • Forbes: How to find an investor: Seven tips for startups


  • NBC15: UW Health has 8 times as many vaccine appointments as it has shots, new dashboard shows
  • NYTimes: The C.D.C. says tight-fit masks or double masking with cloth and surgical masks increases protection
  • MKE Business Journal: Wisconsin's progress on pandemic may be stalling; vaccines are best antidote
  • NOVA: [Video] How mask-wearing misinformation became a reality
  • MKE Business Journal: COVID-19 hospitalizations plummeting in Wisconsin, but WHA urges caution
  • Channel3000: UW Health receives $10 million donation for new transplant clinic
  • Madison Magazine: Shiva Bidar-Sielaff aims to dismantle inequities in health care
  • WSJ: A neuroscientists explains how to stop the negative chatter in your head
  • WisBusiness: UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee partner to make significant COVID research contributions


  • Rotary Club of Madison: UW System moving forward as Wisconsin recovers from pandemic, says Thompson
  • Catholic schools in U.S. hit by unprecedented enrollment drop
  • FinanceBuzz: Madison #20 for “best cities for teachers who've gone remote”
  • CapTimes: MMSD provides detail on what in-person school would look like, no date set for return
  • WEAU: Wisconsin schools can now access free mental health coaching
  • Channel3000: UW-Madison faces $320 million pandemic loss by June
  • CapTimes: Busing among the logistical challenges as some area schools return for in-person learning
  • Daily Jefferson: UW-Whitewater a top-5 mobility-friendly campus in the nation
  • WISN: State superintendent says COVID-19 causes learning loss that could take years to overcome
  • CapTimes: MMSD hoping for in-person summer school for students entering grades K-9

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Current listings this week include opportunities Exact Sciences, Neugen, CMFG Ventures, UW-Madison Discovery to Product, M3 Insurance, von Briesen and Roper, AmFam Ventures and Findorff.

Current members are encouraged to email their open opportunities to for inclusion.

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

BizStarts: P&L Basics with Thaime Nañez is on Friday, Feb. 12. During this virtual workshop, she will show you what a “profit and loss statement” is and what it can do for your business.

Milwaukee Magazine presents Women and Wealth Webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 16. This virtual event features three expert panelists who will talk about how to maximize your earning potential, plan for retirement and so much more. You'll have the opportunity to ask questions, or simply just listen and learn.

Angel Capital Association offers a free Demystifying Angel Investing: An Introduction to the World of Early-Stage on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Join us for a dynamic panel discussion with leading experts to explore the basics of angel investing, including three reasons to consider angel investing as part of your well-balanced portfolio.

WARF presents Crossroads of Ideas Revisits the Health of Our Democracy on Thursday, Feb. 18. WARF revisitS issues related to the health of the U.S. democracy in the wake of recent events, including the electoral college vote, the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the inauguration and the first few weeks of the new Biden administration.

WiSys offers Innovation in Materials and Manufacturing – Responding to the COVID Crisis’ scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23Thursday, Feb. 25. The energizing three-part virtual symposium will feature stories of innovation in the fields, faculty networking and student research presentations. Attendees should register for this free event by Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Morgridge Institute for Research presents COVID-19: The Science of Vaccines on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Delve deeper into the science of viruses and vaccines. Experts in virology and vaccine development will share about how coronaviruses infect, how COVID-19 vaccines (including a new class of mRNA vaccines) protect us, and how scientists were able to make the vaccine possible within a year.

InBusinessIB Intros (virtual) is slated for Wednesday, Feb. 24. In this speed-networking format, you’ll connect with six other Madison-area professionals through a series of one-on-one conversations.

STAT presents The Pandemic's Toll on Mental Health on Thursday, Feb. 25: STAT will speak with global experts about how mental health clinicians have responded, the lasting effects of the crisis, and how the mental health system can be strengthened to better serve people even beyond the pandemic.

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Tech Council Innovation Network membership:
Experience for yourself why the Innovation Network has been a Tech Council tradition for over a decade. With more than two dozen events annually, you'll expand your network while learning from top-notch speakers. When you become a member, your membership applies to all chapters, statewide. With a variety of membership types to choose from, you and/or your company will be sure to find a membership that fits your business goals. Join today!

Need help finding the membership level right for you?
Please contact Angela Schlobohm, development & member
relations director: or 608-442-7557.

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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.
Please reach out to interim director Joe Kremer at
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