In This Edition

2014 BPC open for entries
Hear from investors Jan. 9
Cleantech Network is Jan. 14
Apply for WEDC's Trade Venture
Post resume on jobs board
Nominations for export award
Deadline for InvestMidwest
'WisBusiness: The Show'
Inside Wisconsin columns
Innovation news round-up
News, 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.
 Tech Bytes
The Tech Council offers notary services to WIN, WAN and WSRC members by appointment.

It's December and the cold weather is here. As you pull your winter gear out of storage, let us know if you discover a coat that isn't yours. We're looking for one that went missing at the March WIN-Madison meeting. 

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January 9

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January 28

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Welcome to the December 2013 WIN eNewsletter
Dear Reader:

If you’re a potential contestant, judge or sponsor, you’ll notice some changes to the website for the 2014 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. We’ve made the site easier to navigate and more flexible to meet the evolving needs of the contest. We thank Makin-Hey! Communications and Pitchburner, a trusted SaaS partner, as well as our lead sponsors for the site: AT&T, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., Michael Best & Friedrich and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., and others who generously contribute money, time and expertise to make the contest successful. Please read testimonials from past finalists to learn why you, too, can benefit from the contest. We look forward to reading your first-round entries!

Tom Still, president

2014 Gov.'s Biz Plan Contest is open for entries online
The 11th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is accepting entries online for the 2014 competition until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.

The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the seed, startup and early growth stages of high-tech businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, high-quality education, management talent and possible sources of capital.
Finalists will share in more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. Read more here.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit a 250-word (or 1,400-character) idea abstract online. Check out the updated website - - for more information on eligibility, contest deadlines and entrepreneurial resources.

To get involved as a judge, mentor or sponsor, email

Hear from 'I-Q Corridor' investors at the Jan. 9 WIN event
Hear how early stage venture capital firms that travel the Upper Midwest’s “I-Q Corridor” view potential deal flow in Wisconsin at the Thursday, Jan. 9 luncheon meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wauwatosa.

These investors will talk about their groups and deals attracting investors to Wisconsin: Dan Palay from Tactics II Ventures, a venture firm in the Chicago area; Chris Abele from CSA Partners, a newly-formed venture fund in Milwaukee; Larry Hayward from Independence Equity, an early-stage venture firm in Northbrook, Ill., and Wendy White Eagle from Native Capital, also based in the Chicago area.

Click here for more information and to get registered.

Energy partnerships highlighted at Jan. 14 Cleantech event
Two public-private partnerships that are promoting energy efficiency, cost savings and job creation in the Milwaukee area will be featured at the Tuesday, Jan. 14 meeting of the Wisconsin Cleantech Network.

The City of Milwaukee’s Property Assessed Clean Energy program and the Milwaukee Energy Efficiency program have teamed with private-sector companies to reduce energy use for commercial properties and homeowners. Companies such as Johnson Controls and Summit Credit Union are removing financial barriers through new loan programs. Some contractors in the energy savings space, such as Insulation Technologies, have doubled their workforce over the last decade due to these city-wide efforts.

Leading the discussion will be Erick Shambarger, deputy director of the city of Milwaukee’s Office of Environmental Sustainability.
The forum will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Wisconsin Energy Institute, 1552 University Avenue, on the UW-Madison campus.

For more information and to get registered for the event, click here.

Deadline is Dec. 20 to apply for Middle East Trade Venture
Wisconsin businesses that want to learn more about exporting to the Middle East and establishing contacts there have until Friday, Dec. 20, to apply for a Global Trade Venture to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in January.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is hosting the trip from Jan. 24 to Jan. 31, 2014, to introduce state businesses to potential Middle East customers. The program is ideal for state businesses that specialize in health care, aviation, transportation and energy, but is open to all industries. Read more here.

Check out the Tech Council jobs board; post your resume
Looking for job opportunities? Want to upload your resume?
Create an Applicant Account and get connected to many of the key players in Wisconsin's business community.

Have a job opening to post? Looking for strong candidates?
Create a Member Account and gain access to the secure applicant database. This resource is restricted to corporate members of the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the Wisconsin Angel Network and the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium.  

Get started here! Questions? Email Joy Sawatzki
or call 608-442-7557.

Nominations sought for Gov.'s Export Achievement Awards
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Governor’s Export Achievement Awards. Deadline is Jan. 31, 2014, for companies that have had exporting success.

The annual award recognizes Wisconsin companies and organizations that have achieved extraordinary results in international markets or have contributed to the state’s ability to compete in the global economy. Details and other information can be found here.

 Deadline to apply to present at InvestMidwest is Jan. 10
The 2014 InvestMidwest, to be held March 26-27 in St. Louis, Mo., provides an opportunity for high-growth companies from throughout the Midwest to present to an audience of over three hundred attendees, including more than 60 venture capital investors. The conference features three presentation tracks: life sciences, technology and food/ag/bioenergy.   

The final application deadline is Jan. 10, 2014. Click here for more information or to apply to present.

 '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 “ The Show,” Liz Schrum talks with Mark Gehring of Propeller Health about his experience with building startup companies; Tom Still discusses the evolving bioenergy field in Wisconsin; and the Stock Report covers advanced manufacturing and jobs.

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Click here to view the biweekly show, produced by Tweedee Productions for the Wisconsin Technology Council and, as well as our archives of past shows.

The show is sponsored by Madison Gas & Electric, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., and the UW-Milwaukee. 

Guests on other recent shows:
Bob Okabe, Angel Resource Institute
Wendy White Eagle, Native Capital
Mark Bakken, Nordic Consulting

 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
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Holiday perks includes naughty and nice in Wisconsin politics
A source close to the toy industry has once again leaked a copy of Santa’s perks list for Wisconsin politicians and newsmakers. Here’s what the good boys and girls in Madison and Washington will reportedly find in their stockings this Christmas. But they better not pout and they better not cry if an alert district attorney asks why gifts were delivered down chimneys after midnight.

Madison Bioenergy Research Center tackles energy initiatives
The nation's three Bioenergy Research Centers — including one in Madison — are cranking out transformative research that is beginning to find its way into companies and the broader economy, said Patricia Dehmer, chief science officer for DOE.

For small businesses and ‘treps, some year-end advice on health care
As 2013 rolls to a close, many wonder: What’s our next step if we want health care coverage in the year ahead? The answer depends a great deal on the size and current coverage plan of your company – and whether you’re a one-person shop.

Ex-governor Thompson finds late second career in health care deals
Thompson is the chairman and chief executive officer of Thompson Holdings, a business umbrella under which one of the most familiar names and faces in Wisconsin politics is investing and advising about 30 companies, mostly in the health care space. 

Higher education’s challenges aren’t confined to Wisconsin
The same problems and trends that are challenging the University of Wisconsin System these days are confronting other public universities across the country. That was evident at the annual conference of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, held recently in Washington, D.C.

 Innovation news round-up

State Journal: Progress and pitfalls for our 2013 agenda
The State Journal editorial board championed six big goals during the last year. Some of our priorities fared well, including a state investment fund for emerging businesses. Other causes drew strong public support — especially redistricting reform — but stalled because of stubborn lawmakers.

Grow: Communicating Science in the Digital Age
Web-based science news has placed a higher burden on scientists to more effectively share their discoveries with the public— a challenge that CALS life sciences communicators are ready to help them meet.

JSOnline: Wisconsin start-ups put twist on online retail
In an increasingly digital world, three Wisconsin start-ups are looking to claim a share of the growing amount of retail dollars flowing online.

Program gives businesses access to high-performance computing
Wisconsin small- and medium-sized businesses will have the opportunity to gain access to specialized high-performance computing systems and services under a new program unveiled Monday by the Milwaukee Institute, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Mason Wells. 

JSOnline: UW-Milwaukee proposes microgrid facility
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is proposing to create a microgrid combining wind, solar and battery power at a research building in Glendale.

JSOnline: Milwaukee Institute to provide resources to water center
The Milwaukee Institute will provide high-performance computing and storage resources to tenants in the new Global Water Center under the terms of a partnership announced Monday morning.

SupraNet Communications to provide wireless at MSN for holidays
SupraNet Communications, Inc. is excited to offer passengers at the Dane County Regional Airport complimentary wireless Internet for the holiday season.

JSOnline: Zywave sells insurance division
Zywave Inc., a software company that employs 366 people in Wauwatosa, has sold its insurance division and the Zywave brand name to Aurora Capital Group, a private equity firm in Los Angeles.

WisBusiness: Exec says small biz should wait out Obamacare tweaks
Al Wearing, an insurance executive for Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, spoke at the Nov. 26 Wisconsin Innovation Network meeting in Madison. Wearing said that a good deal of the original health reform law has been modified by changes to regulations and delays and it might be best for small employers to sign up for early health insurance renewals and wait out some of the changes.

JSOnline: Somna Therapeutics seeks approval for new device
Germantown-based Somna Therapeutics has asked federal regulators for approval to market an adjustable band that is worn around the neck at night to keep stomach acid from rising into the throat.

JSOnline: Feds approve BrightStar's tax-exempt application
BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc., a new group with an unusual plan for using charitable donations to make venture investments in young state companies, has received federal approval to operate as a tax-exempt organization.

State Journal: Businesses connecting to more countries than ever
Two years ago, Wisconsin could connect local businesses with trade partners in five countries. Today, the number of countries has grown to 36 — more than in any year since the state began offering such assistance in the 1970s. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. now contracts with 15 trade representatives, also a record, and at a lower cost than in previous years.

State Journal: Grandin has a grand plan for KayO Technology
Dave Grandin is CEO of KayO Technologies, which is developing a wireless, hand-held device that he hopes will give the Fitchburg company a handle on the physical and occupational therapy market.

State Journal: UW-Madison's IceCube lands cover of Science magazine
From deep below a sheet of Antarctic ice, UW-Madison researchers have identified invisible cosmic objects they think traveled there from black holes or other unexplored places literally galaxies away. One of the 28 extremely high-energy particles will be on the cover of this week’s Science magazine, fronting a story about the first major discovery announced since the $272 million IceCube project opened at the South Pole in 2010. The IceCube project was the topic of a Wisconsin Innovation Network meeting in February 2011.

JSOnline: Sonic Foundry grows globally with two acquisitions
Sonic Foundry Inc., a Madison provider of video communication services, said Thursday it plans to acquire two companies — one in Japan and the other in the Netherlands — and increase its presence in the global market.

 News, events and opportunities
Crowne Plaza, Wauwatosa
January 9

Application deadline to present at 2014 InvestMidwest
January 10

Cleantech Network Event
Wisconsin Energy Institute, Madison
January 14

Sheraton, Madison
January 28

Deadline for 2014 Wis. Governor's Business Plan Contest

250-word idea abstracts
January 31, 5 p.m.

2014 Wisconsin Tech Summit - More info coming soon!
GE Healthcare Institute, Waukesha
April 7

 Get WIN-volved! Membership has its privileges
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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:
Mortenson Construction
Madison Gas & Electric
Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.
Boardman & Clark LLP
SafeNet Consulting


Colum MacCarthy
Anne Minga
John Guequierre
Eric Overman
Stephen Adams
Ann Shea
Jay Doescher

 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 Molly Lahr, WIN director, for more information.

 Post your events in our community events section
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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

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