WIN eNewsletter

In This Edition

2015 BPC is now open

Export awards deadline is Jan. 30
WIN Innovation Index posters
ESS post-conference materials
Nov. 25 WIN-Madison coverage
Tech Council and 'Tech Voice'
'White papers' coming soon
'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.

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 Entrepreneurs' Toolkit
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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, Wauwatosa
Dec. 11

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Welcome to the December 2014 WIN eNewsletter

Dear readers -

The opening of the 2015 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest to entries is an ideal time to reflect on what the contest has meant since its inception in 2004. It has provided a platform for young companies to build their plan in stages, with the help of judges, mentors and others. It has helped those companies beat the odds of startup mortality. It has led to interest from investors and grant sources, attracting $160 million in capital over time to BPC finalists alone. Most important, it has led to the creation of successful companies, high-value jobs and exits for founders and investors. When you think about why you should enter by Jan. 31, think not only about the prizes (which are valuable) but the experience and what it could mean for your idea and your enterprise. The track record is strong. Become a part of it!

Tom Still

2015 Governor's Biz Plan Contest is now open for entries
The 12th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is accepting entries online for the 2015 competition until 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Finalists will once again share in more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit a 250-word (or 1,400-character) idea abstract online at Contestants who advance to subsequent contest rounds will expand their plan in stages. More than 70 judges drawn from the finance, sales, marketing, research and technology sectors across Wisconsin will score the entries and provide feedback on submissions.

Since its inception in 2004, more than 2,900 entries have been received and about $1.8 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. Past finalists have launched companies that have raised $160 million in angel, venture, grants and venture debt over time – all while creating jobs and economic value for Wisconsin. The contest’s major sponsors include the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Learn more about the contest, as well as sponsorship opportunities, at

Wisconsin companies that have achieved success in exporting are being encouraged to apply for the 2015 Governor’s Export Achievement Award, which recognizes businesses and organizations that have achieved extraordinary results in international markets or have contributed to the state’s ability to compete in the global economy.

The awards program, administered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., has been revamped this year and is easier to enter than ever before. All companies need to do get started is visit and describe—in 250 words or less—their recent exporting accomplishments. The deadline for the initial submission is 5 p.m. Jan. 30. Learn more here.

WIN Innovation Index posters show statewide network of resources

WIN Innovation Index poster 2014 - web

The WIN Innovation Index is your guide to Wisconsin’s regional entrepreneurial assets. This poster maps our statewide network of entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, accelerators, academic resources, large and small companies, as well as government resources that are committed to supporting the growth of Wisconsin’s high tech economy. Join WIN to be listed on the Innovation Index.

Printed posters are available for $10 at our WIN luncheons. You can also request a poster be mailed to you by contacting Cassidy Wartenweiler at

It's a wrap! View coverage of 2014 Early Stage Symposium

The 2014 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium attracted more than 560 attendees over two days. Thanks to all who participated! Visit for all the post conference materials, including:

-  "30X10" opening video - highlighting history of the conference and past presenters;
-  Footage of keynote presentation - Kevin Conroy and Graham Lidgard, Exact Sciences;
-  Remarks by Tim Keane - 2014 recipient of the "Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education" award;
-  Remarks by Roger Ganser - 3rd inductee to the "Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame;"
-  Summary of media coverage;
-  View photos of the event; and

-  Final registration list - by company and by last name.

Nov. 25 WIN-Madison explored gaming cluster in Madison area

The Wisconsin Innovation Network held a luncheon panel Nov. 25 at the Sheraton in Madison to discuss the growing video game development cluster that is growing in the Madison area. See coverage of the event below:

Madison Startups: Madison Has Video Game Talent, too
WisconsinEye coverage of the panel
State Journal: Playing games - it's all in a day's work

JSOnline: Madison's got game when it comes to electronic amusement

Tech Council announced affiliation with 'Tech Voice'

The Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, including WIN and the Wisconsin Angel Network, are members of TECNA. This is a national organization of groups that look much like the Wisconsin Technology Council in mission and often structure. Members of TECNA work together to advance issues of importance to the nation’s tech sector. Look for more information in coming weeks about our affiliation with “Tech Voice,” a program established by TECNA and TechAmerica/CompTIA. This will allow our members to easily and effectively address a range of state and federal policy issues. Visit to learn more.

Tech Council 'white papers' report coming soon
The Wisconsin Technology Council’s biennial “white papers” report will be published soon. This report is produced by the Tech Council and its board of directors to provide policymakers with ideas for enhancing Wisconsin’s high-growth, tech-based economy. Over time, these reports have spurred innovation in state laws, programs and policies. Major topics include improving access to investment capital, enhancing the startup and business climate, expanding the supply of human capital and technology development. Review past Tech Council reports here.
 '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.

This episode features TomoTherapy co-founder Rock Mackie speaking from the Early Stage Symposium about his latest startup projects. Tom Still talks about where Wisconsin falls among the states in science and technology ratings; and Liz Schrum presents the Stock Report for early December, which includes the state budget and economic forecasting.


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:
Praveen Sinha, HealthMyne
Paula Sorrell, Michigan Economic Development Corp.

 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
Still headshot for newsletter

High-tech on the gridiron: How Camp Randall went from dead zone to hot spot
At the close of the third quarter during the Wisconsin Badgers runaway football victory over Nebraska, a new entry went into the record books… and not just Melvin Gordon’s single-game rushing record of 408 yards. It marked the first time that Camp Randall Stadium experienced what telecommunications experts call an “inversion,” which means more data was leaving the stadium in the form of photographs, videos and other digital information than was being received inside by fans, press and staff.

Public perceptions of science, tech often filtered through values versus data
So why do elected officials sometimes hide behind the “I’m not a scientist” line, or a close variation, when it comes to approaching major issues? The answer may have less to do with what they know about science and technology than what they think their constituents know, feel and believe.

Milken science and tech index reveals strengths, challenges in Wisconsin
Coastal-centric flaws aside, the Milken index offers a glimpse at what’s right about Wisconsin’s science and tech economy – which ranked 25th among the 50 states – and revealed serious challenges that deserve the attention of business, academic and government leaders.

Collaboration among states key to jobs growth
It’s called the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, but the state’s oldest venture conference – launched in Madison 30 years ago – has taken on a decidedly Upper Midwest look.

Net neutrality debate can be resolved without return to 1930s regulation
By any standard, the Internet ranks as one of the leading innovations of our time. It has revolutionized everything from commerce to medicine to entertainment, all within the confines of a generation. Better yet, it has done so largely without government regulation. So, why would President Obama think now is the time to turn back the clock to Depression-era rules written when all telephones were black, hard-wired and hung on a wall?

 Innovation news round-up

JSOnline: Startup StudyBlue raises $2.2 million in funding round
StudyBlue Inc.
, a Madison edtech start-up, has raised $2.2 million in a funding round that started earlier this year, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Madison Magazine: Q&A with Maurice Cheeks
This alderman and techie is helping Madison meet the demands of the twenty-first century. Read the full interview here.

JSOnline: MCW professor researching astronauts' risks for heart disease
John Baker, a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and  a biochemist, is the principal investigator for a five-year, $1.8 million grant from NASA to look into the long-term risk of astronauts developing heart disease from radiation in deep space. Baker recently presented at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, held Nov. 12-13 at the Monona Terrace in Madison.

Manitowoc energy technology company receives $250,000 state loan
Energy Bank Inc., a Manitowoc-based company specializing in the advancement of solid state lighting and controls, has received a $250,000 loan from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC).

JSOnline: Gener8tor raises $2.1 million for fund to invest in start-ups
Gener8tor, which runs start-up training classes in Milwaukee and Madison, said Wednesday it has raised more than $2.1 million for a second fund.

JSOnline: Madison's Solomo Technology raises additional funding
Solomo Technology Inc., a Madison maker of software and sensor devices to connect businesses with customers, has raised $331,000 of a planned $1 million offering, according to a filing with federal securities regulators.

State Journal: UW students win national contest; state ranks 25th in tech index
A team of UW-Madison students and recent graduates who devised a new way to add colors to 3-D printing won the $12,500 top prize in the Collegiate Inventors Competition.

State Journal: Madison is No. 2 in U.S. for young 'treps, NerdWallet says
Madison is the second-best city in the nation -- behind only Arlington, Virginia -- for young entrepreneurs to make their mark, according to NerdWallet.

Stemina Biomarker to receive $2.3M for clinical study
Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc. has announced a $2.3 million investment from the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation to support its clinical study of biomarkers in the blood of children with autism spectrum disorders that can distinguish them from typically developing children.

JSOnline: Nordic Consulting founder Bakken to start venture capital fund
Mark Bakken, co-founder and chief executive of Nordic Consulting, one of the state's fastest-growing start-ups, said Wednesday he is stepping aside to start an early-stage venture capital fund.

BizJournal: Hudson manufacturer Phillips-Medisize to add nearly 500 jobs
Medical technology company Phillips-Medisize Corp. announced plans Thursday to invest $30 million in five Wisconsin locations and hire 484 new workers in the region part of a major expansion.

 News, events and opportunities

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Wauwatosa
Dec. 11

Cleantech Network Forum
Wisconsin Energy Institute, Madison
Jan. 20

Entry deadline for Governor's Business Plan Contest
5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2015

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
Bayfield County UW Extension
UW-Madison Discovery to Product (D2P)

Individual Members
Tim Cowling
Mark Harms
Dave Hynek

Brian Jensen

Mike Kollath

Jim Michler
Nadder Sahar
Jason Weiner

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.
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