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September 24, 2020

Dear readers: 

A record number of investor groups are already slated to attend the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, which starts Nov. 9 with “Investor Intros” and continues Nov. 10-11 with company pitches and much more. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to get in front of investors from across the Midwest and well beyond! Here’s some news about the conference thus far; more to come.

·       Deadline extended for young companies to shine at the November Early Stage event – 3 chances to pitch their companies to nearly 50 investors and counting!

·       Viral marketing pro, entrepreneur Jacques joins 2020 Early Stage line-up

Speaking of investors, please read about our Oct. 13 webinar (below) on the need for diverse fund managers in Wisconsin and how that diversity can drive strong returns and more.

Also, please read my latest “Inside Wisconsin” column.

Inside Wisconsin: Newspapers in crisis: Why their economic future matters for our democracy



Make sure to check out our newsroom below for fast-changing information about Wisconsin's reopening process.
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?

Thanks for helping to build a stronger Wisconsin!

Tom Still, president

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The market case for supporting emerging and diverse investment fund managers in Wisconsin will be discussed during an Oct. 13, 10 a.m. webinar produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council.

The hour-long event will focus on how emerging managers – generally defined as smaller funds with a market cap on assets under management – and diverse managers – which are minority- or women-owned firms – may offer a strong return on investment while serving entrepreneurs who can otherwise be overlooked.

The webinar is the latest in the Tech Council Innovation Network’s continuing webinar series, “Crossing the Coronavirus Chasm.” Tech Council Innovation Network and Investor Networks members may register at no charge; the price for non-members is $20 for general admission and $10 for students and returning veterans. Click here to register. The Tech Council’s Julie Johnson will send webinar credentials prior to the event.

Panelists will include Jason Fields, founder of Dark Knight Capital in Milwaukee and a retiring member of the Wisconsin Assembly; Cory Nettles, founder of Generation Capital and one of the authors of Wisconsin’s investor tax credits law during his tenure as state Commerce Secretary; Will Martin, chief executive officer of the Badger State Opportunity Fund and a former state agency executive, and Erik Iverson, chief executive officer for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

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New "WisBusiness: The Show" coming soon!

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.



The 2020 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium: Registration now open!

Applications are being accepted now from young companies that want to tell their stories to investors at our annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium #ESSWI, to be held Nov. 9-11 on a virtual platform.

The conference will focus on increased opportunities for emerging companies and startups to meet with investors 1:1, pitch and present their companies. Our virtual exhibitor booths will be enhanced time to meet with sponsors and others. 26 investor groups have already signed on with many more to come. Nearly 50 investor groups have already signed on (view hyperlinked list here) with more to come!

Watch for more information to come via the Tech Council Current, press releases and social media!



  • Wisconsin State Journal: Survey finds 33% of Wisconsin restaurants could close within 6 months if COVID-19 measures continue
  • Gov. Evers announces more than $5 million in CARES Act funding for broadband expansion
  • WisBusiness: City grants and loans a business lifeline for Wisconsin economy
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Milwaukee warns more than 50 businesses over health order violations, including mask mandate
  • Middleton Chamber of Commerce: [Video} Recap of Tom Still’s economic update presentation
  • Fox: Labor Secretary: Clarity for 'gig workers' – Proposed rule simplifies definition for contractors, businesses
  • Midwest Farm Report: It could be a “banner year” for Wisconsin’s fall festivities
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Gina Goetter announced as Harley-Davidson’s new CFO
  • USA Today: California to ban new gas-powered cars by 2035
  • Milwaukee Independent: Local food producers work at adapting to changing demands driven by pandemic


  • WisBusiness: The Podcast with Kathy Henrich of Milwaukee Tech Hub
  • STAT: Three lessons from COVID-19 on accelerating biopharma innovation
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Westin Technology Solutions makes a software acquisition
  • Jason Fields: [Podcast} Kathy Henrich, MKE Tech Hub Coalition interview
  • Wall Street Journal: Why Tesla and other car makers are fighting over batteries
  • Tasnim News Agency: New 'bionic eye' linked to chip in brain could cure blindness
  • STAT: When AI is the opposite of sinister: An MIT researcher is held up as model of how algorithms can benefit humanity


  • Wisconsin State Journal: Exact Sciences' stock jumps more than $20 a share as CEO presents liquid biopsy data
  • PR Newswire: TCARE closes $3 million in financing to support family caregivers
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Foxconn leads $22 million investment round for Texas touch screen startup
  • Wall Street Journal: Longitude Capital closes $585 million healthcare venture fund
  • Forbes: High-growth, woman-led black enterprise seeks venture capital to scale
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Life sciences investor Casdin resigns from Exact Sciences board of directors
  • Crunchbase: Minnesota-based Bright Health Services secures $500 million Series E funding
  • Midwest Startups: Why & what? Exit planning strategies for a VC-backed company


  • Milwaukee Magazine: What you need to know about Gov. Evers mask mandate extension
  • USA Today: Children will have to wait for COVID-19 vaccine
  • STAT: Fast, low-cost testing is essential for averting a second wave of COVID-19
  • Fox: Fauci 'cautiously optimistic' about coronavirus vaccine approval by end of 2020
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: More Wisconsin Republicans than Dems going to restaurants, bars during pandemic: MMAC poll
  • Urban Milwaukee: Active Wisconsin hospitalizations cross 500 for the first time
  • Wall Street Journal: Johnson & Johnson begins final stage testing of vaccine
  • BizWomen: Employers consider requiring vaccination for COVID, but experts say forcing could backfire
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Medical College’s Raymond provides current perspective on COVID-19
  • Wall Street Journal: [Video] Anthony Fauci on what it will take to put COVID-19 behind us
  • STAT: Current COVID-19 treatment drugs and vaccines status tracker
  • Wall Street Journal: COVID-19 testing is hampered by shortages of critical ingredient
  • WPR: Wisconsin sets record for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, urges people to avoid infection
  • USA Today: What could life be like in our post-COVID world of 2025?
  • Governing: Pennsylvania: Add phones to the fight and download COVID app


  • Wisconsin State Journal: Human connection despite social distancing theme of virtual Chamber of Commerce event
  • WisPolitics: Concordia University’s Dan Sem interview, co-author of “Purple Solutions: A bipartisan roadmap to better health care in America”
  • Fox: Flu season may be very mild this year, thanks to COVID-19 precautions
  • USA Today: Symptoms overlap between flu and COVID-19
  • Lucid News: Usona Institute puts new psilocybin synthesis method in the public domain
  • Wall Street Journal: How to make friends in a new place during the COVID pandemic
  • STAT: Promising results for previously secret cancer drug data that ‘justified’ Gilead Sciences’ $21 billion acquisition
  • Fox: Artist captures group's efforts to unite families through donated iPads


  • WPR: Wisconsin college towns top nationwide list for rapid spread of COVID-19
  • NPR: New dashboard tracks coronavirus cases in schools across 47 states
  • UW-Madison fires back at Dane County for proposing online classes, sending students home
  • UW-Platteville: Responding to industry needs, UW-Platteville rolls out Internet of Things curricula
  • Fox: Wisconsin state agencies cut $300 million, including $45 million at UW System
  • Wall Street Journal: College admissions in a COVID year: SATs are out, personal stories in
  • Wisconsin State Journal: UW-Madison gets $22.7 million NIH grant that could improve research on Alzheimer’s, vaccine development, COVID-19 and more
  • Hyper Innovation: Fall 2020 student and mentor opportunities in VR, health tech, innovation, and emerging technologies
  • WPR: Filament Games executive breaks down how educational games can impart real-world skills
  • UW-Platteville: Highly-competitive federal grant to bring $1.1 million new investment to region

 CoVID-19 news graphic

Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

WisconsinINNO: Enjoy a Fireside Chat led by Wisconsin Inno editor Katherine Davis with Paul V. Radspinner, President & CEO of FluGen on Tuesday, Sept. 29

The Rotary Club of Madison West Towne-Middleton will host Tech Council president Tom Still to discuss an economic update on Friday, Oct. 2

Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition and NEWaukee are asking for volunteers to sign up now for “Teach an Hour of Code” online event in early December

DOD SBIR/STTR Virtual Symposium’s theme is Shaping the Future of Innovation – slated for Wednesday, Oct. 7

Quarles & Brady presents Business Valuation During COVID-19: Considerations Before and During a Bankruptcy Proceeding on Wednesday, Oct. 7

 200x200 Virtual events

·       Gov. Evers’ office regularly updates a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the departments of Financial Institutions, Revenue and Workforce Development. Some specific sites:

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this FAQ document.

·       The Wisconsin Department of Revenue offers these information sources:

·       The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses.

·       Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Outbreaks in Wisconsin

·       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.

·        “Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talentis a new project to help those displaced from jobs and employers now hiring

·       Wisconsin Hospital Association releases a COVID-19 dynamic Situational Awareness Update

·       View an interactive map of public wi-fi “hot spots” in Wisconsin

>> WisconsinEye interviews candidates for the Nov. 3 general election.
Click here to watch free on-demand.

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