In This Edition

Registration open for EC2013
4490 Ventures fund launched
21 finalists in Biz Plan Contest
Companies certified by WEDC
Flying Car is June 1-10
Midwest Cleantech Open deadline
'WisBusiness: The Show'
Inside Wisconsin columns
Innovation news round-up
News, events and opportunities
Get WIN-volved
Sponsor a regional meeting
Promote your events

 WisBusiness: The Show

Click here to watch the latest episodes of " 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 DudekUW-Milwaukee and Madison Gas & Electric.
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The Entrepreneurs' Toolkit, a soup-to-nuts guide for Wisconsin entrepreneurs, is available at 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 April 2013 WIN eNewsletter
Dear Reader:

While some cynics may believe otherwise, most policymakers listen to citizens who have ideas and issues of importance to them and their businesses. That’s why it is important for companies and individuals in Wisconsin’s broad-based tech sectors to consider adding their voices to the Wisconsin Growth Capital Coalition ( This non-profit trade association was formed in January to help advance early stage capital proposals for Wisconsin. Send a note to coalition president Steve Lyons via the “Contact Us” section of the website if you want to add your name to the list of coalition supporters, or to take part in a “Entrepreneur’s Day” in the Capitol. Lawmakers are considering a state-leveraged early stage fund now, so now is the time to speak up to help emerging companies grow.

Tom Still, president

 Registration open for 2013 Wis. Entrepreneurs' Conference
The 11th annual
Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference will be held June 4-5 at the Marriott West in Middleton. Join investors, entrepreneurs and others with a focus on Wisconsin’s innovation economy at one of the Midwest's premiere networking and educational events.

2013 conference highlights include nationally known speakers Jason Lucash, co-founder of OrigAudio and Entrepreneur Magazine's Emerging Entrepreneur of 2012 and UW alumnus Roy Thiele-Sardina
of HighBAR Partners. Like past years, the event will also include finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest, the Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” Award and other unique programming and networking.

Register here and stay tuned for more information on the Entrepreneurs’ Conference!

 New 4490 Ventures fund launched 
The State of Wisconsin Investment Board and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation have launched an early-stage venture capital fund focused on information technology. Named in reference to the 44° N latitude and 90° W longitude lines that approximate the center of the state of Wisconsin, the fund is a breakthrough step for both organizations. The fund was announced at the Wisconsin Innovation Network meeting held March 19 at the Sheraton Madison. Read more from Tom Still about the fund, which will produce typical investments from about $250,000 to $2 million, meaning about 20 deals over the next five years. 

 Twenty-one finalists announced in Biz Plan Contest
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Twenty-one entries representing sectors as broad as software, agriculture, transportation, medical devices and innovations in manufacturing are competing in the finalist round of the 10th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The contestants have survived two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs. A lead sponsor is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Top entries from collegiate business plan contests throughout the state will join these 21 plans in the Phase 3 judging round in early May. Organizations that will contribute plans are the UW-Madison’s G. Steven Burrill Contest, the BizStarts Collegiate Competition and the Marquette University Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship Competition.

The Top 12 business plans, announced in late May, will present in front of a panel of judges and conference attendees at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 4 at the Marriott West in Middleton. Prize winners will be announced June 5 during the conference luncheon. More than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes have been pledged thus far.

The full release and the list of finalists can be viewed here.

 WEDC certifies three companies for investment tax credit 

Three emerging Wisconsin companies have been certified for Early Stage Investment tax credits by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).  WEDC certified BadgerMax, Inc., Waunakee, Winstruments, Inc., Madison, and SOLOMO Technology, Inc., Madison, as Qualified News Business Ventures, eligible for investment tax credits. In addition, SOLOMO Technology was approved for a $125,000 Wisconsin Venture Debt Fund loan.

 Mark your calendar for Flying Car - June 1-10!
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Flying Car, presented by the Greater Milwaukee Committee's Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) Initiative, is an annual SXSW-style destination event celebrating the year's greatest breakthroughs in technology and innovation. Part TED-style summit, part World's Fair exhibition, part citywide party, this 10-day extravaganza brings together incredible minds and their inventions -- with special events highlighting Cream City as an emerging hub of progress.

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference is a featured event within Flying Car. A discounted conference rate is available for Flying Car participants at

For more information on Flying Car, please visit:

 Midwest Cleantech Open is accepting applications
The 2013 Cleantech Open Accelerator is accepting applications through May 1. Submissions from entrepreneurs and inventors from across Wisconsin will be accepted in eight categories, including new sectors such as Agriculture, Information & Communication Technology, and Advanced Materials & Chemicals. Click 
here for more information on whether your company and solution are eligible. 

Also new in 2013 is an expanded format for Cleantech Open’s Midwest Innovation Summit on Oct. 16-17 in Minneapolis. All accelerator participants, after completing the five-month program, will be featured throughout as key participants in a full two-day regional conference and have one-on-one meetings with more than 50 Midwest investors and commercialization partners. Cleantech Open will also allow all participants to showcase and meet more than 100 investors and commercialization partners in November at the 
Global Forum in Silicon Valley.

For the past two years, the national entrepreneur of the year has come from the Midwest program, including
HEVT from Chicago in 2012. Successful Wisconsin-based graduates include Lightweight Structures (Hartland), C56 Technologies (Middleton), WholeTrees Architecture & Structures (Stoddard) and Xolve (Middleton). 

 '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 “ The Show,” Liz Schrum talks with Rose Oswald Poels of the Wisconsin Bankers Association about new lending rules for banks; Tom Still explains why trade is so important to the Wisconsin economy; and the Stock Report for late March 2013 covers venture capital and Walgreens.

Click here to view the biweekly show, produced by Tweedee Productions for the Wisconsin Technology Council and, 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:
Kelly Lietz, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Steve Lyons, Wisconsin Growth Captial Coalition

 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
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Need for better broadband coverage is emerging ‘infrastructure’ gap 

Wisconsin ranks below average
among the 50 states when it comes to high-speed Internet access, according to recent reports. A major reason for the state’s lackluster ranking is access in rural Wisconsin, where many telecom providers are trying to swap their historic commitment to land-line service to investments in broadband. Much like other communities across the United States, rural Wisconsin would benefit from enhanced broadband connections.

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.

New fund sees growth potential in Wis. IT companies
More than a year in the making, the 4490 Ventures Fund is a 50-50 partnership between Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and State of Wisconsin Investment Board, two organizations well-versed in the venture capital asset class. This fund is a breakthrough step for both organizations. It's not intended to replace anything WARF or SWIB is doing now in terms of early-stage investments. Instead, it has been established to invest in the kinds of promising information technology companies that can be found across Wisconsin.

Chancellor choice makes sense for UW-Madison and Wis. economy
Some observers wanted the UW-Madison to hire a business CEO, but that wasn’t likely to happen because of the internal constituency. Others wanted a pure science and tech chancellor, which speaks to the power of the UW-Madison’s $1-billion research budget. As an economist who understands the value of “big science” and the humanities, Becky Blank may walk the fine line needed on campus and beyond.

 Innovation news round-up

JSOnline: State seeks proposals to manage $3M venture capital fund
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is seeking proposals to form and manage a $3 million venture capital fund that would focus on making investments in Milwaukee. The agency, known as WHEDA, wants the fund to have a special focus on the Transform Milwaukee area. Transform Milwaukee is a public/private partnership led by WHEDA that is trying to restore economic prosperity to the 30th Street industrial corridor, Menomonee Valley, Port of Milwaukee and an area called the Aerotropolis, which is located south of General Mitchell International Airport.

State Journal: Health care tech meetup group focuses on innovation
Madison's new cluster of health care technology companies is coming into its own. With at least five local businesses started by former Epic Systems Corp. employees that have created about 400 jobs in the past three years as well as other companies without Epic ties, a Madison health tech meetup group has been formed. The group has nearly 150 participants, organizer Jonathan Baran said. 

Aver Informatics chosen for health entrepreneurship program

Green Bay-based Aver Informatics was one of 13 companies chosen to join a three-year entrepreneurship program to accelerate growth for consumer health companies. More than 400 companies from 22 countries applied to be a part of the program. Companies were chosen from across the U.S., Ireland and Israel. The companies will be closely monitored by GE and StartUp Health, a healthtech startup incubator.

PopSci: Meet The NASA Scientist Who's Reinventing The Wheel
Salim Nasser, a NASA engineer, inventor and quadriplegic, has created a wheel that could dramatically reduce how much energy a wheelchair user expends moving his or her chair forward. Now Rowheels, the company he cofounded in 2012, hopes to bring the wheel to market later this year. If successful, it should mean more efficient mobility and healthier bodies for users, Nasser says.

Asthmapolis raises $5M to expand digital health respiratory solutions Asthmapolis (az-MAP-o-lis), the FDA-cleared mobile health solution for asthma and COPD, today announces it has raised $5 million in a Series A round from The Social+Capital Partnership ("Social Capital"). With the funds, Asthmapolis will deliver new innovations and services for its comprehensive solution of sensors, leading mobile technology and personalized support, extending its reach to the more than 50 million people living with chronic respiratory disease in the United States today. 

JSOnline: Bioenergy research hub in Madison renewed; awarded $125M
The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in Madison has won a five-year renewal from the federal Energy Department to continue its research on sustainable next-generation biofuel technologies. The renewal awards the center, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, $125 million over five years. The center was created with an initial award of the same amount -- $25 million a year over five years -- in 2007. The center's mission is to research sustainable production of cellulosic biofuels -- crops such as switchgrass and  that don't compete with sources of food to make energy.

State Journal: Epic alumni start new ventures
In the first of a two-part series, the Wisconsin State Journal looks at several companies that were started by former employees of Epic Systems, the electronic health records software company located in Verona.

JSOnline: Angels on the Water to begin investing in gener8tor grads
Angels on the Water, a recently formed angel investing group in northeastern Wisconsin, said Tuesday it will invest $100,000 into five of the six start-ups graduating from an accelerator program on Thursday night.

State Journal: Cellular Dynamics to open 2nd location in California
Cellular Dynamics International, Madison, said Monday it is opening a facility in Novato, Calif., that will become its second location. The company, founded by UW-Madison stem pioneer James Thomson, has signed an agreement to lease space for up to five years at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

BizTimes: Medical College employee charged with economic espionage
A former employee of the Medical College of Wisconsin has been charged with economic espionage, according to a federal criminal complaint. The complaint alleges that Hua Jun Zhao, 42, stole three bottles of a patented cancer research compound valued at $8,000 and additional research data relating to the compound.

Alfalight sells commercial product segment to Ariz. company
Alfalight, Inc., a Madison-based manufacturer of laser components and electro-optical systems sold its commercial segment product lines to a provider of high-definition laser projection light engines for mobile devices.  The terms of the deal with Compound Photonics were not disclosed, but further details can be found on Alfalight's web site. Alfalight will retain its product line for defense customers.  

State Journal: Monona company files for permit to build medical isotope factory
SHINE Medical Technologies, Monona, has submitted its application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a permit to build a medical isotope factory in Janesville.

State Journal: Primorigen Biosciences gets grant for stem cell work Primorigen Biosciences, Madison, has received a $1.2 million Phase 2 Small  Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health.

JSOnline: Milwaukee project will seek to promote entrepreneurship
The Greater Milwaukee Committee is leading an initiative, along with Gov. Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, to develop an "entrepreneurship ecosystem" that will try to spur the growth of high-potential business ventures.

JSOnline: Legislature should establish a fund for venture capital
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's editorial board urges the Legislature to establish a state-backed "fund of funds" to help power Wisconsin's entrepreneurs.

State Journal: InvivoSciences to collaborate with Florida institute
Madison biotech InvivoSciences has signed a collaborative agreement with Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, a nonprofit research institution in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Business Journal: Cellular Dynamics awarded $16M grant from California institute
Madison stem cell technology developer Cellular Dynamics International has received a $16 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, according to a Thursday announcement.

The Northwestern: Oshkosh scientist creates activated carbon from waste materials
If you’ve got $3 million to invest in a startup, Annamalai “Karthik” Karthikeyan would like to have a word with you about activated carbon.

State Journal: Device to help blind people ‘see’ to be sold in Europe
A Middleton company’s device to help blind people “see” — in the making for 15 years — has received approval to be sold in Europe. Wicab’s BrainPort V100 will be available in Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom starting in June, around the same time the company submits an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval to sell the device in the U.S., chief executive Robert Beckman said.  

 News, events and opportunities
11th Annual MIT Technology Achievement Awards
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Madison
April 17

2013 BIO International Convention
McCormick Place, Chicago

April 22-25

Sheraton, Madison
April 23

Deadline to apply for the 2013 Cleantech Open Accelerator
May 1

Crowne Plaza, Wauwatosa
May 9

Sheraton, Madison
May 28

Flying Car
June 1-10

Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference
Marriott West, Middleton
June 4-5

 Get WIN-volved! Membership has its privileges
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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:

Corporate Members:
42Six Solutions
Revelation PR, Advertising and Social Media

Individual Members:
Mark Beran
Lori Cuene
Cliff Grand
Jim Michler
Paula Rosch
Richard Schmidt
Jerry Weise
Brian Wilt

 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
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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.
The Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) eNewsletter is a periodical of news, events and progras about the needs and challenges faced by the new and growing technology-based businesses in Wisconsin. WIN has chapters in western Wisconsin, the Lake Superior region, Madison, Milwaukee,, northeast Wisconsin and central Wisconsin.
Phone: (608) 442-7557
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