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April 1, 2020

Dear readers,

Two of Wisconsin’s veteran investors, Tim Keane of Golden Angels Investors and John Neis of Venture Investors, anchored the first Tech Council webinar Wednesday on how angel- and venture-backed companies can weather the coronavirus storm. They provided hints on how young companies can communicate with their investors, their own teams and others; how to develop mitigation plans; taking available capital and reassessing budgets; and understanding if and how federal assistance legislation applies to them.

They also discussed business sectors that may interest equity investors during this period and agreed the crisis, while unprecedented, can be overcome in time. “The world’s not going to end,” Keane noted, but young companies seeking follow-on or first-round capital will need to be conscious of maintaining good relationships with current or new investors. Neis said young companies must remain creative by targeting unmet market needs, re-evaluating what they do and how they reach customers.

Neis predicted: “When the book on the coronavirus crisis is written, entrepreneurs will be a big part of it.” We hope he’s right!

Miss today’s webinar? Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming Tech Council webinars on COVID-19 issues of interest to our members and others.


Late Wednesday, Gov. Tony Evers released details of a second package of relief proposals for consideration by the Legislature. It included details about a proposed $25 million increase in funding for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., to be earmarked primarily for small businesses through programs such as the existing SB2020 and a new “Restart 72.” We’ll follow the progress of the proposal in the days ahead.


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

  • 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.
  • 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, and is offering low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) 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.
  • COMPTIA offers eight cybersecurity tips for working remotely
  • (new) “Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talentproject to help those displaced from jobs and employers now hiring

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Today is Census Day, the once-a-decade opportunity to make sure you and your family are counted for purposes that are essential to everything from establishing local, state and federal election boundaries to calculating government grants and aid. It’s an American exercise that dates to 1790, so don’t break the chain! 

Read more about Census 2020 impact for Wisconsin at
Complete your quick census online today at

GUEST COLUMN: There’s only one right way to do this. Your way.
Darcy Louma, who spoke at the WOMEN Reception that led into the 2019 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, wrote these tips for coping with life in the COVID-19 era.

    by Darcy Luoma

When we all learned that we would need to be isolating at home, a lot of tips were being shared on social media on how to get through this. Everyone suddenly had the answers and advice on how best to deal with handling all the new challenges of a global pandemic.

Tips on how to work from home: Get up at your regular time. Shower. Dress as you typically would for work. Use technology. Create a dedicated workspace. Forward your office phone. Only go to the fridge if you are truly hungry.

Tips on how to homeschool your kid: Create color coded charts with specific times for specific subjects. Make sure they are getting work done. Find free online educational videos. Limit screen time. Don’t be afraid to bribe them.

Read Darcy Luoma’s full column in our newsroom.

Move to online schools offers students chance to enter ‘Wisconsin YES!’ business plan contest
The closing of schools across Wisconsin due to the COVID-19 epidemic means teachers and students will pursue instruction opportunities online in the coming weeks. One useful tool readily available for middle- and high-school students is the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, or Wisconsin YES!, contest. Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. This free, statewide youth business plan contest is modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest. It is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. April 13, 2020. The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through
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Kenosha News: Small businesses can apply for forgivable COVID-19 loans Friday
Milwaukee Business Journal: Abbott launches test that can detect COVID-19 in five minutes
Kaiser Family Foundation: Can the U.S. get to the next phase of the COVID-19 response?
Gov. Evers proposes second package of comprehensive legislative proposals providing COVID-19 relief and support
WPR: Joe Biden: Democratic National Convention will likely be rescheduled Engineering alum races from Utah to Wisconsin to contribute ventilator expertise
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Johnson Controls implements mandatory furloughs for salaried employees in wake of coronavirus
BizTimes Milwaukee: Briggs & Stratton cutting salaries 25-30% along with executive pay cuts
Funding opportunity: Wisconsin Partnership Program announces $1.5 million in grant funding in response to COVID-19
BizWomen: BodySphere’s 2-minute coronavirus test gets FDA emergency clearance
Leader-Telegram: Mayo Clinic physician says smokers likely higher risk for COVID-19 complications
gener8tor’s gBETA announces companies included in the spring 2020 gBETA Madison and gBETA Milwaukee cohorts.


View The Show full archives by clicking here.


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