| In This Issue
|Gov's Biz Plan Contest opens
Tech Council 'white papers' coming
Tech Voice affiliation announced
Foley raises $2.1M for venture fund
StudyBlue closes 2.1M round
Data simulation startup nabs funding
AmFam backs StartingBlock
Vidmaker acquired by YouTube
Deals, acquisitions and news
Join now to become a WAN member
| Did You Know?
|Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of the search engine giant, has shifted its investment focus to healthcare and lifescience startups recently, according to a recent report. More than one-third of the firm's investments are going into the sectors, as opposed to less than 10 percent in each of the prior two years.
| 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
Tim Keane (Chair)
Golden Angels Network
Wis. Economic Development Corp.
Shamrock / BrightStar Foundation
Wisconsin Technology Council
Wisconsin Investment Partners
Angels on the Water
Emeritus: Lorrie Keating Heinemann, co-founder
| 'WisBusiness: The Show'
|The latest episode, filmed at the 2014 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, TomoTherapy co-founder Rock Mackie is interviewed about his latest startup projects.
Praveen Sinha, HealthMyne
Paula Sorrell, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
|Wisconsin Innovation Index
|Are you involved in Wisconsin's growing tech
scene? Do you want to get more notice among startups, investors and
others who work with innovators in the state? If so, the recently released Innovation Index map of tech assets in Wisconsin could be for you. The Wisconsin
Technology Council produced the statewide map in partnership with American Family Insurance.
If you would like to purchase a copy for your office, or to find out how your organization can be listed, contact WIN Director Maurice Cheeks at 608-442-7557.
|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
2015 Governor's Biz Plan Contest is now open for entries
12th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest is accepting
entries online forthe 2015 competition until 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31,
2015. Finalists will once again share in more than $100,000 in cash and
For their initial entries,
contestants will submit a 250-word (or 1,400-character) idea abstract
online at www.govsbizplancontest.com. 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 www.govsbizplancontest.com.
|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. Read a preview of the report's policy suggestions on 30Forward, the Wisconsin Angel Network's blog.
|Tech Council announced affiliation with 'Tech Voice'
|The Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, including 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 www.comptia.org to learn more.
|Foleys raises $2.1 million for 3rd venture fund
Foley and Lardner, a law firm headquartered in Milwaukee with global offices, has closed a $2.1 million venture capital fund to be invested exclusively into firm clients, according to Xconomy.
The fund, raised from its partners, is the third for the law firm. With the first fund, the firm has raised over $8 million and invested in more than 30 clients.
|Edtech startup StudyBlue raises $2.1 million
|StudyBlue Inc., an edtech startup with Madison roots, has closed a $2.1 million funding round, bringing the company's total funding to over $17 million.
Investors in the latest funding round include Great Oaks Venture Capital, among others. The company, founded by UW-Madison graduates, is technically based in Madison but its management operates out of San Francisco, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Data simulation company SmartUQ closes $1.8 million round
|SmartUQ, a company started by a UW-Madison statistics professor that is helping its customers develop faster data simulations, recently raised 1.8 million from a group of Wisconsin investors.
The startup, a presenter at this year's Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, also participated in the MadWorks summer accelerator in Madison and received a grant and access to the nonprofit Milwaukee Institute’s high-performance computing and storage resources. Read more.
|AmFam announces support for StartingBlock effort
American Family Insurance, a leading supporter of the startup community in Wisconsin,recently announced it was committed to financially supporting StartingBlock Madison, an entrepreneurial hub that has been in the works for more than a year.
StartingBlock Madison organizers said they hope the American Family investment, details of
which are still being finalized, will help attract additional private
funding needed for the project, which they hope will be completed in 2016. Read more about the project.
|Vidmaker, Madison video startup, acquired by YouTube
|Vidmaker, a Madison startup that went through the TechStars accelerator program has been acquired by YouTube, according to an announcement on its website.
Vidmaker was created in 2011 with the hope of "making it easy for anyone, anywhere to create great online video," the company said.
It participated in the TechStars class in San Antonio, and raised more than $660,000 from investors, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The company is the latest of several Madison tech companies to get acquired by tech giants.
| Deals, acquisitions, exits and news
ABC Supply Co., a Beloit roofing, siding and window distributor, purchased Standard Roofings Inc., a
distributor of roofing materials with five stores in New Jersey. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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 WEDC. Press release
Redox, a Madison digital health startup developing an API for healthcare integration, has raised $350,000 from 11 investors, including Mark Bakken, the former CEO of Nordic Consulting. Xconomy
Optyn, a Chicago company that participated in the Gener8tor accelerator program, was recently acquired for an undisclosed amount. News release
Marquette University Law School is launching a new Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, the first program in the Milwaukee area to offer free legal services to startup businesses and entrepreneurs. News release
Mayo Clinic is partnering with TechStars accelerator in a new program called TechStars++ that leverages a network of corporate partners to
provide new business opportunities to post accelerator program
entrepreneurs. News release
|Wisconsin Angel Network membership opportunities
The Wisconsin Angel Network (WAN) is the Tech Council's link to an investor community thatsupports Wisconsin's entrepreneurs. A $750 annual WAN membership includes a dual membership to the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN), the Tech Council's membership subsidiary - a community-based economic development organization dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
A WAN membership entitles you to one free pass to both major conferences (Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference and the Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular events around the state, such as the recent Investors' Edge programs at Lambeau Field in Green Bay or an early stage investing workshop in Madison, Appleton and Platteville. A membership also makes you part of an association of angel investors, venture capital groups and other private equity professionals from around Wisconsin and the Midwest.
Thank you to the following individuals and organizations that have recently joined or renewed their WAN memberships:
NEW Capital Fund
Golden Angels Investors
Wisconsin Investment Partners
Wisconsin Super Angel Fund
Cedar Road Capital
Click here to fill out an online application to become a new member or renew your current membership!
| Upcoming Events
"Wisconsin Super Angel Fund to outline investment targets and trends"
Crowne Plaza, 10499 Innovation Dr., Wauwatosa
Cleantech Network Forum
Wisconsin Energy Institute, Madison
Entry deadline for Governor's Business Plan Contest
5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2015