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October 8, 2020

Dear readers: 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially cruel to Wisconsin in recent weeks, but there are signs people are coming together to step up the fight.

An announcement Friday will signify the growing concern of major elements of the business community. Watch for news on that development.

There are also indications that the state’s political leaders are trying to find common ground.
Wisconsin State Journal: State sets another COVID-19 record, reporting 3,132 new cases today.

At the Tech Council, we’re focused on helping small businesses across the state through our role in managing the $3 million “We’re All Innovating” contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. You can learn more by reading my latest “Inside Wisconsin” column and by visiting

Inside Wisconsin: Innovation contest may confirm ‘legend’ of small business adaptability

Last and not least, registration is open for the Nov. 9-11 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, which has already attracted nearly 50 investor groups. Please register here.




Make sure to check out our newsroom below for fast-changing information about Wisconsin's reopening process.
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?

Thanks for helping to build a stronger Wisconsin!

Tom Still, president

» NEWplease click here to update your subscription preferences for Tech Council communications!

The market case for supporting emerging and diverse investment fund managers in Wisconsin will be discussed during an Oct. 13, 10 a.m. webinar produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council.

The hour-long event will focus on how emerging managers – generally defined as smaller funds with a market cap on assets under management – and diverse managers – which are minority- or women-owned firms – may offer a strong return on investment while serving entrepreneurs who can otherwise be overlooked.

The webinar is the latest in the Tech Council Innovation Network’s continuing webinar series, “Crossing the Coronavirus Chasm.” Tech Council Innovation Network and Investor Networks members may register at no charge; the price for non-members is $20 for general admission and $10 for students and returning veterans. Click here to register. The Tech Council’s Julie Johnson will send webinar credentials prior to the event.

Panelists will include Jason Fields, founder of Dark Knight Capital in Milwaukee and a retiring member of the Wisconsin Assembly; Cory Nettles, founder of Generation Capital and one of the authors of Wisconsin’s investor tax credits law during his tenure as state Commerce Secretary; Will Martin, chief executive officer of the Badger State Opportunity Fund and a former state agency executive, and Erik Iverson, chief executive officer for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

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New "WisBusiness: The Show" coming soon!

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.



Registration is now open for our annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium #ESSWI, to be held Nov. 9-11 on a virtual platform. We hope you'll join us!

The conference will focus on increased opportunities for emerging companies and startups to meet with investors 1:1, pitch and present their companies. Our virtual exhibitor booths will be enhanced time to meet with sponsors and others. Nearly 50 investor groups have already signed on (see hyperlinked list here) with more to come.

Midwest investors to discuss potential in Wisconsin, region at Early Stage event
Wisconsin ‘Creative Destruction Lab’ to be featured at 2020 Early Stage Symposium
Viral marketing pro, entrepreneur Jacques joins 2020 Early Stage Symposium line-up
Read the latest “Call for Companies” press release here.

Watch for more information to come via the Tech Council Current, press releases and social media!



  • InSight: Poor broadband access worries Wisconsin businesses, survey from UW-Oshkosh finds
  • Gov. Evers invests additional $100 million in Wisconsin small businesses and economic stabilization
  • Cap Times Idea Fest: Madison retailers say COVID-19 has erased optimism of a year ago
  • NYTimes: Why did hundreds of thousands of women drop out of the workforce?
  • Wall Street Journal: Fed’s Powell says U.S. faces ‘tragic’ risks from doing too little to support economy
  • Economist: How the digital surge will reshape finance, thanks to COVID-19
  • Milwaukee Magazine: Everything to know about Milwaukee County’s incoming Bus Rapid Transit Service
  • Fox News: Majority of Americans say the pandemic has made them watch their spending habits more closely
  • NYTimes: Six months in, the shape(s) of the economic crisis


  • Chippewa Herald: Chippewa Valley businesses given the chance to win funds through COVID-19 related innovation
  • Madison Startups: OnLume awarded $2 million grant
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Green Cab now using Madison startup's ride-hailing app to book rides on-demand
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Creator of iMovie grows startup, tech culture in Milwaukee
  • NBC: ‘Re-writing the code of life’: Nobel chemistry prize goes to female genome researchers
  • Forbes: Three black women entrepreneurs’ wine company vie for $100,000 in seed money
  • Release: Rocky Knoll Health Care Center wins gold with innovative vibration technology for low-mobility residents: VibeTech



  • UpNorthNews: State will open an overflow medical care site as COVID-19 hospitalizations skyrocket
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Gov. Tony Evers issues new order limiting indoor public gatherings
  • Wall Street Journal: Eli Lilly asks FDA to authorize COVID-19 antibody drug
  • Cap Times Idea Fest: Local health care leaders say staffing is biggest concern as virus surges
  • NYTimes: Wisconsin Is frazzled by surging virus cases and growing campaign frenzy
  • Bloomberg: COVID-19 making a dangerous comeback in most parts of U.S.
  • Click on Detroit: What’s going on with coronavirus orders in Michigan? Just look at Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Community leaders try on-the-spot tech to keep COVID-19 out of the air
  • Wall Street Journal: Four different family members, four different COVID-19 outcomes


  • CNBC: Exact Sciences CEO on addressing needs for early stage cancer screening
  • Cap Times Idea Fest: Scientists always on the lookout for the next pandemic
  • USA Today: Increased screen time during the pandemic sends more people to the eye doctor
  • Fox News: Nobel medicine award to 3 for Hepatitis C virus discovery
  • Sleep Review: COVID-19 infects dreams
  • Washington Post: U.S. faces shortage of up to 8 billion meals in next 12 months, leading food bank says
  • Economist: Will the economic and psychological costs of COVID-19 increase suicides?
  • Inc.: The physical toll of remote work is real: 5 things your employees need now


  • UW-Madison: With $2.3 million NIH New Innovator Award, Hai aims for unprecedented view of the brain
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Marquette University partners with Milwaukee tech founder
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Madison School District seeks $317 million from voters to upgrade high schools
  • Daily Cardinal: UW-Madison lays off Continuing Studies staff, cuts programs due to financial losses from pandemic
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Campus COVID-19 spike subsides: What’s behind the drop in cases?
  • Cap Times Idea Fest: Rebecca Blank says UW-Madison is already proving skeptics wrong
  • BizTimes: Northwestern Mutual commits $2.5 million to schools, education initiatives

 CoVID-19 news graphic

Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

StartingBlock would like to invite you to Technologies to Save the Planet in Madison and Beyond with Dr. Bruce McCabe on Tuesday, Oct. 20

MIT presents The Role of Research Universities and MIT’s Climate Initiatives on Tuesday, Oct. 20

Novel Coworking is hosting an in-person, safe Open House for Working Parents & UW Students on Wednesday, Oct. 21

YP Week: Building Our Future is a national conference for young professionals ready to build a new, more equitable future. YPWeek is a Newaukee initiative on Tuesday, October 20 and Wednesday, Oct. 21

Aberdean Consulting is offering Successful Project Task Management with Microsoft Planner on Thursday, Oct. 22

 200x200 Virtual events

·       Gov. Evers’ office regularly updates a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the departments of Financial Institutions, Revenue and Workforce Development. Some specific sites:

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this FAQ document.

·       The Wisconsin Department of Revenue offers these information sources:

·       The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses.

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

·       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

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

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

>> WisconsinEye interviews candidates for the Nov. 3 general election.
Click here to watch free on-demand.

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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