In This Issue
ESS to feature 45 company pitches
'First Look' to feature inventions
TechStars among ESS highlights
Crowdfunding proposal floated
Dane County ranks high in IT jobs
VC firm discloses strategy
WARF award winners announced
Chinese investment growing in Wis. Deals, acquisitions and news
Upcoming events
 Did You Know?
A San Francisco-based startup, Fantex Holdings, has launched a new trading exchange where investors can buy and sell stocks tied to professional athletes' financial performance.  Arian Foster, the Pro Bowl running back of the Houston Texans, will be the inaugural IPO.



Triple witching - This occurs on the third Friday of every March, June, September and December when stock options, index options and index futures all expire on the same day. According to Morningstar, it leads to increased trading volumes and volatility as traders try to offset their options/futures orders before the closing bell.

 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, Al Wearing of Group Health Cooperative talks about the nation's initial response to and interactions with the Affordable Care Act; Tom Still previews the Nov. 5-6 Early Stage Symposium; and the WisBusiness.com Stock Report for mid-October 2013 includes biotech firm Promega and Wisconsin's corn prices.

Previous Show:
 Rebecca Larson,
Alliance of Health Insurers
 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


October 2013 
Companies across varied sectors to pitch at Early Stage Symposium
 ESS13 Web Header compressed small
Early stage companies with products spanning sectors as diverse as medical devices, dairy products, a portable jet ski and a diesel aircraft engine will present to potential investors and others at the 2013 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, to be held next week at Monona Terrace in Madison. 

To see the full list of companies selected to present, go here

The seventh annual Wisconsin Angel Network Investors' Track, which includes two sessions on Tuesday, Nov. 5, will feature presentations from 28 technology-based emerging companies from across the Midwest. Each company will have seven minutes to present.  The ninth annual “Elevator Pitch Olympics” on Nov. 6 will showcase 90-second pitches from 18 companies - most of which will be seeking their first round of financing. 

The presenting companies are emblematic of what's needed in Wisconsin -- innovative, emerging firms that have a chance to grow quickly and create jobs, Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still wrote recently.
 'First Look' Forum at ESS to highlight campus inventions

Four examples of academic innovation that could become tomorrow’s commercial successes will be unveiled Wednesday Nov. 6 during the annual “First Look Forum” at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium

The forum, developed by the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, is designed to give potential investors a “first look” at technologies that are the product of academic research on the campus, which conducts about $1.1 billion in sponsored research each year.

Read more about the academic research breakthroughs here.

This type of academic and other government-funded research has helped give the U.S. a competitive edge internationally, but is increasingly under threat as a result of automatic budget cuts, the Wall Street Journal recently explained.

TechStars, water startups, and 'office hours' to be featured at ESS
In addition to the company and research presentations, the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium will feature two days packed full of sessions geared toward early stage companies and those who work with them closely. A complete agenda can be found here, but a few new sessions this year are:
  • Brad Feld, co-founder of TechStars will kick off the conference via teleprescence on Tuesday, and present attendees will receive a copy of Feld's book "Startup Communities." Troy Henikoff, managing director of TechStars Chicago, will also appear on a panel about accelerator programs   
  • "Reverse Elevator Pitch," a new session where five investors will "pitch" to a group of experienced entrepreneurs who will then give them feedback.
  • “Office Hours,” a series of five small-group discussions at which entrepreneurs can discuss specific issues with experts and their peers.
  • Investors from across the Midwest will be present at the two-day conference, including representatives from angels groups in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, along with major regional venture capital firms.

 SEC releases long-awaited crowdfunding rules for comment
After more than a year of delay, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules to implement the crowdfunding section of the JOBS act. The public will have 90 days to comment on the 585 pages of rules and then it could be up to six months before final rules are issued. 

"I am pleased that we are in in a position today to adopt a rule proposal that would, upon adoption, permit crowdfunding to begin. We want this market to thrive, in a safe manner for investors," said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

In Wisconsin and several other states, the delays have led to legislators rewriting state securities laws to allow for similar exemptions, and will likely bring confusion as the federal rules are implemented. Several experts on crowdfunding, both at the state and federal level, will be discussing the latest surrounding the federal and state rules on Nov. 5 at the Early Stage Symposium

Crowdfunding links roundup:

SEC Press Release -- SEC Issues Proposal on Crowdfunding
SEC Proposed Rules
Submit Public Comment to SEC
New York Times -- A Year Late, SEC weighs in with 585 pages of crowdfunding rules
Fortune -- We're all investors, but we're not angels
Crowdsourcing.org -- Equity Crowdfunding Proposed Rules: Questions and Challenges

 Dane County ranks 9th in strong IT job growth
Dane County ranked 9th on a list compiled by the Progressive Policy Institute of counties that have had strong job growth in information technology and related sectors during the last five years. Read the full Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story here.

Washtenaw County in Michigan, home to Ann Arbor, was the only other county in the Midwest to make the top 25.  Read the entire report here.

 New Halo report shows ¼ of deals done in Midwest
The Q2 2013 Halo Report was released this month and showed that collectively the Great Lakes and Great Plains region completed almost 25% of national angel-funded deals. Almost 80% of deals were funded in internet, healthcare and mobile sectors in the second quarter of 2013, with just less than half of investments made in new companies.

See more information about the report 
here and an infographic here.

 Venture capital firm discloses investment strategy
Bloomberg Beta, a bi-coastal VC firm which launched in 2013 with $75 million, recently posted its "internal operating manual" online, outlining what it looks for in investments, deal terms and how they work with companies.

The disclosure is reflects a changing model of greater openness and transparency in the venture capital industry, said industry watchers.

 WARF Innovation Award winners announced
A new oat offering tasty ways to lower cholesterol and compounds capable of disrupting serious bacterial infections earned top honors in this year's Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Innovation Awards program. See more about the winning inventions and other finalists here.

 Chinese investment a growing trend in Wisconsin
The Global Water Center, which houses laboratories, university faculty and more than a dozen water tech companies, wouldn't likely have happened without the infusion of $12 million from Chinese investors, who provided more than half the cost of acquiring and renovating the 107-year-old warehouse in Milwaukee's Walker's Point neighborhood. Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

 Deals, acquisitions, exits and news
Wellbe, Madison health IT company, has finished its first fundraising round, receiving $1.1 million from angel investors in Wisconsin and beyond, as well as a $300,000 loan from the Madison Development Corp. Read more here

Wisconsin Brewing Co., is launching an $11 million facility in Verona that is scheduled to produce 20,000 barrels in its first year. The company raised $8 million from investors. Read more in the Wisconsin State Journal

Iristocracy, a Madison fashion eyewear startup, closed a seed funding round of $500,000. The company's founder, Natasha Vora, was also among the 53 tech entrepreneurs who were recognized in Madison Magazine as part of the city's vibrant tech scene. Read more on Vora and others here.

 Upcoming Events
Early Stage Symposium: Madison, Nov. 5-6

WIN-Milwaukee: 3-D Milwaukee Makerspace, Nov. 14


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