In This Edition
CA Badgers at 2013 EC
Bipartisan bill update
Testimony from public hearing
Perfect your pitch on May 21
Collegiate plans join BPC
17 entries advance in YES!
'WisBusiness: The Show'
Inside Wisconsin columns
Innovation news round-up
News, events and opportunities
Sponsor a regional meeting
Promote your events
WisBusiness: The Show
|Click here to watch the latest episodes of "WisBusiness.com: 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 BMO Harris Bank, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, UW-Milwaukee and Madison Gas & Electric.
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The Entrepreneurs' Toolkit, a soup-to-nuts guide for Wisconsin entrepreneurs, is available at www.WItoolkit.com 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.
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| Welcome to the May 2013 WIN eNewsletter
Entrepreneurs, investors and others with a stake in Wisconsin’s high-growth economy will find plenty of interest in events, policy initiatives and publications tied to the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs in the coming weeks. The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference is shaping up as a “can’t-miss” event in Middleton, the Wisconsin Legislature is moving forward on a proposal to create a state-leveraged, early stage capital fund, the Entrepreneurs’ Edge boot-camp series is under way, and the annual “Wisconsin Portfolio” report on deal activity in Wisconsin will be published in coming weeks. Please take the time to read more about these and other topics in our May newsletter.
Tom Still, president
| 'California Badgers' highlight at 'Treps Conference
Successful investors and entrepreneurs from California’s Silicon Valley will offer perspectives on opportunities and challenges in Wisconsin’s tech sectors during a 90-minute presentation at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held June 4-5 at the Marriott West in Middleton.
Speakers and panelists, all of whom are UW-Madison graduates in engineering or computer sciences, will include: Roy Thiele-Sardina, general partner of HighBAR Ventures in Palo Alto; Sanjeev Chitre, a partner with The U-Group investment firm in San Jose; and Mark Reinstra, a partner in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in San Francisco. The discussion is set for 8:30 a.m. June 5. For the full release, click here.
To register, go to www.witrepsconference.com. “Early bird” registration is open through May 15. Hotel rooms are available at a discounted group rate here through May 20.
Tracks within the two-day conference are built around three distinct stages that matter to all startup companies: launch, grow and succeed. Seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and others who work with emerging companies will take part in each discussion. For a list of all fifteen panels, click here.
Another highlight of the conference will be an opening keynote from Jason Lucash, co-founder of OrigAudio. Lucash, who was Entrepreneur magazine’s “Emerging Entrepreneur of 2012,” also landed a spot on Time magazine’s “Top 50 Inventions of 2009” list for OrigAudio’s core audio technology and design. For more information, click here.
| Bipartisan bill will create state-backed fund
A bill that would create a state-leveraged “fund of funds” to invest in some of Wisconsin’s most promising early stage companies continues to make its way through the Wisconsin Legislature. Introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the bill has been approved by the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Mining and may be scheduled for floor debate in June. Stay tuned for more information on how you can become involved, including a June 11 Capitol Rally. You may contact your individual state Assembly or Senate member through this link.
Modeled after similar funds in other states, the fund will spur company creation and job growth while building safeguards to protect the interests of taxpayers. More coverage of the bill is available here.
| Testimony and coverage of Assembly Bill 181 hearing
The Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Mining held a public hearing May 1 in Madison on Assembly Bill 181, which would create a state-leveraged fund-of-funds. Click here for testimony on the bill from Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still, Steve Lyons and Trevor D’Souza of the Wisconsin Growth Capital Coalition, and Delora Newton of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. Also, read blog items from Wisconsin Angel Network Director Dan Blake, including comments from entrepreneurs who join Still during his testimony. Tom Still's commentary in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is available here.
| Perfecting your pitch at May 21 Entrepreneurs' Edge
|What type of startup business are you? What do investors need to hear from entrepreneurs in an executive summary or an “elevator pitch?” Who should consider joining an angel group – and why?
Those questions and more will be examined at the Tuesday, May 21 meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in DeForest as part of WIN’s new “Entrepreneurs’ Edge” project. Investors and other business startup experts will share best practices, with some entrepreneurs getting the chance to practice their pitches in front of those mentors. The meeting will take place at the Comfort Inn & Suites, 5025 County Highway V, DeForest. Registration and networking begins at 1:30 p.m., program begins at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails included. For more information and to register, click here.
| Collegiate biz plan contest winners join BPC
Top scoring entries from the BizStarts Collegiate Business Plan Competition and UW-Madison’s G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition joined the Top 21 finalists in Phase 3 of the Governor’s Business Plan this week. Contestants, who submitted 15 to 20-page business plans to be reviewed by a group of more than 70 judges, are competing for a slot in final round of the six-month long contest, the “Diligent Dozen.” These top 12 plans that advance will present at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Middleton on June 4 in front of a panel of judges and conference attendees. The Grand Prize winner, along with the category winners, will be announced at the BPC Awards Luncheon on June 5. For more information on the contest, visit www.GovsBizPlanContest.com.
| 17 entries advance in 2013 Wisconsin YES! contest
A statewide panel of judges have selected 17 entries to advance to Phase 2 of Wisconsin YES!, a youth business plan contest for students in middle school and high school. Students submitted their science- and tech-based 250-word business summaries through the contest website last month to compete in Phase 1 of the contest. Professionals from across the state served as judges, scoring the entries and providing constructive feedback to the students. To view the full list of finalists, click 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.
On the latest episode of “WisBusiness.com: The Show,” Liz Schrum speaks with Dan Blake, the new director of the Wisconsin Angel Network, about Wisconsin's early stage investment opportunities for businesses and investors; Tom Still explains how bipartisan cooperation is the best way to grow Wisconsin's economy; and the WisBusiness.com Stock Report for early May covers early stage capital and foreign land buying.
Click here to view the biweekly show, produced by Tweedee Productions for the Wisconsin Technology Council and WisBusiness.com, as well as our archives of past shows. The show is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, Madison Gas & Electric, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., and the UW-Milwaukee.
Guests on other recent shows:
Ellen Nowak, Public Service Commission
Rose Oswald Poels, Wisconsin Bankers Association
| Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
Wisconsin’s long-term growth strategy at play in WEDC flap
Wisconsin has always had trouble getting economic development right. It spends less than comparable states, generally focuses on yesterday’s trends versus today’s, and allows partisan politics to color what should be a statewide concern: Smart policies to enhance company and job creation.
Oil-and-gas boom doesn’t end need for new energy solutions
Striking a balance between the immediate benefits of the nation’s oil-and-gas bonanza and adopting new conservation and generation technologies is the crux of a new report by Gary Radloff, director of Midwest Energy Policy Analysis for the Wisconsin Energy Institute. A public presentation on the report is set for Monday at the Fluno Center on the UW-Madison campus.
Public, private cooperation needed to rebuild middle class
Metro Milwaukee lost almost twice as many private-sector jobs in the decade of 2000-'10 as the average for the nation's 100 largest metro areas. What hurts most is not that metro Milwaukee's 6.8% job loss was well above the national average of 3.9%, but that a large share of those jobs were good jobs - with decent wages, benefits and some sense of security and opportunity until the bottom fell out. In short, they were middle-class jobs and increasingly difficult to replace in today's jobless recovery.
Across UW System, undergraduate research is emerging tool for growth
For Wisconsin, a growing supply of undergraduate researchers across Wisconsin means a better-trained workforce and more opportunity for investment and company startups.
BPC finalists symbolize growth targets for state investment plan
Now in its 10th year, the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest has always been a canary in a high-tech coal mine. It provides an annual overview of the kinds of businesses emerging in the state’s tech sectors – as well as areas of relative decline. The list of 21 finalists for the 2013 competition, which will grow to two-dozen when top collegiate contests feed into the mix, is no exception to the rule. For state policymakers who are weighing how to best target a $25-million early stage fund envisioned by Gov. Scott Walker, the list is a harbinger of emerging opportunities.
Job creation policies should be tailored to high-growth 'treps
Young, small companies create jobs by definition - even if most of them are one-person shops. While the five- and 10-year survival rate for young companies isn't high, there are enough new companies created every year to keep the process of "creative destruction" humming along. All small businesses are not created alike, however. There are four basic categories - three of which are not large-scale job creators, nor ever intend to be, and one that more than pulls its weight when it comes to churning out jobs.
| Innovation news round-up
State Journal: Executive Q&A - Dan Blake, Wisconsin Angel Network
Dan Blake, 31, took over in March as director of the Wisconsin Angel Network, part of the Wisconsin Technology Council. Read his interview with the Wisconsin State Journal's Judy Newman here.
JSOnline: Snowshoe Food selected for TechStar startup accelerator
A Madison company with a unique, inexpensive technology for authenticating mobile transactions, has been accepted into the highly selective TechStars Boulder start-up accelerator program. Claus Moberg, chief executive officer of Snowshoe Food Inc., and the company's four other employees will spend the summer in Boulder, Co. working with mentors and further developing their company.
JSOnine: Revolution Labs receives $100K in state grants to boost inner city businesses
Two state agencies will provide a total of $100,000 to Revolution Labs, a Milwaukee program aimed at providing best practices training and funding for five inner-city start-ups, Gov. Scott Walker said Monday.
JSOnline: ZBB Energy continues international focus with S. Korea order
ZBB Energy Corp.. said it has received more orders from Lotte Chemical Co. of South Korea for its batteries and energy storage system technology. The Menomonee Falls firm has been working with Lotte for several years under a partnership, working together on the next generation of the company’s zinc bromide flow battery.
JSOnline: Biopharmaceutical company to be acquired by Takeda
Inviragen Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company with facilities in Madison, has agreed to be bought by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for an upfront payment of $35 million, and future payments of up to $215 million tied to meeting future clinical milestones.
State Journal: Tech businesses are up in the Madison area
More than 600 businesses in the Madison area are considered high-tech, according to a survey by Madison Gas & Electric. The 2013 Greater Madison Area High-Tech Directory is out, and based on statistics compiled by MGE, there are 625 companies that fall into categories that include computer software development, bioscience and medical devices. That's up from 580 listed a year ago.
BizTimes: SHINE Medical Technology reaches key milestone
A company that plans to build a production plant in Janesville says it has reached a milestone that further demonstrates its ability to produce a medical isotope used in more than 40 million medical imaging tests each year.
State Journal: ETC buys former Sunny Industries building
Middleton-based ETC, Electronic Theatre Controls, is expanding to Mazomanie. ETC, which designs and manufactures lighting systems and rigging equipment for entertainment and architectural uses, has purchased the vacant building that formerly housed commercial printer Sunny Industries, later known as Synergy Web Graphics.
JSOnline: 3-D printing company Digifii wins BizStarts college contest As the first place winner of the 2013 BizStarts Milwaukee Collegiate Business Plan Competition, Digifii will be entered into Phase 3 of the Governor's Business Plan Contest.
JSOnline: Moving Milwaukee forward
Ideas, risk-taking and industrial muscle built Milwaukee. To move forward, the region needs brain power and an economy fueled by entrepreneurs and start-ups.
WisBusiness.com: Ward reflects on higher ed's changing landscape
“Higher education -- whether we like it or not -- is in big, irreversible change,” said Ward, speaking to a Wisconsin Innovation Network event on Tuesday in Madison.
State Journal: Biz Expo highlights ways startups are using digital technology
Innovation Way was home, for a few hours, to a group of startup companies that are plowing into the world of digital technology and social media. The startups, which set up shop at the 19th annual Biz Expo sponsored by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, are trying to help traditional businesses in an increasingly digital environment dominated by smartphones and apps.
JSOnline: Wisconsin companies raise millions in venture capital Wisconsin companies raised $18.42 million of venture capital in the first quarter, the best showing to start the year since 2010.
JSOnline: Loan guarantee will support ZBB Energy exports
ZBB Energy Corp. said it has won approval from the Export-Import Bank for loan guarantees to back $1.14 million in loans from InvestorsBank to the maker of energy storage systems and hybrid vehicle controls. The transaction will provide working capital to help support sales of ZBB products that are exported from its factory in Menomonee Falls.
BizTimes: Badger Meter acquires California technology company Milwaukee-based Badger Meter Inc. has acquired Los Gatos, Calif.-based software technology company Aquacue Inc. for $14 million. The addition will help advance Badger Meter’s water usage management technology.
JSOnline: Why 'treps are key to jump-starting Milwaukee's economic rebirth
There are many paths to economic growth, all with their advocates. Many scholars and businesspeople believe the spark for growth comes from the entrepreneur.
"Entrepreneurship is where the new ideas come from that produce economic progress," Randall Holcombe of Florida State said. "If you didn't have any entrepreneurs, everything would be the same next week as it is this week, same next year as it was last year. Economic progress would come to a halt."
State Journal: Thermo Fisher to buy Life Technologies for $13.6M
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. plans to pay about $13.6 billion for Life Technologies Corp. in a deal that will position the scientific instrument maker to benefit from the expected growth of personalized medicine, which uses genetic analysis to tailor treatments to patients.
Business Journal: Milwaukee named a hub of high-tech innovation
Milwaukee residents know the city is more than just beer and manufacturing, and this week it got some recognition for its growing tech scene. Techie.com put Milwaukee on its list of 10 most unexpected cities for high-technology innovation.
La Crosse Tribune: Research extends beyond classrooms
The National Conference on Undergraduate Research will be held this week on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus. This is the second time that UW-L will host NCUR, a national event that brings together students and faculty mentors from across the country to share their research. This is a unique opportunity to shed light on the outstanding research taking place on campuses across our state and how that activity enhances the learning experience.
JSOnline: Golden Angels Investors to invest in TechStars Chicago fund The Golden Angels Investors LLC will put money into a new fund being raised by TechStars Chicago, an organization that accelerates young companies from offices in the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. The network's investment will be less than $100,000 but it will give the Golden Angels early access for the next four years to the 10 companies TechStars Chicago runs through its three-month-long program each summer, said Tim Keane, the Milwaukee group's founder and director.
| News, events and opportunities
|Midwest Social Innovation Startup Challenge
Comfort Inn & Suites, DeForest
Community Impact Through Capital
Promega BTC, Madison
Kohl's Idea Challenge
Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee
Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference
Marriott West, Middleton
| Get WIN-volved! Membership has its privileges
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:
Aurora Health Care
J.H. Findorff & Son
UW-Madison Dept. of Radiology
Venture Management LLC
Dr. A.A. Koeller
Ann Piper Eisenbrown
| 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
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.