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January 21, 2021
Dear readers,  

The entry window for the Governor’s Business Plan Contest is beginning to narrow! You can submit your business plan for review by our panel of expert judges by 5 p.m., Jan. 31, at our website, It’s free, it’s only 250 words to start, and it has been part of the startup journey for many successful companies since 2004.

There has been a lot of press of late about companies and people moving from California to other parts of the country. My latest “Inside Wisconsin” column examines a few of the reasons why the short list for relocation should include Wisconsin. Go ahead… send the link to your Golden State friends!

Lastly, we announce the opening of the 8th annual Wisconsin Tech Summit’s call for companies and registration. Please read more below.

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

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>> Registration open: From lab to marketplace: Learn how Milwaukee tech transfer works

A growing commercial pathway for intellectual property in Wisconsin runs through research and development engines in the Milwaukee region, both private and public.

Panelists include five tech transfer leaders in the Milwaukee area; Kevin Boggs of the Medical College of Wisconsin; Laura Savatski of Versiti; Daniel Sem of Concordia University; Jessica Silvaggi of UWM Research Foundation; and Kalpa Vithalani of Marquette University.

Simply defined, technology transfer is the process of moving technology from those who hold or own it other people or organizations, usually for the commercial good of all involved,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council. “We’ll learn how these institutions in the Milwaukee region are individually and sometimes collectively converting the ‘R’ of research into the ‘D’ of development.”

Click here to learn more and register.

 Tuesday, Jan. 26 2021 TCIN TCC

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

Emerging companies may apply through Friday, Feb. 12 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 Monday, 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, J.P. Morgan, Johnson Controls, Kimberly-Clark, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Northwestern Mutual, PDS, Promega, Rockwell Automation, Schreiber Foods, Titletown Tech, and WIPFLi.

Click here to learn more, apply and register!


>> New "WisBusiness: The Show" released!

The latest episode of “ The Show” spotlights Dr. Timothy Nelson, the research and innovation director for the Mayo Clinic in northwest Wisconsin and a leader in fostering R&D opportunities for students and faculty at the UW-Eau Claire.

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 Jan. 26 on a growing commercial pathway for intellectual property in Wisconsin runs through research and development engines in the Milwaukee region, both private and public and the annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which deadlines Jan. 31.

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.

Nelson, Tim 2021

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Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest open for 2021 entries through Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021

The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice and mentoring, management talent and possible sources of capital.

Over time, the contest has led to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and spurred economic growth in Wisconsin. In 2020, finalists shared in more than $125,000 in cash and service prizes.

Since its inception in 2004, nearly 4,100 entries have been received and about $2.4 million in cash and services (such as legal, accounting, office space and marketing) have been awarded. Contest categories are Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.  Read more:

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest open for 2021 entries through Jan. 31, 2021
InsideWis: Governor’s Business Plan Contest can help highlight innovation during adversity
Bolster your odds for startup business success; enter Governor’s Business Plan through Jan. 31
Crew of mentors on call for contestants in 2021 Wisconsin Governor’s Biz Plan Contest


The Tech Council is one of about 50 groups taking part in the “Stop the COVID Spreadcoalition, 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 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!


**UPDATED INFO** Information about the State of Wisconsin Disaster Medical Advisory Committee is now available, which is actively engaging the public around plans for vaccine distribution. All meetings of the committee are open to the public and public comment is encouraged.

Please visit DHS Vaccine Website Vaccine Information and CDC Vaccine Guidance for more information.
>> DHS announces sign up weekly newsletter
 to keep public informed of COVID-19 response and vaccine progress.
>> DHS launched a new dashboard showing trends in age, race/ethnicity, hospitalizations and vaccinations.

State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC):


Are you a small business owner who’s interested in starting e-commerce, but not sure how to start?

See if you’re the right fit for Wisconsin SBDC’s e-Commerce Academy with six sessions normally valued at $499, but currently being offered at no charge! Click here for more details.



  • Wisconsin State Journal: GE Healthcare lays off about 140 employees in Madison
  • InBusiness: Madison executives start local hiring movement
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Grocery store, public transit workers added to proposed COVID-19 vaccine priority list
  • WSJ: Yellen tells lawmakers that American workers would be her focus
  • WisconsinINNO: Biotech company anticipates filling over 100 jobs in Madison area in 2021
  • The Information: Big Tech and Big Media have made up: Now what?
  • InBusiness: Wisconsin is one of the most supportive states for women business owners
  • Door County Daily News: Possible internet solution coming to Door County, thanks to Elon Musk


  • AustinINNO: Wisconsin-based American Provenance selected for SKU, a CPG startup accelerator
  • WisconsinINNO: Advocate Aurora subsidiary Wumblekin targets expectant mothers with curated boxes
  • UrbanMilwaukee: WWBIC to open new women’s business center in Southwestern Wisconsin
  • DEI at CET is accepting applications for the 2nd annual Cleantech Inclusion Award
  • WisconsinINNO: Nominate a private, tech-enabled Wisconsin startup for 2021 Tech Madness
  • InBusiness: Wisconsin low for minority-owned startups
  • WisconsinINNO: gener8tor to host a second CommUnity Growth Summit
  • MarketWatch: Learning from Big Tech’s missteps is putting these startups on a stronger growth path
  • TechCrunch: Startups at CES showed how tech can help elderly people and their caregivers
  • InBusiness: StartingBlock opens mentoring program for social impact entrepreneurs


  • WisconsinINNO: Fintech startup founded by UW-Madison grads raises $525K to grow stock data platform
  • WSJ: What we already know about investing in 2021
  • BizTimes MKE: Volume and value of Wisconsin venture capital deals increased in 2020
  • MKE Community Journal: Black and brown founders invited to pitch to investors during lightning rounds
  • WisconsinINNO: 2020 venture capital report shows how Wisconsin compares with neighboring states
  • WSJ: Enterprise tech startups among big winners in recent VC Deals


  • WISN: Everyone 65 and older is now in line for COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Examiner: Timberlake takes over leading DHS as Palm departs for the Biden administration
  • MKE Business Journal: Gov. Evers' health secretary Andrea Palm leaving for post with Biden administration
  • Channel3000: UW-Madison officials discuss new COVID testing requirements ahead of spring semester
  • FocusForward: [Podcast] Innovation, inspiration and public health with Novir’s Alexander Kempe
  • TechRepublic: Health tech company uses Azure and AI to create priority list for COVID vaccination shots
  • A new COVID-19 challenge: Mutations rise along with cases
  • InBusiness: 4th COVID wave could be marked by absenteeism
  • The Hill: CDC says more contagious COVID-19 variant could be dominant U.S. strain by March
  • STAT: What we now know — and don’t know — about the coronavirus variants
  • The Atlantic: Quarantine is probably giving you headaches, back pain, and more


  • CapTimes: ‘Win-win’ attendance area swap between Madison, DeForest school districts up for discussion
  • Star Tribune: Wisconsin tribal school's science project returns from space
  • WSJ: [Video] How Biden plans to tackle the $1.6 trillion student loan debt
  • Education Week: Educational Opportunities and Performance in Wisconsin
  • Great North Labs: How the University of Minnesota is embracing startup culture
  • Barren News Shield: Seven candidates vie for Wisconsin DPI head post, primary on Feb. 16
  • UW-Madison to receive $29 million in stimulus; at least $9 million must be direct aid

COVID-19 news graphic 12_20 

Current listings this week include opportunities at UW-Madison Discovery to Product, M3 Insurance, von Briesen & Roper, Van Holten’s Pickles, AmFam Ventures, Findorff, TitletownTech, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, Department of Communication Arts at UW-Madison and Northwestern Mutual.


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

WARF presents the Crossroads of Ideas: Examining Public Perception of Science in a Post-Pandemic World. Hear from UW experts: Dominique Brossard, Life Science Communication chair; Eric Wilcots, Dean at College of Letters and Science; Ajay Sethi, Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences and Brad Schwartz, CEO of Morgridge Institute for Research on Monday, Jan. 25

Quarles & Brady offers Protect your Posts & Goods: Tips & Tools for Copyrights, Combating Counterfeits. This CLE course provides an overview of various copyright and publicity issues, overview of various copyright protections available, strategies for addressing copyright takedowns and litigation, tips and tools to combat online counterfeits, and an overview of right of publicity issues online on Thursday, Jan. 28

BizTimes will be hosting Economic Trends 2021: Seeking a Shot in the Arm - What lies ahead in the new year? Learn how these factors and others will determine how the economy fares in 2021 by attending on Thursday, Jan. 28

RCEDC: As the result of a USDA Small Business Development Grant, WEDC Main Street and Connect Communities businesses are invited to attend a series of free virtual training events during the spring of 2021: Click here for dates and registration.

The WiSys Innovation in Aging: Student Idea Competition challenges UW-Green Bay students to create innovative solutions to combat hardships and improve quality of life for an aging public. The free competition gives students an opportunity to grow idea development, collaboration and public presentation skills. More info for their event on Thursday, Feb. 25

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