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May 7, 2020

Dear readers, 

We look forward to hearing from UW-Madison Chancellor Becky Blank in our Friday webinar on the role of a major research university in a time of crisis. Tech Council members may register and get more details by visiting here.

One example of how the university has responded to
COVID-19 is a recent report by the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy, which does precisely what its name suggests: It produces reports that examine facets of the state economy. In “
Reopening Wisconsin: Regional Health and Economic Factors,” UW-Madison economist Noah Williams examined data on both sides of the equation, making comparisons both intrastate and interstate, and calculating the economic well-being of counties and regions before the virus hit. With policymakers talking when and how to reopen the Wisconsin economy, it’s a pertinent read for others. Williams said Thursday the report will be updated soon. He cautioned that whatever course is followed by lawmakers, he doesn’t expect a V-shaped economic recovery. “We wouldn’t expect a big jump in activity right away,” he said, because many people will continue to stay largely at home until their confidence returns. Also, as Williams noted, many businesses that were “quick to cut back may be slow to resume.”


Blank, Becky


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


Please read Tom Still’s latest “
Inside Wisconsin” column on why Wisconsin hospitals and health systems are ready to get back to work on something other than COVID-19:

Is there a patient in the house? Hospitals eager to get back to normal

View Tom Still’s full InsideWis archives by clicking here.


Siri, did you hear your boss will be speaking at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference?

Today, we announced that Brian Pinkerton, Apple’s chief architect for Siri and a graduate of the UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences, will speak June 4 during the
Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference on a virtual platform that will offer plenty of interaction with attendees. Pinkerton also headed the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for Facebook, led a team of about 800 developers at Amazon and has been engaged with startups at different points in his career. A Michigan native who grew up in Madison, Pinkerton will discuss technology trends, entrepreneurial tips and more during his presentation. Click here to read the press release!

We’ll announce more conference highlights soon, including engaging ways for attendees to network among themselves and presenters. Nothing beats live, but this will come close! Among the features of the conference over time have been the Governor’s Business Plan Contest (see more below) and a presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, or YES!, contest. A full release on the young people advancing in that competition is below, as well. You can register here at very affordable rates. Please stay tuned for more about speakers, panel discussions and special networking activities.  

 Pinkerton, Brian
 EC20 for TCC 050520

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 about “Ascending Hearing Technologies” 

Company uses ‘smart phone’ app to help people with hearing difficulties
By Kaitlin Edwards

The World Health Organization estimates more than 5% of the world’s population experiences some type of hearing impairment. A Wisconsin-based company called Ascending Hearing Technologies is helping by utilizing something most people constantly keep near them – their smartphones.

AHT was founded in 2018 by Christina Runge, a professor of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin who specializes in audiology, and Yi Hu, a professor of electrical engineering at the UW-Milwaukee who specializes in sound processing. After collaborating for more than 10 years, Ph.D.’s Runge and
Yi recognized a gap in the market for clinically-based hearing amplifiers
. Click here to read the full story.


 Runge, Christina

Wisconsin Technology Council: Survey of Business Leaders 
Michael Clish talks with Tom Still, Tech Council president.

In a recent interview with WFAW’s Michael Clish, Still discussed a survey of Tech Council members and associates on how the COVID-19 economic slowdown has affected them.

Click here to listen to the interview.


The Creative Company is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, May 12 with the Tech Council

How to Communicate with Clarity during Covid-19 will feature Laura Gallagher and Madison Lee from The Creative Company and Tom Still from the Tech Council. How are tech companies communicating well through COVID-19? We'll find out from Tom!!  We'll also share the 7 steps to communicating with clarity in any crisis.   
Click here to register for this informative event.


More on the June 4th Entrepreneurs’ Conference

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference will be held online June 4, making use of a virtual platform that will engage speakers, panels, the culmination of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest and a distinct networking experience for everyone. Miss something during the day? It will all be recorded. We’re excited about this highly interactive platform and will announce details soon, including at least one speaker who combines Wisconsin roots and national reputation. #WiTreps


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.


Aberdean Consulting is hosting several webinars to enhance the remote working environment safety:
Collaborate with Microsoft OneNote on Thursday, May 7

WARF Entrepreneurons: Social entrepreneurs finding resilience during the COVID-19 crisis webinar is on Tuesday, May 12.

ROTOMA: A better way to calculate social media ROI is scheduled for Thursday, May 14

Wisconsin Online Global Programs and Grants Business Development
present a webinar to help grow your sales, brand and business in a COVID-19 age on Tuesday, May 19.

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 Channel3000: Wisconsin gets a D grade for social distancing, down from a B+ two months ago
Milwaukee Business Journal: Marquette University 'trying to just survive' amid uncertainties
WMTV: Big jump in COVID-19 tests in Wisconsin, percent-positive hits new low
WisconsinINNO: CompTIA pegs Wisconsin’s tech industry at $21 billion
Channel3000: DWD: Wisconsin could exhaust state’s $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund by October
Wisconsin State Journal: Madison police schedule extra traffic enforcement amid coronavirus shutdown
BizTimes Milwaukee: Joel Quadracci says before the new normal, we have to navigate the new abnormal
InBusiness: Madison company identifies municipal responses to COVID-19 pandemic University students are filing lawsuits over tuition fees amid lockdowns
WisconsinINNO: Madison’s Nimble Therapeutics collabs with Roche on COVID-19 diagnostics
Wisconsin State Journal: UW System leader eyes academic program cuts, layoffs at some campuses in COVID-19 plan
Milwaukee Business Journal: Exact Sciences doubles first-quarter revenue, but sales still impacted by pandemic
Channel3000: Homestead Wisconsin puts the focus on quality meat
The Journal Times: Johnson Financial Group donates $200K to support nonprofits during COVID-19 pandemic
Isthmus: Books go curbside


View The Show full archives by clicking here.

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