In This Edition

Apply to present at 2014 ESS
Investors' Edge returns Sept. 18
WIN-MSN topic is women 'treps
Midwest Innovation Summit Oct. 27-28
SCORE celebrates 50 years
'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.

 WIN newsletter The Show graphic
 Entrepreneurs' Toolkit
 2012 Ent Toolkit Thumb for web

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
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Wauwatosa

Sept. 11

Sheraton Hotel, Madison
Sept. 23

Sheraton, Madison
Oct. 28

Have program ideas for your regional WIN chapter?
Let us know

 Join WIN
WIN logo for newsletter 

Click here to read more about member benefits and join today!

 Tech Bytes
CDN: Content Delivery Network. An interconnected system of computers in various locations that store duplicate copies of web content so it can be called up quickly.
 Recent WIN Sponsors
Wegner CPAs
UW-Madison OCR
QTI Group
Madison Gas & Electric
First Business Bank
BizStarts Milwaukee
Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau
Capitol Navigators
Vital Support Systems
Tweedee Productions

Interested in sponsoring a WIN event?
Contact Mo Cheeks

Sponsor the Newsletter! 

 Newsletter sponsored by:

Madison College Horiz 


 First Business Bank SM



 Dane County Airport Web
 Quick Links
Inside Wisconsin
Tom Still's column

More about the
Wisconsin Technology Council

 Join Our List
Button for newsletter 
 Our Major Sponsors
 Other major sponsors include:



 MBF Web small





 Venture Investors jpg

 Grant Thornton-new

 BMOHB_T2 web small


Welcome to the September 2014 WIN eNewsletter

Dear readers –
Investors are increasingly finding reasons to invest in Wisconsin companies. More than $20 million in angel and venture capital deals are detailed in this edition of the WIN eNewsletter alone, representing about a month’s worth of activity. That increase in deals represents one good reason why companies should apply to present at this year’s Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium (please see below) and why active and prospective investors should attend the Sept. 18 Investors’ Edge event in Appleton (also below). Please read on to learn more about those events and more!

Tom Still

Emerging companies can apply to present at Nov. 12-13 ESS

Apply to pitch your company to the most active investors in the Midwest at the annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, being held Nov. 12-13 at Madison’s Monona Terrace. Many companies have cited their presentations at the conference as a key factor for getting funding and growing their business. Company applications are due no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24.

 ESS blue arrow logo  

This year’s conference, with a theme of “30X10,” is celebrating a rich history that goes back to 1985. Under several names since the first annual venture conference was held 30 years ago in Madison, the event has been known for the past 10 years as the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. More than 480 companies have presented during the conferences in one format or another, including some of Wisconsin's largest tech companies.

The application process is open to early stage companies representing an array of industries, including biotechnology, medical devices, health care, advanced manufacturing, information technology and others. For more information on how to apply, click here. Learn more about the Early Stage Symposium at

Investors' Edge workshop returns to Wisconsin Sept. 18


Come learn with and from experienced early-stage investors and entrepreneurs about the latest trends in angel and startup investing! Returning to Wisconsin by popular demand, the Investors' Edge workshop "Trends in Raising Early Stage Capital" can help new or experienced investors make sure their next deal is on par with the latest market trends.The half day event will be held Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton.

Produced by the Wisconsin Angel Network, with content presented by the national Angel Resource Institute, the workshop covers best practices in the following areas: analyzing the capital raising environment, meeting investor expectations, current valuation methodologies and deal structuring.

Attendees will have the opportunity to provide updates and hear the latest data, trends and best practices from other experienced Wisconsin investors. Register and learn more here. Contact Dan Blake with questions.
Next WIN-Madison: How women entrepreneurs are raising funds

Successfully raising investment capital and starting women-led businesses will be the topic of a panel discussion titled "Glass ceiling or hard floor: How women entrepreneurs are raising funds" at the Tuesday, Sept. 23, meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network meeting in Madison.

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.

Panelists include Laura King, founder and chief executive officer of Elucent Medical and grand prize winner of the 2014 Governor’s Business Plan Contest for their innovative cancer detection technology; Nicole Walker, who has extensive investment experience, most recently serving as director at Baird Venture Capital; and Heather Wentler, cofounder and executive director of The Doyenne Group, which mentors women entrepreneurs and business owners in Madison. Tom Still of the Tech Council will moderate. Register and learn more here.

Midwest Innovation Summit to be held Oct. 27-28 in Minnesota


The 2014 Midwest Innovation Summit will be held Oct. 27-28 in Minneapolis, Minn.

This year's event is expected to have more than 400 attendees focused on innovation in the
Impact Economy, including corporate managers, financial investors, early stage businesses, trade organizations, academia, government officials and university students.

This annual conference, organized by Midwest Cleantech Open and partners, explores how the Midwest is capitalizing on these trends and providing market leadership, and offers insights into new industry developments and upcoming opportunities. Learn more and register here.

SCORE celebrates 50 years supporting the business community

SCORE is celebrating its 50th anniversary of helping small businesses grow throughout the country. To celebrate this milestone, SCORE Southeast Wisconsin is hosting a luncheon event on Oct. 9th at the Wisconsin Club in downtown Milwaukee.

Featured speakers will include: Ken Yancey, CEO, SCORE National; Craig Culver, CEO, Culver's; and Erik Buell, CEO, Erik Buell Racing. 

Across Wisconsin, SCORE has been instrumental in helping new business entrepreneurs and existing business owners through its free coaching and mentoring services, along with a comprehensive curriculum of cost-effective business training classes.  

To learn more about this event, please contact Lynn Morrison at 414-588-3308 or

 '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.

On the latest episode of "WisBusiness: The Show," Liz Schrum speaks with Vicki Elkin, executive director of the Fund for Lake Michigan, about how the business of water benefits the state's economy; Tom Still looks at how Wisconsin's economy could benefit from following Colorado's business practices; and the Stock Report showcases hiring and mining.


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 other recent shows:

Morna Foy, Wisconsin Technical College System
Maurice Cheeks
, Wisconsin Innovation Network
 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
 Still headshot for newsletter

Colorado offers economic growth lessons for Wisconsin
While Wisconsin can't offer mountain vistas, the story of Colorado's economic performance offers some potential lessons for the Badger State — as well as affirmation of trends already underway.

Foreign direct investment plays growing role in Wisconsin’s economy
Exports and foreign direct investments are flip sides of the same coin. They represent Wisconsin’s ability to build, produce and grow what the world needs – and to attract investment from other markets that understand Wisconsin’s strengths.

Biotech back in favor? Not entirely, but funding drought may be ending
For much of the Great Recession and beyond, biotechnology was out of favor among angel and venture capitalists. Software and Internet deals became the shiny object for investors who wanted faster returns with fewer dollars risked.

Wisconsin's 'gazelle' start-up population making gains
Wisconsin is often dinged for being a state with relatively low numbers of start-up companies, which is true given the mix of start-up flavors that are counted in such surveys — from mom-and-pop stores to lifestyle businesses to the "gazelles" that aspire to land angel and venture capital.

Campaign for governor may hinge on new answers to old question
The race for governor in Wisconsin may come down to how voters answer “are you better off?” questions from Republican Scott Walker, who was elected in 2010 and who weathered a recall challenge less than two years later, or Democrat Mary Burke, his challenger in an apparently tight race.

Diverse workforce challenges require a mix of strategies for Wisconsin
Workforce development means different things to different people – which is why the term carries emotional and political weight across Wisconsin, from its small towns to its major cities. It also explains why policymakers must aspire to devise a balanced approach to meeting Wisconsin’s diverse workforce needs.

 Innovation news round-up

JSOnline: Imbed Biosciences raises $683,000 in funding round
Imbed Biosciences Inc., a Madison company with a novel biomaterials platform for wound dressings and surgical implants, has raised $683,000 of a planned $1 million funding round, according to filings with federal securities regulators. Imbed Biosciences won second place in the 2012 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest's Life Sciences category.

Propeller Health raises $14.5M Series B financing led by Safeguard Scientifics
Propeller Health, the FDA-cleared digital health solution for chronic respiratory disease, announced that it raised $14.5 million in Series B financing, led by Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE) with participation from Series A investor The Social+Capital Partnership. Propeller Health will use the funding to accelerate product development, strategic alliances, client services, sales and marketing.

BrightStar Wisconsin announces formation of partnership with Gener8tor
BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc. has announced the formation of a partnership agreement with gener8tor, a Milwaukee- and Madison-based business accelerator that invests in technology-enabled, rapidly scalable, early stage companies. BrightStar has made a commitment to invest $50,000 in each company that comes out of the bi-annual gener8tor accelerator program that meets BrightStar’s mission and main investment criteria, creating high-quality jobs in Wisconsin. The most recent class had five participants that were picked from nearly 400 applicants.

Shine Medical secures $2.4M of investment
SHINE Medical Technologies , Inc. (SHINE), a Wisconsin - based company dedicated to being the world leader in the safe, clean, affordable production of medical isotopes, announced that it closed a $2.4 million financing.

Morgridge launches microfluidics foundry
The Morgridge Institute Medical Engineering team, responding to increased UW-Madison demand for microfluidics resources, has launched a new microfluidics foundry to build customized tools that bring biology down to the smallest possible scale. The Advanced Fabrication Laboratory has a suite of new machines that can mold, emboss and etch polymer micro-channels and create the precise surface properties required in microfluidics devices.

Madison Startups: 11 more recipients of Ideadvance Fund
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the Center for Technology Commercialization announced recently that 11 additional grantees from UW faculty, staff and student teams have been selected to receive up to $25,000 each through the Ideadvance Seed Fund, bringing the total to 23 teams receiving grants.

JSOnline: Doyenne Group plans to raise $500,000, start angel fund
The Doyenne Group, a Madison nonprofit that provides mentoring and networking for high growth potential, women-owned companies, plans to raise $500,000, part of which will be used to start an angel investment fund.

JSOnline: Biotech companies land funding
Two Madison-area biotech companies — Intuitive Biosciences Inc. and Stealth Therapeutics Inc. — each have raised nearly $500,000 of funding, according to filings with federal securities regulators.

JSOnline: Unique provision in Wisconsin law puts brakes on crowdfunding
Equity crowdfunding is off to a slow start in Wisconsin, with few businesses moving to use the new investment vehicle, and banks seemingly cautious about getting involved. Other states have traveled a similar path, but Wisconsin's road contains a speed bump found nowhere else: The financial institution that holds investors' money during a crowdfunding campaign must be state chartered.

JSOnline: Gener8tor has notable success nurturing start-ups
Gener8tor, a for-profit group formed in 2012, has put 23 start-ups through its training program. Those companies have gone on to create 118 jobs and raise, often with gener8tor's help, more than $20 million of capital. Gener8tor ranks in the top 30 out of 220 accelerators in the world in terms of the average dollar amount that portfolio companies have raised, according to Seed-DB, a database of all known seed accelerators.

WisBusiness: UW flu researcher details global implications of his work
Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a UW-Madison researcher whose work with dangerous influenza strains made headlines this summer, says his work is not only extremely safe, but also has important implications for global health. Kawaoka’s research has led him to create versions of already-known avian influenza viruses that would have the potential to become global pandemics if released into the general population, he told his audience at the monthly Wisconsin Innovation Network luncheon in Madison.

JSOnline: Mayo Clinic to offer Exact Sciences colon cancer screening test
Exact Sciences Corp. said Aug. 25 that Mayo Clinic will be the first health system to offer the company's non-invasive, DNA-based colon cancer screening test.

JSOnline: Milwaukee's academic institutions explore creating nonprofit center
Leaders from 20 of the region's academic institutions met at Marquette University Thursday to explore the idea of a nonprofit center near downtown Milwaukee that could help their students build start-ups and partnerships with industry. The project will begin with a pilot program in November, with a goal of launching the entire program next summer, said Matt Cordio, co-founder of Startup Milwaukee, which is running the initiative with Innovation in Milwaukee, or MiKE, a project of the Greater Milwaukee Committee.

Marshfield Clinic Health System names Susan Turney as first CEO
The Marshfield Clinic Health System Board of Directors has named Susan L. Turney, MD, MS, FACP, FACMPE, as the Health System's first chief executive officer (CEO). Turney, who will assume the new role September 1, has resigned her position as President & CEO of the Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association.

University spinoff aims to hit the mark precisely with brain-scanning tool

To bring the full promise of MR into the operating room, Walter Block, professor of biomedical engineering at UW-Madison, has formed a company called InseRT MRI to develop software that allows surgeons to observe the brain in real time on an MR machine during surgery.

Madison Startups: Techstars Patriot Boot Camp comes to Wisconsin
Techstars announced this week the next Patriot Boot Camp event will take place Sept. 26-28 in Madison, expanding from annual events in Washington, D.C., and New York City to regional events.

BizWire: Advanced Cooling Therapy closes $1.5M for esophageal cooling device
Chicago-based emerging medical device firm Advanced Cooling Therapy (ACT) has closed a $1.5 million Series A financing round to support the full commercial launch of its first product, the Esophageal Cooling Device (ECD) to control patient temperature. ACT was a presenter in the WAN Investors' Track at the 2013 Early Stage Symposium.

JSOnline: UWM's Student Startup Challenge selects 10 winners
Ten student teams have been chosen by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to receive a total of about $70,000 in cash and services, along with support for turning their ideas into products or businesses.

JSOnline: UW Extension Ideadvance grants aim to make ideas into products
An infant sleep pod, aimed at reducing the number of infant deaths due to sleeping with an adult, is one of 11 projects being funded through new grants from University of Wisconsin Extension and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Intelligent Composites, third place winner in the Advanced Manufacturing category of the 2014 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest, is also among the grant recipients.

Green Bay Gazette: Angels provide funding option for businesses
When faced with difficulties in obtaining funding, many entrepreneurs look to angel investment groups. Although only certain types of businesses will qualify, Wisconsin is trying to make it easier for businesses to submit requests through the Wisconsin Angel Network (WAN).

Nordic ranked 46th on Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in the nation
Nordic has been recognized as the 46th fastest-growing privately held company in the nation on the annual Inc. 500 list, America’s most prestigious ranking of fastest-growing private companies. In addition, Nordic has earned a spot on Modern Healthcare’s 2014 list of the 100 “Best Places to Work in Healthcare.”

JSOnline: Gigabit broadband speed spreads throughout state
In the Village of Siren, a community of about 900 people surrounded by nearly 300 lakes in northwest Wisconsin, you can get Internet speeds up to 50 times faster than what most people have in their homes in Milwaukee or Madison.

BizTimes: Scale Up Milwaukee accepting applications for 'trep training program

Scale Up Milwaukee, a multi-stakeholder effort helping support entrepreneurs at all stages to grow their ventures by stimulating a strong regional entrepreneurship ecosystem, has announced it is accepting applications for the second class of its Scalerator program – training designed to teach ambitious, local companies how to maximize their growth potential.

Biz Journal: Venture capital firm invests in ZBB Energy's Chinese joint venture

An investment capital firm is investing $3.24 million in ZBB Energy Corp.’s Chinese joint venture company to build storage products for energy and power electronics platforms.

JSOnline: Marshfield research start-up lands angel investor funding

Microscopy Innovations LLC, a Marshfield company that makes a system for preparing microscope specimens, has raised $410,000 of a proposed $750,000 funding round, according to documents filed with federal securities regulators.

Startup Whole Trees LLC creates strength in lumber

Amelia Baxter and Roald Gundersen launched Whole Trees in 2007. The firm initially focused on providing products for home building, an area where Gundersen for years used round timber in his designs. After weathering the 2008 recession and obtaining additional funding, Whole Trees is now increasing production by entering the commercial building products industry.

State Journal: D2P program chooses UW inventions for fast track to market

Seventeen projects have been chosen for the launch of the new Discovery to Product, or D2P, program. The partnership between UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, announced last November, is aimed at taking some of the most promising campus inventions and helping to speed their entry into the marketplace, boosting the economy and creating jobs.

WEDC's website ranked in #3 in new study

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation website is the third best in the country when it comes to providing economic development site selection information, according to a new independent report.

Tech Council's WIN-Lake Superior chapter holds Ashland conference

Read about the seventh annual Lake Superior Business & Technology Conference here in the Ashland Press. More than 100 people attended. The Business Idea Contest was won by Ellie Bresette of Bayfield with his "BuzzBoard" device. 
 News, events and opportunities

Investors' Edge: Trends in raising early stage capital
Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton
Sept. 18

Glass ceiling or hard floor: How women entrepreneurs are raising funds
Sheraton Hotel, Madison
Sept. 23

Deadline for applications to present at 2014 Early Stage Symposium
Sept. 24

2014 Midwest Innovation Summit

The Depot Hotel, Minneapolis, Minn.
Oct. 27-28

John Neis of Venture Investors outlines local investment trends
Sheraton Hotel, Madison
Oct. 28

2014 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium
Monona Terrace, Madison
Nov. 12-13

Get WIN-volved! Membership has its privileges
 WIN logo for newsletter
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
Baker Tilly
Concordia University Wisconsin

Filament Games
Group Health Cooperative

Quarles & Brady

Smith & Gesteland

Venture Management LLC

Individual Members
Michael Bark
Michael Doucas
Jill Enos
Frederick Kron
Bruce Lindgren
Shaheeb Roshan
Marcia Theusch

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

Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions