In This Issue
Tech Summit process underway
Renaissance nabs $40M investment
Thompson wants to form angel fund
Baird raising new fund
State launches Ideadvance fund
WIN to feature Sonic Foundry
Supercomputing grants announced
State official talks venture capital
Wisconsin Yes! open for entries
Eatstreet raises $3.7M
Deals, acquisitions and news
Upcoming events                    
 Did You Know?
Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre is listed as a board member of San Francisco startup, Sqor, which allows users to connect digitally with athletes over sports they follow.
 Become a WAN Member
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.
Dick Leinenkugel
Northwoods Angels
Thomas Shannon
Shamrock Partners
Tom Still
Wisconsin Technology Council
Brad Taylor
Wisconsin Investment Partners
David Ward
Angels on the Water

Emeritus: Lorrie Keating Heinemann, co-founder

Dan Blake
 'WisBusiness: The Show'
On the latest episode, Liz Schrum interviews Lorrie Keating Heinemann of the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, the non-profit organization that is jump-starting the early stage investment field; Tom Still discusses advancements and opportunities in farm science and technology; and the WisBusiness.com Stock Report for late January 2014 covers biotechnology and the bitter cold weather.  

Previous Show:
Rose Oswald Poels, WBA
Mark Gehring, Propeller Health

 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
 Newsletter Sponsors


February 2014 
Tech Summit features 13 major companies, apply until Feb. 24

 Tech Summit Logo

Thirteen of the largest and most-active state companies have signed up to screen and then select emerging companies they would like to meet with at the Wisconsin Tech Summit, being held at the GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha on April 7.

merging companies have until Feb. 24 to apply by filling out a short online form, which can be found here. Attendance is limited to representatives of participating major companies, selected emerging companies and event sponsors.

David Krakauer, the first permanent director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, will be the event's luncheon speaker and his presentation will focus on “The Open Generation: Open data, open science, open universities and reflections on the future of the open state.”

Tech Summit p
articipants so far are: American Family Insurance, AT&T, Aurora Healthcare, Faith Technologies, GE Healthcare, HP Enterprise Solutions, IBM, Johnson Controls Inc., Kraft Foods, Plexus, Rockwell Automation, Runzheimer International and TASC (Total Administrative Services Corp.). These firms are active investing in companies, others are seeking R&D connections or strategic partnerships. You can see the list of participants with related links here. 

Further detailed information can be found at the event website - www.wistechsummit.com and also in a recent colum by Tech Council President Tom Still.                        
Renaissance Learning gets $40 million investment from Google
Google Capital has invested $40 million in Renaissance Learning, an education technology company based in Wisconsin Rapids. According to the New York Times, the deal values Renaissance at $1 billion.

Renaissance Learning is owned by Permira Funds, a European private equity firm that acquired it for $455 million in 2011. Read more in the
Milwaukee Business Journal and the Journal Sentinel.                             
 Ex-Wis. Gov. Thompson wants to form angel fund
Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson is interested in starting an angel investment fund in the next year if he's able to exit some of his current investment portfolio as planned.

Thompson outlined his plans during this month's Wisconsin Innovation Network meeting in Milwaukee, where his comments ranged from investment opportunities he sees in today's healthcare environment to dysfunction in Washington.

Thompson, former secretary of the U.S. Department of the Health and Human Services, is involved as an advisor and investor in more than 30 companies. He said several could be headed for an exit in the next year, allowing him more liquidity to get more active in angel investing.

Read more on Thompson's talk at Wisbusiness and Xconomy.

Baird Capital raising new $150 milion venture capital fund

The venture capital arm of Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. has submitted a filing document that it plans to raise $150 million for its fourth venture capital fund.  
Baird Capital, based out of Chicago, has 24 companies in its portfolio and focuses on companies in technology-enabled services and the healthcare sector. It has invested in three Wisconsin companies:Catalyze.io, Montage Talent and Zurex Pharma


Read more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.



State launches new $2 million idea grant fund
 UW SYS  wedc.webb  UW Extensions Logo DEED -April 2013

A new $2 million seed fund is being launched by the UW System and WEDC to help state students launch their own businesses. 


The funds will be used to help commercialize technologies and ideas at UW campuses around the state. Dubbed the Ideadvance Fund, it will provide up to $75,000 in two stages to support entrepreneurs as they evaluate or service ideas, explore key markets, validate demand and develop strategies for investment sources. 

Applications will be accepted in three rounds, beginning in March. Read more about the new program at the Ideadvance website.

Sonic Foundry alums featured at WIN-Madison

Just like sound waves resonate far beyond the source, learn how Madison-based Sonic Foundry
“alumni” have created sizable ripples of their own as they have engaged in other ventures at the Tuesday, Feb. 25, meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison. 

Sonic Foundry alums include Monty Schmidt, founder of Sonic Foundry; Rimas Buinevicius, former chief executive officer and chairman from 1997 to 2011; James Dias, former vice president of sales & marketing from 2001 to 2005; Chris Cain former general counsel and Roy Elkins, former vice president of sales and marketing from 1997 to 1999. Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council will moderate. 

Learn more and get registered here.                      


 Supercomputing grant winners announced
 Milwaukee Institute.logo
Six Wisconsin companies were awarded new grants to accelerate product development and research utilizing high-performance computing and storage resources in the state. 

The one-year program was the first of its kind in Wisconsin, and includes awards that range from $10,000 to $50,000 based on complexity and scale of each project. 

The winning companies were: Oilgear, Milwaukee; Metamodeling, Madison; Helionx, Middleton; H20score, Milwaukee; Dedicated Computing, Waukesha; and Microbe Detectives, Milwaukee.

Further information about the companies and the program can be found at the Milwaukee Institute, a non-profit that will provide the high performance computational resources and technical consulting support.                                   
Top state official outlines state venture program

Describing the $25 million state investment in venture capital funds as a way to "prime the pump," a top state official said the new effort shows the state is committed to helping startups and small businesses grow.

Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said Wisconsin is facing competition from states such as Michigan and Ohio, who are also offering funds to help companies grow.

Brian Birk, one of the managers selected as the program's fund-of-funds manager, appeared at the same Madison conference and said as many as 100 companies could be started with the funds, along with a new crop of venture capitalists.

Read more on their comments in Wisbusiness here.

Wisconsin YES youth biz plan contest 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. March 17.

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, with major sponsorship from WEA Trust and IBM

Visit www.WisconsinYES.com to learn about the contest and sponsorship opportunities. For information on becoming a judge, contact Joy Sawatzki.

Madison online food-delivery startup raises $3.7 million

Eatstreet, a Madison company that supplies restaurants with software for handling online orders, has raised $3.7 million from outside investors, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.                   
 Deals, acquisitions, exits and news
Somna Therapeutics, a Germantown company with an adjustable neck band for people suffering from acid reflux disease, raised $700,000. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Magma Flooring, a River Falls company developing eco-friendly plastic sheeting materials for applications including flooring, plastic printed graphic media, and industrial plastic sheeting, raised $2 million from investors. NEW Capital led the round. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Aquamost, a Madison company with a patented water treatment system, has raised $1.31 million from outside investors, bringing the total amount raised since 2010 to $7.4 million. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Brandbumps, a Madison firm developing dual-purpose detectable warning panels for advertising, has raised more than $880,000 from investors, according to a SEC filing.

Waypoint Health Innovations, a Madison company that develops web-based programs that address behavioral health disorders, raised more than $330,000 from investors, according to a SEC filing.
Upcoming Events
Emerging company application deadline for Tech Summit, Feb. 24

WIN-Madison Sheraton Hotel, Madison Feb. 25

2014 Wisconsin Tech Summit, GE Healthcare Institute, Waukesha, April 7

2014 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference, June 3-4

Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions