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January 28, 2021

Dear readers,

As the vaccine rollout in Wisconsin continues, some businesses are weighing the merits of requiring vaccinations of their employees versus voluntary action. Whatever course those businesses follow, they can count on the safety of the two vaccines approved for emergency use thus far.

My latest “Inside Wisconsin” column describes how the Tech Council’s board of directors came to that conclusion.

We’re open for applications from emerging companies for the 8th annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

Please read more below about how you can go on a “speed date” with a major company. (Virtual, of course!)

>> Need a limited-hours student intern for the spring semester? Contact me about senior-level students from my class in the Life Sciences Communication department at the UW-Madison.

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

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» NEWplease click here to update your subscription preferences for Tech Council communications!

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest open for 2021 entries through Jan. 31, 2021

>> Miss the “How to Win the 2021 Governor’s Business Plan Contest” webinar live?  Click here to watch!

The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice and mentoring, management talent and possible sources of capital.

Over time, the contest has led to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and spurred economic growth in Wisconsin. In 2020, finalists shared in more than $125,000 in cash and service prizes.

Since its inception in 2004, nearly 4,100 entries have been received and about $2.4 million in cash and services (such as legal, accounting, office space and marketing) have been awarded. Contest categories are Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest open for 2021 entries through Jan. 31, 2021
InsideWis: Governor’s Business Plan Contest can help highlight innovation during adversity
Bolster your odds for startup business success; enter Governor’s Business Plan through Jan. 31
Crew of mentors on call for contestants in 2021 Wisconsin Governor’s Biz Plan Contest
new: Wisconsin student entries welcome by Jan. 31 for 2021 Governor’s Business Plan Contest
new: Diverse group of judges, investors to screen entries for 2021 Governor’s Business Plan Contest
new: BPC Entrants may share range of prizes, cash in 2021 Governor’s Business Plan Contest
new: Deadline just 4 days away to enter 2021 Governor’s Business Plan Contest


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

Emerging companies may apply through 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, Northwestern Mutual, PDS, Promega, Rockwell Automation, Schreiber Foods, Titletown Tech, and WIPFLi.

Click here to learn more, apply and register!


>> ICYMI "WisBusiness: The Show" released!

The latest episode of “ The Show” spotlights Dr. Timothy Nelson, the research and innovation director for the Mayo Clinic in northwest Wisconsin and a leader in fostering R&D opportunities for students and faculty at the UW-Eau Claire.

Tom Still presents Tech Metrics, which chart key indicators and events in the Wisconsin economy. He previewed the annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which deadlines Jan. 31, 2021.

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.

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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!


Information about the State of Wisconsin Disaster Medical Advisory Committee is now available, which is actively engaging the public around plans for vaccine distribution. All meetings of the committee are open to the public and public comment is encouraged.

Please visit DHS Vaccine Website Vaccine Information and CDC Vaccine Guidance for more information.
>> DHS announces sign up weekly newsletter
 to keep public informed of COVID-19 response and vaccine progress.
>> DHS launched a new dashboard showing trends in age, race/ethnicity, hospitalizations and vaccinations.

State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC):


Are you a small business owner who’s interested in starting e-commerce, but not sure how to start?

See if you’re the right fit for Wisconsin SBDC’s e-Commerce Academy with six sessions normally valued at $499, but currently being offered at no charge! Click here for more details.



  • Wisconsin State Journal: State revenue projections more than $1 billion higher than November estimate
  • CapTimes: Celebrated golf course builder offers to redesign, reconstruct Madison’s Glenway course – at his cost
  • NBC15: Wis. lawmakers urge Gov. Evers to upgrade unemployment insurance IT system
  • GazetteXtra: Pandemic worsens broadband access gap, says WisconsinEye’s Walters
  • WisBusiness: Wisconsin’s pre-pandemic economy is a long road ahead
  • Madison Magazine: Building on the South Park Street economic development hub
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Madison-area business leaders express optimism, caution about Biden administration
  • WPR: Out-of-work Wisconsinites 'limp along financially' as they wait for new unemployment benefits
  • MKE Business Journal: HP Enterprise spending $22 million to establish high-performance computing center


  • CapTimes: Madison Finance Committee signs off on $250,000 for Center for Black Excellence and Culture
  • Digital Insurance: American Family's partnership with Creative Destruction Lab pays off
  • WWLP: SBA’s initiative provides free entrepreneurship education and training for small businesses
  • Fox6: Wisconsin’s Young Entrepreneur Live Competition offers $10,000 in scholarships
  • GB Press Gazette: Pitch contest helps former refugee sharpen idea for Hmong-inspired fashion line
  • WisBusiness: Nation’s largest coworking franchise signs lease for first Madison location
  • EastEndTaste: Local entrepreneur’s Figgy by Shenanigan Kids featured in article about screen-free toys
  • WisBusiness: Forward BIOLABS leverages coworking to support biotech startups


  • WisconsinINNO: Northwestern Mutual joins NBA stars as investor in Black-owned mobile banking app Goalsetter
  • BizTimes: Winnow Fund holds final close, raises $10.2 million
  • BizWomen: Woman-owned venture capital firm, H Venture Partners, hits fundraising milestone
  • MiBiz: Michigan VC fund targeting minority-owned companies raises $8.5 million in first year
  • Columbus Business First: Women's Fund launching new 'social venture capital' fund to uplift women of color


  • USAToday: Double masking 'just makes common sense,' Fauci says
  • MKE Business Journal: Wisconsin puts teachers, childcare workers at top of list for vaccine starting March 1
  • NBC: Biden administration orders 200 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines
  • STAT: Regeneron says monoclonal antibodies prevent COVID-19 in study
  • Wisconsin Watch: Rural Wisconsin sees extra complications in delivering vaccines
  • The Economist: Divisive, politically tricky and probably inevitable: The promise and perils of vaccine passports
  • Middleton Chamber: [Webinar] The impact of COVID-19 on mental health with NAMI


  • CapTimes: UW online MBA program stays in national top ten, engineering improves ranking
  • NPR: CDC makes the case for schools reopening
  • Gundersen Health offers advice on adjusting to the classroom after extensive virtual learning
  • EdWeek: Here’s what educators should expect from the Biden Administration on education technology
  • UW-Eau Claire: University working to address racial disparities in education
  • UW-Platteville: Building on a strong foundation, school expands opportunities for Women in STEM

COVID-19 news graphic 12_20 

Current listings this week include opportunities at Neugen, CMFG Ventures, UW-Madison Discovery to Product, M3 Insurance, von Briesen & Roper, AmFam Ventures, Findorff, TitletownTech and UW-Madison Department of Communication Arts

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

RCEDC: As the result of a USDA Small Business Development Grant, WEDC Main Street and Connect Communities businesses are invited to attend a series of free virtual training events during the spring of 2021: Click here for dates and registration.

Women in Technology Wisconsin presents Crafting Inclusive Teams: In this session, learn how inclusion can help you to tap into the full potential of your team. Shift your perspective and elevate your conversations to break down barriers, minimize conflict and bring together people with diverse skills, viewpoints, and lived experiences to build exceptional teams on Friday, Jan. 29

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 Feb. 17.

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