| In This Issue
|Application process open for ESS
Edge workshop in Appleton
Blank on Madison-MKE divide
Venture Investors at Oct. 11 WIN
HealthIT startup raises $14.5M round
WISC Partners closes 1st deal
BrightStar partners with Gener8tor
Angels provide funding options
Deals, acquisitions and news
| Did You Know?
|Bessemer Venture Partners, a VC firm that dates back to 1911, hosts an interesting list of investments the firm passed on over the years, called their "anti-portfolio." A few notables include FedEx, Apple, Google and Intel. At a recent event, a BVP partner told how he passed on investing in Facebook, despite a dogged effort by the company's then-CFO.
| 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
Tim Keane (Chair)
Golden Angels Network
Wis. Economic Development Corp.
Shamrock / BrightStar Foundation
Wisconsin Technology Council
Wisconsin Investment Partners
Angels on the Water
Emeritus: Lorrie Keating Heinemann, co-founder
| 'WisBusiness: The Show'
|On the latest episode, Liz Schrum speaks with Vicki Elkin from the Fund for Lake Michigan about how
the business of water benefits the state's economy; Tom Still shines a
spotlight on Colorado, and explains how Wisconsin's economy can benefit
from the state's practices; and the Wisbusiness.com Stock Report for
early September 2014 showcases hiring and mining.
Vicki Elkin, Executive Director of the Fund for Lake Michigan
Morna Foy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System
| 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
Apply now to present at the 2014 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium
|Leaders of emerging companies can apply now to pitch their venture during the 2014 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, to be held Nov. 12-13 at Madison's Monona Terrace Convention Center.
The annual conference, known by different names over the past 30 years but the Early StageSymposium for the past 10, has been a premier event where companies have gained visibility among investors, entrepreneurs and other business leaders. Many companies have gone on to raise substantial funding rounds and been acquired in some of the largest deals in state history, or grown to hire hundreds here in Wisconsin.
"The contacts you make at the event will be just the beginning of your capital raising journey," said former presenter Jan Eddy, whose company Office Solutions pitched in 1984. "Years down the road, as you reflect on the path you followed in funding and growing your business, don’t be surprised if it all leads back to that first introduction at the symposium."
Office Solutions was one of several companies in the inaugural conference that went on to raise venture capital, and was eventually acquired. The list of presenting companies over time reads like a “who’s who” of Wisconsin technology success, with examples such as Mirus Corporation, Sonic Foundry, Prodesse, TomoTherapy, NimbleGen, Nerites, Virent Energy, Idle Free Systems, Sologear – even Madison biotech giant Promega.
Find out more about the process to apply to present in the Wisconsin Angel Network tracks here, and to get registered for the conference here. Questions can be directed to Wisconsin Angel Network Director Dan Blake.
|Investors' Edge outlines capital-raising trends at New North event
|Entrepreneurs, investors and others who work with startups heard the latest trends in raising
capital during a workshop last week in Appleton, learning about valuation strategies, term sheet preferences and an in-depth overview of the venture capital market.
The event was part of the "Investors' Edge" series, which helps investors and others understand the process for startups raising capital. The half-day workshop was led by Chicago angel investor Bob Okabe, of the Angel Resource Institute, and was produced by the Wisconsin Angel Network. In addition to the workshop, WEDC presented the latest information about the ACT 255/QNBV program, an important tax credit initiative for state investors.
If you are interested in attending future workshops, which are held around the state, please contact WAN Director Dan Blake.
|UW chancellor Blank on bridging Milwaukee-Madison divide
UW Chancellor Becky Blank recently spoke to a group of Milwaukee-area business leaders and investors about how she wants to find more ways for companies and educational institutions in Milwaukee and Madison to work together, according to Xconomy.
Blank outlined existing partnerships between the UW-Madison and companies in the Milwaukee region, including GE Healthcare and Rockwell Automation, and with emerging research centers such as the UW-Milwaukee. She described such efforts as “absolutely critical to the state’s economy,” especially in an era when other nations are doubling down in their R&D investments.
Read more about the Wisconsin Innovation Network meeting in a recent Tom Still column.
|Wisconsin's investment landscape topic of Oct. 28 WIN meeting
John Neis, managing director of Madison-based venture capital firm Venture Investors, will talkabout his firm's history as Wisconsin's oldest and most successful venture firm, while also talking about how the state's capital-raising environment has changed over time.
Neis, a board member of the Wisconsin Technology Council, also serves on the boards of a number of the most-promising companies in Madison. His firm was an investor in several of the state's biggest successes, including TomoTherapy, Third Wave Technologies and NimbleGen Systems.
Contact Wisconsin Innovation Network Director Maurice Cheeks with questions and get registered here.
Digital health startup Propeller Health raises $14.5M in Series B
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.
The announcement makes Propeller's raise the largest that has been publicly announced in the state so far in 2014.
| New venture fund with Calif. ties makes 1st investment in Wisconsin
|A new fund started by a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni has closed on at least $1 million of a $25 million fundraising effort and made its first investment in a Madison biomaterials startup.
WISC Partners Fund 1, whose principal office is in Milpitas, Calif.,
plans to invest mostly in Wisconsin companies, David Guinther, a general partner in Madison, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
|BrightStar partners with Wisconsin accelerator, Gener8tor
|BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, a venture philanthropy fund, announced it plans to invest $50,000 into each company that meets its job creation mission that comes out of Gener8tor, a Wisconsin-based accelerator. Read more about the partnership here.
|Angels provide funding options for young businesses
|The Wisconsin Angel Network was recently featured in the Green Bay Press-Gazette, explaining how our members and early-stage investment groups can provide capital for entrepreneurs and what they usually seek before making an investment.
| Deals, acquisitions, exits and news
|Bad Donkey Social, a Madison tech company that allows users to add their own images and symbols to text messaging, raised $1 million from private investors. Wisconsin State Journal
Shine Medical Technologies, a Monona company that is building a factory to produce a radioactive
isotope used in medical imaging tests, has raised
$2.4million of funding. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Stealth Therapeutics, a Madison company developing a medical device that can be implanted into a patient’s arm to access long-term medical treatment, raised more than $450,000 from investors. The company has raised $2 million in total from investors, including Kegonsa Seed Fund. Wisconsin State Journal
Monona firm Phoenix Nuclear Labs, received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to
design and build a device that could impact the way computer chips,
medical isotopes and nuclear energy are produced. Wisconsin State Journal
Intuitive Biosciences, a Madison biotechnology company, raised more than $485,000 in debt funding, according to an SEC filing.
Forward Health Group, a Madison-based digital health startup, closed funding from BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, a venture philanthropy fund. News release
Swallow Solutions, a Madison firm developing a medical device to help with patients with swallowing disorders, received an investment from BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation. News release
Patch Products, a Beloit game manufacturer and distributor, was acquired by a provide equity firms based in New York for an undisclosed amount. Milwaukee Business Journal
Microscopy Innovations, a Marshfield-based company that produces high-impact life science
tools, raised $410,000 from investors, an SEC filing shows. Xconomy
Madison-based Virent announced that the Coca-Cola company is making an additional investment in the company's development and commercialization of a bio-based packaging material. News release
Forte Research Systems, an angel funded company in Madison that makes software for clinical research, received a $550,000 state loan to scale its operations. News release
Imbed Biosciences, a Madison company with a silver wound dressing, closed a $683,000 funding round from investors, including WISC Partners. News release
|Sept. 23 - WIN Madison: Glass ceiling or hard floor: How women entrepreneurs are raising funds
Oct. 28 - WIN Madison: John Neis of Venture Investors outlines local investment trends
Nov. 12-13 - Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, Madison, Monona Terrace