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May 1, 2020

Dear readers, 

One of the highlights of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference each year is the culmination of the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. As in past years, many finalists in the contest are profiled by students from the UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication. With the Tech Council Current being published Monday through Friday, we’ll highlight about 20 of those stories in the coming weeks. I’m pleased to be able to teach that course and to give these young science writers, communicators and journalists a glimpse of Wisconsin’s startup economy. 




Stay tuned for announcements about virtual Tech Council webinars on COVID-19 issues of interest to our members and others.

Do you have news or best practices to contribute to a future edition of Tech Council Current?


Tom Still, president

View Tom Still’s full Inside Wisconsin archives by clicking here.


The BPC class of 2020: Finalist profiles

The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest began in late January and will culminate June 4 during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. Some contest finalists were profiled by senior and graduate students in a UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication capstone class. Visit our “Student Stories” and our BPC website to see more stories about these young companies. Today’s feature story is of Partita, who is pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Partita, which 3D-prints violins, shifts focus to face shields during pandemic
By Jessica Knackert

The wooden, handmade design of a violin is easily recognizable with around 180,000 violins sold each year in the United States alone. One local company has aimed to redefine this traditional look by changing how the instrument is produced. Partita LLC instead creates violins by using a 3D printer.

Partita was founded in 2019 by husband and wife duo, April Weir-Hauptman and David Hauptman. Weir brings her business expertise to the table. She not only earned her master’s in business administration from UW-Madison, but also has extensive experience in company development and growth. Hauptman provides expertise in 3D printing and illustration, ultimately creating the design for the company’s novel violin. Click here to read the full story.


UW-Madison Chancellor Becky Blank to speak during May 8 Tech Council webinar

Tech Council Innovation Network and Tech Council Investor Networks members may take part in our 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 8 webinar with
Chancellor Blank, who will discuss the role of a major research university in addressing a crisis such as COVID-19.  

Individual and corporate members of the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, the Tech Council Innovation Network and the Tech Council Investor Networks may register for the May 8 webinar. There are limited “seats” in the Zoom meeting. Members may email Julie Johnson at to reserve a spot. 

 Blank, Becky


Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 4, 2020 is a virtual ‘go’!      #WiTreps

Some members and other past attendees have asked, “Will the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference be held this year?” The answer is yes … but virtually, not live in Milwaukee at Northwestern Mutual’s headquarters as previously planned but with the company’s continued support. Registration open soon!

We’re excited about the highly interactive platform for doing so and will announce details soon.  


The Wisconsin Technology Council is pleased to be a partner in the Wisconsin COVID-19 Business Impact survey, which involves regional economic development groups statewide and the UW-Oshkosh. The survey will be sent to businesses every three weeks to gather in-time effects of COVID-19 as well as to plot changes over time. The second installment is in early May. The only way to be included in the second installment is to complete this first installment of the survey.
Please complete survey here.

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Our Business Plan Contestants could use your support

We announced a crop of 28 finalists in the 2020 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest this week, and we’re looking forward to the competition entering the next phase. If you’re able to contribute services to the prize kitty – legal, accounting, consulting, office space, media and design, cash or something else a young company might want – please contact us. Email your ideas to: and she’ll get back to you. Thanks for helping this exciting group of entrepreneurs advance their companies during a challenging time.


Quarles & Brady is offering Key bankruptcy considerations heading into a recession webinar on Tuesday, May 5 and Navigating COVID-19's Impact on Reopening Businesses and Returning Employees to the Workplace on Wednesday, May 6

Mitigating Financial Distress Amid a Global Pandemic will be on Tuesday, May 5

Staying Afloat - How Nonprofits, Associations and Corporations are Coping During COVID-19 webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5

Aberdean Consulting
is hosting several webinars to enhance the remote working environment safety:

Microsoft Outlook Productivity Hacks on Tuesday, May 5
Using Microsoft Forms and Power Automate for Live Events (part 2 of 2) on Wednesday, May 6
Collaborate with Microsoft OneNote on Thursday, May 7

upcoming virtual events

·       WEDC Small Business 2020 Program: Assistance will be available to Wisconsin-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) List of All 23 CDFIs in Wisconsin to provide grants to their existing loan clients to help mitigate business-related cash flow issues in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Approved CDFIs will make program grants (up to $20,000) available to for-profit businesses meeting the following criteria: Current loan recipient in good standing as of 3/1/20 with the approved CDFI (or its collaborating CDFIs); 20 or fewer PT/FT employees; Greater than $0 but less than $2 million in annual revenues; and, preference should be given to service and retail businesses

·       Gov. Evers’ office has launched a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government.
COVID-19 Volunteer Program
Religious Gatherings and Services
DVA Assistance to Needy Veterans Program
Gov. Evers Announces Badger Bounce Back Plan

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this helpful Frequently Asked Questions document.

·       WEDC has compiled a comprehensive overview of their resources along with state and federal resources to assist Wisconsin citizens aimed at maintaining the viability of the companies upon which our economy depends.

·       Report any scams or price gouging to Wisconsin Department of Justice: If you suspect fraud or a scam, Attorney General Kaul suggests filing a complaint online at

·       Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses, Pending congressional and presidential approval, the SBA may offer another round of low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and Paycheck Protection Program loans for businesses and non-profits impacted by coronavirus

·       Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus latest updates

·       Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Outbreaks in Wisconsin

·       The FDIC has provided guidance to banking institutions and consumers affected by COVID-19 and encouraged financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers and customers in affected communities.

·       The Department of Labor has issued guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements.

·       NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers are providing services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers such as connecting businesses that are pivoting their production in response to the coronavirus to new supply chains, connecting firms with state resources, advising companies on new operational issues, and providing workforce support.

·        “Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talentis a new project to help those displaced from jobs and employers now hiring

·       The Department of the Defense has established the Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF) for COVID-19 to assess and rapidly respond to challenges presented by this pandemic. They are collecting information from both government and non-government personnel who are interested in getting involved. All resources and solutions are welcome from industry, academia, venture capital firms, individual contributors and more. Request information here.

·       Wisconsin Hospital Association releases a COVID-19 dynamic Situational Awareness Update

·       View an interactive map of public wi-fi “hot spots” in Wisconsin

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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 CoVID-19 news graphic Milwaukee Business Journal: CEOs predict long-term health care change from pandemic
Wisconsin State Journal: FEMA to supply state with 230,000 N95 masks, decontamination system
HuffPost: Cities and states request $1 trillion in coronavirus aid, says Pelosi
Milwaukee Business Journal: COVID-19 steers health systems toward virtual revolution
WisEye: WEDC CEO Missy Hughes on reopening regionally
Reuters: For small business loan program, forgiveness may be the hardest part
Wisconsin State Journal: Dane County airport solar farm approved; $16.8 million project expected to save money, meet climate goals
CNN: Expert report predicts up to two more years of coronavirus pandemic
Urban Milwaukee: Wisconsinites starting to ignore Stay-At-Home order
InBusiness: How the coronavirus has changed health care… for good
Wisconsin State Journal: City of Madison to host virtual meetings to discuss future of malls 
The Journal Times: Nearly 20% of inmates at jail facilities test positive for COVID-19
Dallas Business Journal: AT&T is extending its no-fee relief for some customers hurt by COVID-19
DesignBoom: Student creates transparent masks for the deaf and hard of hearing community
Wisconsin State Journal: COVID-19 virus samples in Dane, Milwaukee counties differ, UW genetic sequencing reveals
Wisconsin State Journal: Menards, Costco begin requiring customers to wear face masks
USA Today: U.S. intelligence agencies say coronavirus was not man-made
The Journal Times: As states open, workers must risk infection or losing unemployment benefits


View The Show full archives by clicking here.

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