WIN eNewsletter

 In This Edition

Save at ESS with early bird rate
State's venture capital doubles
Oct. 21 is Cleantech Network forum
Oct. 28 WIN-MSN features John Neis
Sept. 18 Investors' Edge a success
Innovation Summit is Oct. 27-28
'WisBusiness: The Show'
Inside Wisconsin columns
Innovation news round-up
Events and opportunities
Get WIN-volved
Sponsor a regional meeting
Promote your events

 WisBusiness: The Show

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Welcome to the October 2014 WIN eNewsletter

Dear readers -
Innovation in Wisconsin will be on full display during the annual Early Stage Symposium in Madison, which is on track for a packed house of companies, investors and others who contribute to the state’s early stage economy. Learn more below about the Nov. 12-13 ESS and other events – and act now to take advantage of membership and early bird discounts.

Tom Still

Last chance for early bird rate at Early Stage Symposium

Don’t miss the early bird registration for the upcoming Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, to be held Nov. 12-13 at Madison’s Monona Terrace. Register at by Oct. 21 to receive the discounted rate.

This year’s conference, with a theme of “30X10,” will celebrate a rich history dating to 1984. Originally the Madison Venture Fair, the event has been called the Wisconsin Venture Conference, the Wisconsin Life Sciences & Venture Conference – and for the past 10 years – the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. Nearly 500 companies have presented during the conferences in one format or another. Other highlights will include:

  • A presentation by Kevin Conroy and Maneesh Arora on the story of Exact Sciences, which moved from Boston to Wisconsin.
  • A plenary session made up of the leaders of major academic research institutions on Wisconsin’s “I-Q Corridor.”
  • Presentations by more than 45 companies in the Wisconsin Angel Network Investors’ Track and the annual Elevator Pitch Olympics.
  • SBIR/STTR awards luncheon to recognize grant recipients from the past year.
  • More than a dozen panel discussions featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector.
  • “Office Hours,” offering the opportunity to meet with subject experts on a variety of topics in small discussion groups.
  • The inaugural “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation.
  • The annual “First Look” forum featuring selected campus-based technologies.
  • Exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 Wisconsin companies.
  • A first-night reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.

Learn more and get registered at

Wisconsin's venture capital total nearly doubles

Wisconsin companies have raised almost twice as much venture capital so far this year than in all of 2013, according to a national report released Friday.

Through September, 22 deals had generated about $67.1 million for state firms, compared with almost $33.9 million during all 12 months of last year, data from the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association shows. Read the full Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story here and Tom Still's recent column here

Rate change proposals topic at Oct. 21 Cleantech Network forum
A panel of experts will discuss the upcoming rate change proposals from Wisconsin’s leading energy producers at the Oct. 21 meeting of the Cleantech Network forum.  The nationally watched rate case could determine how the state’s energy infrastructure is managed for years to come.   

The forum will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Wisconsin Energy Institute, 1552 University Avenue, on the University of Wisconsin campus.

The panel, led by Art Harrington, chair of the Godfrey and Kahn’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Law Practice Group, will lead a discussion with experts representing both sides of the conversation. Panelists include Todd Stuart, executive director of the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group; Scott A. Neitzel, senior vice president of Madison Gas and Electric CompanyCharles McGinnis, director of strategic projects of Johnson Controls; and Tyler Huebner, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin.

The forums are produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council in cooperation with the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium, Godfrey & Kahn and Kremer Ventures. Learn more and register HERE.

John Neis to discuss venture trends at Oct. 28 WIN-Madison

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John Neis, managing director of Madison-based venture capital firm Venture Investors LLC, will talk about his firm's history as Wisconsin's oldest and largest venture capital firm at the Tuesday, Oct. 28 luncheon of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison. Neis will also outline how the national, regional and state capital-raising environments have evolved over time.

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. Learn more and register HERE. This WIN-Madison event is sponsored by Insperity, Inc.

Investors' Edge outlined capital-raising trends at Sept. 18 event


Entrepreneurs, investors and others who work with startups heard the latest trends in raising ​capital during a workshop held Sept. 18 in Appleton, learning about valuation strategies, term sheet preferences and an in-depth overview of the venture capital market.

The event was part of the "Investors' Edge" series, which helps investors and others understand the process for startups raising capital. The half-day workshop was led by Chicago angel investor Bob Okabe, of the Angel Resource Institute, and was produced by the Wisconsin Angel Network. In addition to the workshop, WEDC presented the latest information about the ACT 255/QNBV program, an important tax credit initiative for state investors.

If you are interested in attending future workshops, which are h
eld around the state, please contact WAN Director Dan Blake.

Midwest Innovation Summit to be held Oct. 27-28 in Minnesota

The 2014 Midwest Innovation Summit will be held Oct. 27-28 in Minneapolis, Minn.

This year's event is expected to have more than 400 attendees focused on innovation in the
Impact Economy, including corporate managers, financial investors, early stage businesses, trade organizations, academia, government officials and university students.

This annual conference, organized by Midwest Cleantech Open and partners, explores how the Midwest is capitalizing on these trends and providing market leadership, and offers insights into new industry developments and upcoming opportunities. Learn more and register here.
 '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 "WisBusiness: The Show," Jim Laudon, site director of Google Madison, talks with Liz Schrum about the interest Google has in the region; Tom Still explains why reduced federal investment in academic research is a worrisome trend; and the Stock Report covers water technology and cyber-security.


Click here view the biweekly show, produced by Tweedee Productions for the Wisconsin Technology Council and, as well as 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:

Ralph Kauten, Quintessence Biosciences
Vicki Elkin, Fund for Lake Michigan

 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
 Still headshot for newsletter
Venture capital is a roller-coaster, and Wisconsin is along for the ride
The good news: Venture capital dollars invested in Wisconsin through the first three-quarters of 2014 is already double all venture investments last year, and the number of deals is approaching an all-time annual high for the state. The sobering news: Wisconsin still lags 23 other states in deals reported during the third quarter of 2014, and falls behind 25 states in total dollars invested during those three months.

Solving Wisconsin’s startup puzzle – one piece at a time

During his “Rise of the Rest” tour stop in Madison, venture capitalist and founder Steve Case said Wisconsin’s capital city would rank among the top 20 communities for startups in the United States — “barely” — and if entrepreneurs continue to work hard, it could be among the top 10 within a decade.

Building a workforce for the digital age includes cybersecurity
Wisconsin is behind the curve in producing, attracting and retaining the kind of cybersecurity talent needed by companies and institutions of all sizes.

Stagnant federal spending on R&D could lead to big problems later
Yoshi Kawaoka is known worldwide for his work on avian influenza viruses, the likes of which wiped out 40 million people in 1918. This talented UW-Madison researcher has also spent time studying strains of the Ebola virus, which has now found its way to the United States from West Africa, where thousands have died from its devastating effects. Trouble is, Kawaoka’s Ebola research is largely in the past tense because federal funding for the project ran out just as some promising results were reported.

History of venture conference reflects growth of state’s tech sector
Along with 11 other companies, mostly in their early stages, Promega was one of the first presenters in a conference format that has endured in various forms since 1984. Known the past 10 years as the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, it was previously the Madison Venture Fair, the Wisconsin Venture Fair, the Wisconsin Venture Conference and the Wisconsin Life Sciences Venture Conference. By whatever name, the annual match-making event has introduced up-and-coming companies to prospective investors and contributed to Wisconsin’s high-growth economy.

New UWM school foments 'revolution' in freshwater technologies
Opened in mid-September with tours, science demonstrations and a community celebration, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences represents the continued development of Milwaukee's water cluster. It also symbolizes the potential for economic growth, jobs and revitalization that can flow from partnerships that apply high-end research to solving real-world problems.

As health care evolves, so does need for smarter, cost-effective tools
Envisioning, designing and manufacturing medical devices – which range from robots to sensors, and from surgical instruments to software that allows devices to communicate with one another – was the topic of a recent conference in Chicago.

Multiple centers for research will help state’s high-growth economy
The UW-Madison is one of the nation’s leading research universities by several measures – dollars invested, patents produced and ideas licensed or otherwise transferred to the market – but it was Wisconsin’s only academic R&D center for more than 100 years. However, the past decade or so has brought change. 

 Innovation news round-up

Deltanoid's DP001 demonstrated safe, effective in patients on dialysis
Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals announces the successful completion of a phase 2B clinical trial for its lead experimental drug DP001 for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease receiving hemodialysis.

Shine Medical signs $125 million term sheet
SHINE Medical Technologies, Inc. (SHINE) announced today that it executed a term sheet providing for up to $125 million of debt and equity financing with Deerfield Management Company, L.P. (Deerfield), a New York headquartered healthcare investment firm. SHINE plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Wisconsin to produce more than a quarter of world supply of the most commonly-used isotope in nuclear medicine, molybdenum-99 (moly-99).

State Journal: EatStreet funding reaches $10 million
EatStreet, a Madison company that lets consumers order food online or through mobile devices, has finalized an additional $4 million in funding. Added to the $6 million the company closed on in April, Eat Street has raised a total of $10 million from investors so far this year. New investors include the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) and 4490 Ventures, a new early-stage venture fund formed by SWIB and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

State Journal: SoLoMo Technology takes home $100K Rise of the Rest jackpot
SoLoMo Technology — a Madison company that describes itself as “Google analytics for the physical world” — won a pitch competition at the Majestic Theatre on Monday night and a $100,000 check from AOL cofounder Steve Case and his Rise of the Rest Road Tour.

State Journal: Phoenix Nuclear Labs receives $3 million Army contract
Phoenix Nuclear Labs will build an advanced neutron imaging system for the U.S. Army, to be used for inspecting ammunition and other defense tools.

State Journal: Madison startup activity bucking alleged decline? Let's hope so
It can appear from the local news that every week brings a new business plan contest, venture capital investment or “accelerator” organization aimed at helping startups succeed. Maybe it all reflects an economy on the verge of explosive, tech-sector-fueled growth. Or maybe it reflects a prodigious capacity for wishful thinking.

JSOnline: Beloit-based Comply365 raises $12 million in venture funding
Comply365 LLC, a Beloit maker of communications technology for airlines and other regulated industries, has raised $12 million in a funding round led by Drive Capital, an Ohio-based firm led by two Silicon Valley veterans.

SBA announces four new Regional Innovation Cluster Awards
U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet has announced the SBA’s support of four new Regional Innovation Clusters, adding to its portfolio of high-performing regional innovation networks across the country.

Virent hires Edgar Steenwinkel to lead tech development efforts
Virent has announced the appointment of Edgar Steenwinkel as the company’s Vice President of Research and Development. Steenwinkel will lead technology development efforts of Virent’s BioForming® platform in preparation of commercialization of its biofuel and biobased chemicals.

UWM Research Foundation announces nine new Catalyst Grants
Nine new research projects, including developments for a new cancer therapy and a high-power density battery to continue medical operations during power outages, have received Catalyst Grant funding from the UWM Research Foundation.

State Journal: Sun Prairie product design firm tripling its space
Betting in large part on the booming biotech sector, engineering design firm InForm Product Development will spend $2.8 million to dramatically expand its footprint in Sun Prairie and nearly double its workforce, enabling new services including niche manufacturing for customers in the bioscience and lab equipment fields.

JSOnline: Biggest job sectors, state by state
Wisconsin stands out as one of few states where manufacturing has remained the biggest employer. Although average wages among the state’s manufacturers are far higher than wages in the other three sectors, data analyzed by the Journal Sentinel show that Wisconsin retained at least a share of its manufacturing jobs by keeping wages under pressure.

Isthmus: You want jobs, Wisconsin? They're in tech, stupid!
At lunchtime on March 18, Rachel Keranen walked the two blocks from the Bendyworks office at 106 E. Doty St. to the Madison Club, the traditional gathering spot of Madison powerbrokers for 100-plus years.

SBIR Advance grant-matching program recipients announced
Seven Wisconsin small high-tech businesses each will receive a $75,000 grant to commercialize their innovations—the first recipients of the SBIR Advance program, a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the UW-Extension Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC).

JSOnline: MobCraft Beer becomes first to use state's crowdfunding law
Equity crowdfunding got off the ground in Wisconsin Wednesday, as Madison's MobCraft Beer announced an agreement with a bank to help with the state's first deal using the new investment vehicle.

Echometrix awarded key ultrasound patent
Echometrix, LLC announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) awarded the company Patent No. 8,840,555 on ultrasound technology for the dynamic functional analysis of injured and healing tissues.  The company’s Echosoft product line centers on the use of ultrasound to provide functional information about soft tissues as an alternative to other more expensive and less portable medical imaging modalities like MRI.

BizJournal: Beloit's Patch Products acquired by private equity firm
Patch Products LLC, a Beloit game manufacturer and distributor, has been acquired by New York City-area private equity firm Topspin Partners for an undisclosed amount.

Journal Sentinel: Madison organization providing grants for startups
Madworks at Campus, a Madison organization, will provide grants of as much as $4,000 to start-ups in its fall program

 News, events and opportunities

Wisconsin Cleantech Forum
Wisconsin Energy Institute, Madison
Oct. 21

2014 Midwest Innovation Summit

The Depot Hotel, Minneapolis, Minn.
Oct. 27-28

Sheraton Hotel, Madison
Oct. 28

2014 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium
Monona Terrace, Madison
Nov. 12-13

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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.

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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 Maurice Cheeks for more information.
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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.
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