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February 4, 2021

Dear readers,

Building a stronger workforce for Wisconsin, especially in the tech sectors, is a priority. Three items in this issue of the Current are tied to that need. First, please read the “guest column” from the Milwaukee Tech Hub’s Kathy Henrich on Wisconsin’s workforce and the rise of remote working. Second, consider registering for the Feb. 10 webinar on tech talent in Wisconsin, which will preview a portion of the Tech Council’s 2021 “white papers” report. Finally, my latest “Inside Wisconsin” column builds on a previous column in which I invited everyone in Silicon Valley to move here. (Well, not everyone, but more than a few techies or investors would be welcome!)

My latest “Inside Wisconsin” column can be read here.

We’re open for applications from emerging companies through Feb. 12 for the 8th annual Wisconsin Tech Summit on March 17. Please read more below about how you can go on “virtual speed dates” with major companies.

As always, please take a look at our upcoming events, news and updates.

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What makes Wisconsin attractive to tech talent? Feb. 10 Tech Council webinar to focus on policy

Join us for the first in a four-part webinar series in which we unveil the Wisconsin Technology Council’s 2021 “white papers,” a biennial publication that contains ideas related to human capital, investment capital, tech infrastructure and creating a healthy climate for young companies and tech talent. Our webinar will feature recommendations tied to the entrepreneurial climate.

Panelists include state Rep. Tip McGuire, D-Kenosha, who is one of the four co-chairs of the Legislature’s informal Tech Caucus. Tech Council president Tom Still will moderate. They will be joined by Bill Hickey, principal of Wolf Track Ventures and Kathy Henrich, CEO of MKE Tech Hub Coalition.

Click here to learn more and register.

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Wisconsin Tech Summit: Call for company applications and registration now open!  

Emerging companies are encouraged to apply by Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 to meet with major firms and explore potential business relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the eighth annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

The day-long event will be held Wednesday, March 17, 2021 virtually via Meeting Mojo. More information, including the online application form, can be found at Past emerging companies are welcome to apply.

The Tech Summit will feature a series of brief meetings, or “speed dates,” to foster communication and partnership. It is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum.

Participating major firms thus far: 3M, Advocate Aurora Research Institute, American Family Insurance, AT&T, Dedicated Computing, Exact Sciences, Findorff, Froedtert Health, J.P. Morgan, Johnson Controls, Kimberly-Clark, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mead & Hunt, Northwestern Mutual, PDS, Promega, Rockwell Automation, Schreiber Foods, Titletown Tech, and WIPFLi.

Click here to learn more, apply and register!


GUEST COLUMN: Wisconsin well-positioned to build on “work-from-home” trends

By Kathy Henrich

Remote work is something that most had not previously experienced until March and now is the norm.  However, it is not new to tech workers.   I happened to be an early adopter when IBM sent us to work from home in 1994 when communications required physically wiring our homes with ethernet and two phone lines.   However, I was not alone. In 2019, 10.2% of mathematical and computer professionals worked 100% remote.

Click here to full Henrich’s full column.

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>> NEW "WisBusiness: The Show"

The latest episode of “ The Show” spotlights Jill Enos, managing director of TitletownTech in Green Bay. Enos works with innovators and startups to bring new business models to market.

Also, Tom Still presents “Tech Metrics,” which chart key indicators and events in the Wisconsin economy. He’ll also preview upcoming Tech Council webinars and opportunities, such as the webinar on Feb. 10 tied to our latest policy recommendations and the March 17, 2021 Tech Summit conference.

Sponsors include
Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.

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2021 Governor’s Business Plan update!

Thanks to everyone who entered the 2021 Governor’s Business Plan Contest! Judging is under way for 253 qualified entries with about 80 volunteers across the state. Some metrics of which we’re proud: More than 100 of the entries came from women, continuing the rise in the number of female entrepreneurs. About 25% came from people of color or diverse ethnic backgrounds. We’ll talk more about the breakdown of the entries in coming weeks.

How can you help? More offers of prizes, both cash and “service” prizes, are needed and welcome. You can help the finalists by chipping in; all cash goes directly to contestants who reach the final stages in June.
Contact Tammy Ehrmann:


Department of Health Services update

To date, there have been 544,260 positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin with 5,937 deaths.
So far, 578,336 vaccine doses have been administered and 108,713 people have completed their vaccine series.

Helpful links: 

The State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee’s (SDMAC) Vaccine Distribution Subcommittee is responsible for making distribution decisions. SDMAC holds public meetings and anyone can submit public comments. You can find information about the SDMAC here. To register for the DHS weekly newsletter, click here.


The Tech Council is one of about 50 groups taking part in the “Stop the COVID Spreadcoalition, which is a private-sector effort to do precisely what the name suggests: Encourage people to take common-sense steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

>> Click here for regularly updated metrics on the Wisconsin Hospital Association's COVID-19 Dashboard.

Please watch videos by Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor and federal Health and Human Services secretary; Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan; Green Bay Packers players and healthcare workers from across Wisconsin. On Wisconsin!



  • Tech workers are choosing Milwaukee as their home. Here’s why
  • MKE Business Journal: Northwestern Mutual's new chief information security officer is 1st woman to serve in the role
  • Economist: Can Amazon keep growing like a youthful startup with Jeff Bezos stepping down?
  • WisBusiness: UW Foundation president says businesses with advanced technology will be economic winners
  • InBusiness: 27 Wisconsin LGBT Chamber members earn perfect score for diversity and inclusion
  • MKE Business Journal: Will PPP hit Wisconsin businesses hard at tax time?
  • Insight: New North Summit offers mix of virtual, live programming from March – June 2021
  • Quarles & Brady: PPP deductions sanctioned by Congress, other business tax provisions of the COVID Relief Bill



  • WEDC: Wisconsin’s emerging investors: Meet the managers – Martin, Guthrie, Kee and FitzGerald
  • WisBusiness: GrocerKey has closed on a $2.4 million equity round totaling 18 private investors
  • WisconsinINNO: Madison tech Moxe secures more funding from investors, including 3M
  • Quartz: Silicon Valley’s iron grip on venture capital is slipping, winners include Madison, Wis.
  • VentureBurn: ‘Iron Man’ launches new venture fund for sustainable tech - FootPrint Coalition Ventures
  • CPA Practice Advisor: Venture capital investment in U.S. hit record $156 billion in 2020
  • WisconsinINNO: Bemis Manufacturing boosts investment in medical device company


  • WISN: Those who had COVID-19 could get reinfected if the variants become dominant, Fauci says
  • Wisconsin State Journal: COVID-19 vaccine demand surges in Wisconsin, but supply can't keep up
  • WSJ: How coronavirus mutations are taking over
  • EHR Intelligence: Epic Systems awarded “2021 Best in KLAS” for Top Overall Suite
  • CapTimes: UW nursing, pharmacy students join effort to bring vaccines to rural areas
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Does double-masking provide more protection?
  • WPR: The pandemic is taking a toll on kids' mental health, school psychologists are worried


  • MKE Business Journal: Equity advocate Joan Prince to retire from vice chancellor post at UW-Milwaukee
  • St. Croix EDC: UW-River Falls Science and Technology Innovation Center receives alumni gift
  • CNBC: CDC director says schools can safely reopen without vaccinating teachers
  • Wisconsin Examiner: The racial and income fault lines over ‘back to school’
  • WLUK: Wisconsin school safety resource seeing early success in "Speak Up, Speak Out" program
  • Insight: UW-Green Bay launches Institute for Women's leadership

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Current listings this week include opportunities Exact Sciences, Neugen, CMFG Ventures, UW-Madison Discovery to Product, M3 Insurance, von Briesen and Roper, AmFam Ventures, Findorff and TitletownTech.

Help us stay on top of events for our readers!
Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

UW-Madison Computer Sciences presents RED Talks with Leng Tan, SVP at Oracle on Thursday, Feb. 11. Join us on Leng's personal adventure and hear how she navigated through big corporations and startups. Learn how she rose from being the sole women engineer to Senior Vice President of Engineering and survived to tell the story.

BizStarts: P&L Basics with Thaime Nañez is on Friday, Feb. 12. During this virtual workshop, she will show you what a “profit and loss statement” is and what it can do for your business.

Angel Capital Association offers a free Demystifying Angel Investing: An Introduction to the World of Early-Stage on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Join us for a dynamic panel discussion with leading experts to explore the basics of angel investing, including three reasons to consider angel investing as part of your well-balanced portfolio.

WiSys offers Innovation in Materials and Manufacturing – Responding to the COVID Crisis’ scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23 – Thursday, Feb. 25. The energizing three-part virtual symposium will feature stories of innovation in the fields, faculty networking and student research presentations. Attendees should register for this free event by Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Morgridge Institute for Research presents COVID-19: The Science of Vaccines on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Delve deeper into the science of viruses and vaccines. Experts in virology and vaccine development will share about how coronaviruses infect, how COVID-19 vaccines (including a new class of mRNA vaccines) protect us, and how scientists were able to make the vaccine possible within a year.

InBusinessIB Intros (virtual) is slated for Wednesday, Feb. 24. In this speed-networking format, you’ll connect with six other Madison-area professionals through a series of one-on-one conversations.

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Your $750 Investor Networks membership entitles you to one free pass to our two major conferences (Entrepreneurs' Conference and Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular Tech Council Innovation Network events.
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