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June 29, 2020

Dear readers: 

In each of the past 12 years, the Wisconsin Technology Council has charted the progress of the state’s early stage investing climate through “The Wisconsin Portfolio.” Using a mix of public and private sources, we track down the number of early stage deals, the dollars involved and much more. While 2020 is still an uncertain time due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the data from 2019 suggests the state’s investment trends remained on the right track. Please read more below.

State’s early stage firms raised record dollars in 2019; total deals increased slightly

The latest edition of “The Wisconsin Portfolio” shows more than $450 million was raised by the state’s early stage companies in 2019, a record for any single year in Wisconsin.

The report by the Wisconsin Technology Council and its Tech Council Investor Networks showed 123 early stage deals – up from 121 in 2018 – with average and mean deal sizes growing significantly.

Over the five-year period beginning in 2015, Wisconsin early stage companies have raised $1.47 billion. There were $209.5 million in early stage investments in 2015, $276.2 million in 2016, $231 million in 2017 and $300.7 million in 2018.

Download the 2020 Wisconsin Portfolio here. Previous editions can be accessed here.

Still time to sign up for Tech Council’s SBA webinar

Wednesday’s live, 10 a.m. webinar will feature two Wisconsin-based officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration, who will talk about PPP loan forgiveness and the next round of EIDL loans. Contact Julie Johnson at to reserve a spot!


2020 Portfolio-Cover


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 reading and we'll publish our next edition on Wednesday.

Tom Still, president


Milwaukee Business Journal: Where Ascension Wisconsin stands on continuing surgeries in case of a COVID-19 spike
Wisconsin State Journal: Dane County grants aid to food pantries as COVID-19 pandemic sparks surge in demand
The Wall Street Journal: U.S. surge strains hospitals
WISN: Adults 20-29 among largest Wisconsin case spike; bars 'critical' in slowing spread
Urban Milwaukee: Wisconsin records highest COVID-19 case rate in 40 days
Forbes: There are 10 million coronavirus cases worldwide. The U.S. accounts for 25% of them
The Wall Street Journal: COVID-19 drug Remdesivir to cost $3,120 for typical patient on private insurance
The New York Times: White House blames rise in virus cases on more testing, as experts dispute the claim
Oprah Magazine: Healthcare workers take us behind the scenes of fighting the pandemic
WISN: Summer may decide fate of leading shots in COVID-19 vaccine race
The Wall Street Journal: Masks could help stop coronavirus. So why are they still controversial?
Los Angeles Times: Inside the body, the coronavirus is even more sinister than scientists had realized
CNN: Fauci says task force 'seriously considering' new testing strategy
Scientific American: Coronavirus test shortages trigger a new strategy: Group screening
WisBusiness: Opioid addiction worsens due to pandemic
Leader Telegram: What to expect from a phone call with a COVID-19 contact tracer

Milwaukee Business Journal: Businesses can operate at higher capacity as Milwaukee moves into Phase 4 of reopening plan
Urban Milwaukee: Historic church will become high tech office space
McKinsey: The economic impact of closing the racial wealth gap
WisBusiness: Changes in consumer behavior reflect shifting values, says UW-Madison professors
Wisconsin State Journal: Clean energy advocates say industry can lead economic recovery, call for state and federal help
Milwaukee Business Journal: Survey: Wisconsin businesses beat national average for PPP access
The Wall Street Journal: ‘Flying blind into a credit storm’: Widespread deferrals mean banks can’t tell who’s creditworthy
The New York Times: The big brands are pulling ads from Facebook over hate speech
Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin ag officials caution mink farmers after COVID-19 outbreaks in Europe
City of Madison: State Street Streatery Program to begin Friday, July 3
Milwaukee Business Journal: With unemployment offices busy, recovery seems a ‘long haul’
The New York Times: How Americans feel about the country right now: Anxious and hopeful Community organizers adapt to COVID-19 to spur Milwaukee turnout in November
TechRepublic: Travel is making a comeback … just not by plane
Futurism: The U.S. might not have enough glass vials to distribute the coronavirus vaccines

Inc.: His first startup focused on faith. Now, he's reinvesting into Black America
CNBC: Amazon to buy self-driving technology company Zoox, first billion dollar exit by a black woman CEO
ChicagoINNO: Meet the Black-founded startups in Chicago that have raised $1 million or more
BusinessWatch: The digitization imperative: Companies have to start putting the economic pieces together
Ozy: Work remotely without losing your mind
BizWomen: Researchers call for changes in drug dosages for women

Boston Business Journal: Top Black and Brown execs launch antiracism fund
San Francisco Business Times: Why the stock of this potential COVID vaccine maker jumped nearly 456% this week
CNBC: Nikola is a social investing home run for Jeff Ubben as he launches new fund
MinneINNO: Bread and Butter Ventures brings together local startup veterans
CincyINNO: Lightship Capital raising $50 million fund to back Midwestern, minority-led startups


Wisconsin State Journal: Madison School District adds more options for reopening this fall
BusinessWatch: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings donates $120 million to HBCUs to 'give people some sense of hope'
TechRepublic: Teaching AI to fourth-graders is a thing now
Urban Milwaukee: Wisconsin schools’ racial inequality worst in U.S.
TechRepublic: Universities are using clever tech solutions to prep for the fall
Wisconsin State Journal: UW-Madison students call for removal of Abraham Lincoln statue on Bascom Hill

 CoVID-19 news graphic

Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

WisconsinEye presents Campaign 2020 Candidate Interviews on Tuesday, June 30

Fox Valley Technical College presents Explore Starting a Business on Wednesday, July 8

WMEP’s Growth Driven: Innovation and Market Potential for VFD/VSDs in Wisconsin on Wednesday, July 15

 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

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