In This Edition

Diligent Dozen announced
'Treps, investers on EC panels
Portfolio tracks deals, funds
Lake Superior Conference is Aug. 8
Badger Fund of Funds at July WIN
Efforts on federal initiatives
Walmart's 'Open Call'
'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 for the latest episodes of "WisBusiness: 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 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 May 2014 WIN eNewsletter

Dear readers –

The advent of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference is a time to look forward – and to look back – at progress in the state’s tech-based economy. The conference will feature presentations by the top 13 plans in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest, and competition will be stiff across all four categories. The publication of The Wisconsin Portfolio offers a glimpse at the previous year’s investment trends in Wisconsin, as well as a look forward at emerging funds. The July 22 Wisconsin Innovation Network meeting in Madison will feature the first in-depth look at one of the funds, The Badger Fund of Funds. Read on to learn more!

Tom Still

'Diligent Dozen' announced in 2014 Gov's Biz Plan Contest

Finalists representing diverse tech-based sectors in Wisconsin’s startup economy will present live to judges in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest during the 12th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison.

The 13 contestants (the total includes one tie) have survived three rounds of judging in the contest, which began in late January with nearly 300 entries.

This year’s finalists will deliver seven-minute pitches on their business ideas beginning 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, during the conference. Winners will be announced June 4 during a closing luncheon – and all 25 finalists will be eligible for prizes. To register for the conference at Madison’s Alliant Energy Center, visit

Investors, 'treps to share experiences at conference

Nearly 50 investors and entrepreneurs will talk about best practices, success stories – and even how they learned from failure – during panel discussions at the 12th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, June 3-4 at Madison’s Alliant Energy Center.

Tracks within the two-day conference are built around three distinct stages that matter to all startup companies: launch, grow and succeed. Seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and others who work with emerging companies will take part in each discussion.

Other conference highlights include:
-- Nationally known speakers, such as Jack Lynch of Renaissance Learning and Dave Lambert of Internet2
-- The annual Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” award, which will go to Craig and Lea Culver of Culver’s Franchising System
-- Dligent Baker's Dozen:  Top 13 finalists from the BPC square off
-- Innovation Showcase featuring more than 50 companies from around the state
-- Plenty of chances to connect with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments.

Register and learn more at Student and member discounts are available.

2014 Wisconsin Portfolio tracks deals, new funds

The soon-to-be-released 2014 Wisconsin Portfolio, an annual publication of the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Angel Network, will outline more than 80 deals that were funded across the state in 2013.  

This year's publication will also focus on several new funds that began making investments this year or are getting up and running. Several groups will be profiled, including a Q&A with Greg Robinson, the new manager of 4490 Ventures, a $30 million fund backed by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

If you are interested in a copy of the publication, please contact Gina Leahy at (608)-442-7557 or

WIN-Lake Superior to host August 8 conference in Ashland

The 2014 Lake Superior Business & Technology Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 8, in Ashland. The event, which runs from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, is $30 for general admission and $10 for students.

The event will feature presentations from Bob Davies, professor, UW-Stout and national business consultant; Doug Moquin, retired vice president, Phillips Plastics Corp.; Morna Foy, president, Wisconsin Technical College System; Jim Hagstrom, entrepreneur and developer, Blue Wave on the Bay; and Randy Hulke, director, UW-Stout Discovery Center. This year’s Business Idea Contest finalists' will present their entries.

Register here. For more information on the conference call the Ashland County UW-Extension office at (715) 682-7017 or the Bayfield County UW-Extension office at (715) 373-6104.

lake superior

July 22 WIN-Madison to look at Badger Fund of Funds

The Badger Fund of Funds will be the topic of the Tuesday, July 22, luncheon meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison.

The luncheon will be held at the Sheraton Hotel on Madison’s John Nolen Drive. Registration and networking begin at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m.

Mark your calendar! More information coming soon.

Tech Council joins efforts regarding federal initiatives 
The Wisconsin Technology Council has been a part of two timely information efforts in Washington, D.C., this month, where Congress is considering important revisions to programs that affect the tech-based economy. Read more here. ​
Walmart hosts 'Open Call' for U.S. manufacturers

Walmart will host the first Made in USA "Open Call" event on July 8 in Bentonville, Ark., at the Walmart Home Office.

The Open Call Event will be focused on new business development. Current suppliers that wish to present new categories will be featured alongside suppliers with U.S. manufacturing capabilities, who are not currently doing business with Walmart. Senior leaders, buyers and merchant leadership will be available for meetings.

Registration for this event is now open at All suppliers must apply by June 6.

 '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 speaks with Joe Kremer of Isomark about Canary, a breath-based early detection system for infections. Also, Tom Still explains how the co-investing trend helps bring out-of-state dollars into Wisconsin; and the Stock Report covers coal use and health rankings.

Click here view the biweekly show, produced by Tweedee Productions for the Wisconsin Technolog
y Council and, as well as our archives of past shows. The show is sponsored by Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., Madison Gas & Electric and UW-Milwaukee.

Guests on other recent shows:
Don Stanley, 3Rhino Media
Robert Hopton, Idle Free Systems

 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues

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Pat Lucey used bully pulpit of governor’s office to make tough choices
He was a governor who angered many in the education establishment, who sought to exercise more control over the state bureaucracy, and a politician who redefined his party yet seemingly didn’t care if he won by one vote or thousands. Gov. Scott Walker? Perhaps so, depending on your point of view, but the description also fits former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick J. Lucey.

Co-investing trend in Wisconsin can help startups in search for money
The Wisconsin Technology Council and its Wisconsin Angel Network annually chart the state’s angel and venture deals. In 2012 and 2013, 160 such deals involved startups that raised a few thousand dollars to companies that attracted tens of millions of dollars. Nearly 70 of those 160 deals involved at least one investor from outside Wisconsin, and sometimes outside the country.

Wisconsin schools add programs on entrepreneurship
Tim Keane, Golden Angels Investors, has now joined with six other entrepreneurs to create The Entrepreneurial Journey, a 200-hour, four-month short course sponsored by Carroll University. The first class of 24 students — now being recruited through an application process that will remain open for a few more weeks — will begin study in September and earn a 15-credit graduate certificate from Carroll.

Better broadband can create economic ‘highways’ in rural Wisconsin
Carl Ruedebusch is a veteran businessman who understands how high-speed Internet connections can make or break economic opportunity – depending on where you live in Wisconsin.

Dairy innovation alive and well as industry adapts to change
Fostering innovation is the goal of a new project within the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, one of the world’s leading centers for discovery within an industry that has become international in every way.

Why ride-sharing apps frustrate government reach
In a city that prides itself on being among the nation’s most “techie,” there has been a decidedly un-techie reaction to the arrival of two ride-sharing companies that have challenged the status quo of traditional taxi services.

Wis. Center for Dairy Research aims to foster innovation
Fostering innovation is the goal of a new project within the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, one of the world's leading centers for discovery within an industry that has become international in every way.

 Innovation news round-up

WisBusiness: DWD official touts state's collaborative job training program
The lead administrator for Wisconsin’s “Fast Forward” program said Tuesday at a Wisconsin Innovation Network luncheon that using state funding to collaborate with businesses in training skilled workers helps to focus job-training efforts.

Madison Startups: Forkforce Raises $250K in Seed Funding
Forkforce can enhance its job platform for the service industry thanks to raising $250,000 in seed funding, the company announced.

JSOnline: Madison firm develops medical device to detect infections earlier
The path from scientific discovery to commercial enterprise is often long, usually challenging and, occasionally, strewn with doughnut crumbs. Or so it has been for the Madison team behind Isomark LLC, a nearly 9-year-old venture built on an intriguing idea — that the very breath we exhale can signal early warning of life-threatening infections.

WisBusiness: ‘Sproutr’ aims to grow volunteerism by engaging youth in service
Matching enthusiastic young people with volunteer opportunities that both interest them and maximize their skills is the aim of Kathleen End’s website, Sproutr. Sproutr was among the Top 52 entries in the 2014 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest.

WisBusiness: Kaliber Imaging's system assesses mobility of people who fall
Kaliber Imaging has developed a three-dimensional system to analyze patient mobility and work to prevent falls. Kaliber Imaging is a "Diligent Dozen" finalist in the 2014 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest.

Angel investor, economist David Ward named to academic post in UW System
University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross has named David J. Ward as interim senior vice president for academic and student affairs for the UW System.

WisBusiness: Tasso looks to offer easy, painless blood collection sampling
Tasso Inc. is working on a method to allow patients to draw blood and send samples to a lab in the convenience of their own home. Tasso was among the Top 25 entries in the 2014 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest.

Lt. Gov. Kleefisch: Protecting the knowledge that powers Wisconsin
From ag tourism to the Global Water Center to the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, we are attracting scientific interest from around the world for our innovation and invention across industries. These advances make protection of intellectual property an important policy priority for Wisconsin jobs.

WisBusiness: Virtual fitness software turns physical activity into a 3-D competition
A Wisconsin business is breathing new life into old cardio equipment, turning that neglected treadmill collecting dust and hangers into a revitalized workout system. WebRacing, a Top 25 entry in the 2014 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest, uses digital 3-D visual environments connecting new and used indoor cardio equipment wirelessly, transforming exercisers into avatars on screens in real time. .

WisBusiness: Mackie to receive highest honor in medical physics
Thomas "Rock" Mackie, director of medical engineering at the Morgridge Institute for Research, will receive the highest honor in the field of medical physics for his far-reaching contributions to medical imaging.

WisBusiness: Little Green Pencil aims to bring new dimension to golf
Little Green Pencil, a company founded in 2013 by Will Robus, Stuart McIntosh and Steve Ramig, aims to use text messaging and publicly available website to make golf outings as simple and as social as possible for everyone involved -- event participants, spectators, event planners and even the golf course itself. Little Green Pencil is in the Top 25 of the 2014 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest.

WSJ: Michigan’s Governor says state’s venture capital, tech sector is on the rise
Detroit’s financial problems have gotten a lot of attention in the past few years, but there is another economic story unfolding in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder said. The state has become the high-tech hotbed of the Midwest, and has climbed from being 41st in the nation in terms of entrepreneurial activity and investing to the sixth-place spot in under a decade, the governor said.

State Journal: Robinson holds the key to a new pot of money for young companies
Greg Robinson left a cushy post with a venture capital firm in the mecca of IT magic, Silicon Valley, to steer a new fund aimed at giving a jump-start to promising young software companies in Wisconsin.

WisBusiness: Micro-machines could mean big business for UWM startup
A UW-Milwaukee startup is looking to make its mark with a product to boost research in a field known as microfluidics, which crosses disciplines ranging from engineering to biochemistry. Microfluidics involves operating with and manipulating systems involving minute volumes of fluids. E-Trap was a Top 52 entry in the 2014 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest.

JSOnline: JCI, UW open energy storage systems test lab in Madison
A new partnership between Johnson Controls and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will explore how the next generation of car batteries will fit into the nation's overall energy picture.

State Journal: Colorized 3D printing device wins Burrill biz plan contest
A student team that’s figured out how to inject color into plastic items made by 3-D printers took the top prize at the UW-Madison’s annual G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition.

WisBusiness: Disposable timer could be a nurse's best friend
The advance of technology translates into heavier, more complex workloads for nurses on the frontlines of medical care. To ease the burden, biomedical engineer Sarah Sandock has invented a simple, inexpensive, single-use timer that could be worn like a wristwatch to tell a nurse when to administer a drug or unhook a medical device.

Xconomy: Speed Dating - Wisconsin’s experiment to connect startups, big boys
Entrepreneurs can raise all the venture capital they want, but they know that in the long run, they don’t have a business without dollars flowing in from customers. That’s why the Tech Council organized its first “Tech Summit” April 7 at the GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha, WI.

Aver Informatics and Wellbe announce collaboration on episodic care analytics
Aver Informatics, Inc. and Wellbe, Inc. announced a collaboration at the Medical Informatics World conference to pair their two healthcare solutions to tackle the complexities of value-based episodes of care.

WSJ: Stratasys strengthens materials development capabilities
Stratasys Ltd., a leading global provider of additive manufacturing solutions, announced that it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement to acquire certain assets of Wisconsin-based Interfacial Solutions.

WARF invests $150K in Isomark; money will support patient study of ‘Canary’
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has invested $150,000 in Isomark LLC, funding that will be used by the Madison-based firm to help support a 110-patient study of the company’s non-invasive “Canary” breath analyzer. The device is intended to provide early warnings of potentially deadly patient infections.

WisBusiness: Expert pushes clean technology connections
Wisconsin entrepreneurs interested in “cleantech” projects may feel a bit isolated from investors and support, but regional competitions and networking can help.

WisBusiness: PNL awarded $1M grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy
Phoenix Nuclear Labs (PNL) announced that it was awarded a $1M grant from the Department of Energy (DoE) to design and build a high current negative hydrogen ion source.

 News, events and opportunities

WIN-Madison - Badger Fund of Funds
Sheraton Hotel, Madison
July 22

2014 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference
Alliant Energy Center, Madison
June 3-4

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
Domann Organization Inc.
New Horizons of Wisconsin
Ruedebusch Development & Construction
Runzheimer International
Venture Investors
Wellintel Inc.
WiSys Technology Foundation
Yahara Software

Individual Members
Raj Atalla
Pam Evason
Mike Farrell
Al Hartman
Phil Hutchens
Lori Konkler
George Koonce
Kristh Meredith
Tom Nelson
Maggie Peterman
Randy Waite
Sam Zordich

 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 Gina Leahy for more information.

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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 programs 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
Fax: (608) 231-6877

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