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May 15, 2020

Dear readers: 

Six panel discussions at the June 4
Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference will offer registrants a virtual tour of challenges and opportunities facing many companies in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ll hear live from entrepreneurs, investors and other experts on how to better position your firm to meet adversities the virus triggered – and how to greet growth potential created in its wake. You may register here for the conference. Don’t worry if you check our agenda and see some panels will take place concurrently: There’s no need to miss anything! The conference will be recorded for registrants to view later. Stay tuned for more announcements next week!

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

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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?

Have a great weekend,  

Tom Still, president


Registration now open for our ‘virtual’ Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference!

We recently announced that Brian Pinkerton, Apple’s chief architect for Siri and a graduate of the UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences, will speak June 4 during the
Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference on a virtual platform that will offer plenty of interaction with attendees.

Click here to read the conference press releases:
Panels at virtual Entrepreneurs’ Conference will focus on COVID-19 economic recovery (NEW!)

‘Virtual’ Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference will offer plenty of ways for attendees to engage
‘Siri, did you know your boss will speak June 4 at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference?’

We’ll announce more conference highlights soon, including engaging ways for attendees to network among themselves and presenters. Nothing beats live, but this will come close! Among the features of the conference over time have been the Governor’s Business Plan Contest (see more below) and a presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, or YES!, contest. A full release on the young people advancing in that competition is linked here, as well.

Please stay tuned for more about panel discussions, workshops and special networking activities.                                         
Register here!

 Pinkerton, Brian

Guest column: Architects do more than design buildings

Serving on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Technology Council, it has been instructive and stimulating to participate in meetings, events and policy discussions that often go beyond the narrow definition of technology.

Multi-disciplinary experts from all around the state approach challenges that affect, not only the tech sector, but the broader economy, state and society. That diversity of expertise is an important facet of any advisory council.

Maybe that’s why business leaders are inviting architects to their corporate strategy team. An architect’s voice brings vision and perspective that complements their other key advisors. Click here to read Holzhauer’s full column.


The BPC class of 2020: Finalist profiles

The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest began in late January and will culminate June 4 during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. Some contest finalists were profiled by senior and graduate students in a UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication capstone class. Visit our “Student Stories” and our BPC website to see more stories about these young companies. Today’s feature story is about Bizzy Bizzy.” 

'Assembly line' approach makes building a website a one-day project
By Emily Matzke

Building a brand-new website is often a painstakingly long process, but with the help of the developers at Bizzy Bizzy, the process can be done in just one day.

Using traditional methods, the website development process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months until the project is completed. It is often hindered with clients not having enough time to focus solely on the website, and the developer being tasked with multiple client projects. This process leads to inefficiencies and time lost to gain brand awareness or bring companies to life.  Click here to read the full story.

 Click here to read the full story.



Bizzy Bizzy

Our Business Plan Contestants could use your support!

We announced a crop of 28 finalists in the 2020 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest this week, and we’re looking forward to the competition entering the next phase. If you’re able to contribute services to the prize kitty – legal, accounting, consulting, office space, media and design, cash or something else a young company might want – please contact us. Email your ideas to: and she’ll get back to you. Thanks for helping this exciting group of entrepreneurs advance their companies during a challenging time.


Wisconsin Online Global Programs and Grants Business Development present a webinar to help grow your sales, brand and business in a COVID-19 age on Tuesday, May 19.

BizTimes presents 2020 Economic Trends 2.0 | Where Do We Go from Here? on Thursday, May 21



Wisconsin State Journal: Some Wisconsin counties rescind local stay-at-home orders
AP: FDA probes accuracy issue with Abbott’s rapid virus test
Milwaukee Business Journal: Evers: If businesses don't do basics to safeguard customers from COVID, 'there’s going to be a problem'
WISN: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to announce Business Restart Program
WisPolitics: DWD beefs up staffing, call centers to handle unemployment crush
Crunchbase: America's Mighty Middle Report: Investment trends in America's heartland show that valuable, high-growth companies can be built outside of traditional tech hubs.
NBC4NY: CDC issues alert as cases of NYC kids with severe COVID syndrome spike, spread in U.S.
WISN: President Trump unveils leaders of new vaccine effort, ‘Operation Warp Speed’
StarTribune: There's still resilience in tech startups in middle of the U.S.
Urban Milwaukee: WDVA Continues to Limit Visitors to Wisconsin Veterans Homes
Wisconsin State Journal: Tony Evers, GOP lawmakers begin conversations on new, more lenient COVID-19 rules
NBC News: Can herd immunity help stop the coronavirus? Experts warn it's not that easy.
Wisconsin State Journal: Communities, businesses scramble after Wisconsin court tosses stay-at-home order
WisBusiness: Tourism industry scrambling to adjust to million dollar losses due to COVID-19
Urban Milwaukee: DFI joins task force cracking down on COVID-19 investment scams
AP: Auto workers’ tenuous return a ray of hope in jobs crisis
Milwaukee Business Journal: Nonprofits work to stabilize operations, still help clients in midst of pandemic
Forbes: Another 3 million filed for unemployment last week—two-month total hits 36 million
Milwaukee Business Journal: DNC committed to pay Wisconsin Center District at least half under its contract
Wisconsin State Journal: Bar and restaurant owners outside Dane County deal with uncertainty after stay-at-home order tossed by court

 CoVID-19 news graphic

·       WEDC Small Business 2020 Program: Assistance will be available to Wisconsin-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) List of All 23 CDFIs in Wisconsin to provide grants to their existing loan clients to help mitigate business-related cash flow issues in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Approved CDFIs will make program grants (up to $20,000) available to for-profit businesses meeting the following criteria: Current loan recipient in good standing as of 3/1/20 with the approved CDFI (or its collaborating CDFIs); 20 or fewer PT/FT employees; Greater than $0 but less than $2 million in annual revenues; and, preference should be given to service and retail businesses
·      Gov. Evers’ office has launched a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government.

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this helpful Frequently Asked Questions document.
· (new) The Wisconsin Department of Revenue offers these information sources:

·       WEDC has compiled a comprehensive overview of their resources along with state and federal resources to assist Wisconsin citizens aimed at maintaining the viability of the companies upon which our economy depends.

·       Report any scams or price gouging to Wisconsin Department of Justice: If you suspect fraud or a scam, Attorney General Kaul suggests filing a complaint online at

·       Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses, Pending congressional and presidential approval, the SBA may offer another round of low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and Paycheck Protection Program loans for businesses and non-profits impacted by coronavirus

·       Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus latest updates

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

·       The FDIC has provided guidance to banking institutions and consumers affected by COVID-19 and encouraged financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers and customers in affected communities.

·       The Department of Labor has issued guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements.

·       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

·       The Department of the Defense has established the Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF) for COVID-19 to assess and rapidly respond to challenges presented by this pandemic. They are collecting information from both government and non-government personnel who are interested in getting involved. All resources and solutions are welcome from industry, academia, venture capital firms, individual contributors and more. Request information here.

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

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

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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