In This Edition

It's a wrap! ESS coverage
Health care reform at WIN-MSN
EPO winners announced
Profiles of WAN presenters
URP included in Forbes' list
Nov. 21 Entrepreneurons event
'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 BMO Harris Bank, Whyte Hirschboeck DudekUW-Milwaukee and Madison Gas & Electric.
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 Entrepreneurs' Toolkit
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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 November 2013 WIN eNewsletter
Dear Reader:

The continued growth of the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium has been a tribute to entrepreneurs, investors and service professionals who make up an increasingly vibrant tech-based economy in the state and the Upper Midwest. Reflecting on the buzz surrounding this year’s conference, I recognized that some specific trends are shaping the future of Wisconsin’s tech sectors. I listed those 10 trends in a column published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (and also found in this newsletter). Let me know what you think about those trends, or any that are missing from my list, and help spread the word that Wisconsin is on the move!

Tom Still, president

 It's a wrap! Read coverage of the Early Stage Symposium
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The Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, held Nov. 5-6 at Madison's Monona Terrace, had record attendance with more than 550 registrants over the two-day event. Attendees traveled to Madison from all over Wisconsin, the Midwest, and beyond. We introduced two new elements to the symposium – the “Office Hours” sessions and the “Reverse Elevator Pitch” panel – both earned rave reviews! Forty-four companies had the opportunity to present to investors during the WAN Tracks and the Elevator Pitch Olympics. Sixteen panel discussions covered a wide variety of topics and engaged some of the region’s leading investors and entrepreneurs. Our featured speakers – Brad Feld and Mark Schmitz – filled the ballrooms to capacity and sparked some exciting conversations about reaching beyond conventional boundaries.

2013 Post-conference materials:

•  The full attendee list can be found here.

•  See Tom Still's recap of this year's event here.

•  View downloadable photos of presenters, exhibitors and speakers here.

•  Watch a slideshow of conference photos here.

•  Read a comprehensive list of media coverage here.

Thanks again to all who participated!

 Nov. 26 WIN topic is health care reform, small biz
From website woes to political wrangling and evolving rules, problems associated with the Oct. 1 launch of the Affordable Care Act’s online exchange has left many small business owners and employees wondering: What should we do next, if anything?

 GHC Logo cropped
Learn from an industry expert what the ACA means to small businesses, now and in coming months, at the Nov. 26 meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison.

Al Wearing, chief insurance services officer with Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, will outline the Affordable Care Act and how the health-care marketplace will work for individuals and small businesses through the new Small Business Health Options Program. A panel of entrepreneurs will
follow up with comments and questions. For more information and to register, click here.

Watch for more information on the Dec. 12 WIN-Milwaukee meeting - featuring George Mosher, Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame inductee.

 Ninth annual Elevator Pitch Olympics winners announced
EPO winners compressed for web 
Left to right: Andrea Pasqualetto, sale cou-pair;
James Friedrich, Native Traits; Trevor Ghylin, Microbe
Detectives; and Tom Still, Wisconsin Technology

oto by Bob Modersohn, Driftless Mode

From companies with back pain solutions to live golf scores to crowdsourced beer, entrepreneurs gave it their best shot at the Elevator Pitch Olympics in Madison on Nov. 6. The ninth annual event, part of the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, showcased 90-second pitches from 16 companies. A panel of experienced investor judges scored the pitches and offered feedback on the spot.

First place went to Microbe Detectives, a Milwaukee company that roots out microbial contamination in water. Chief executive Trevor Ghylin said the technology could have detected the cryptosporidium that created a serious outbreak in the Milwaukee area in 1993.

The second-place finisher was Native Traits, a Kalamazoo, Mich., company whose proprietary technology makes corn resistant to drought and major temperature swings using genetic traits of native corn. President James Friedrich, a UW-Madison graduate, said his company already has agreements with six seed companies.

The people’s choice award went to sale cou•pair, a Milwaukee business that offers specialized coupon services for customers.

Read the full Wisconsin State Journal story here.

 Companies seeking investors find stage at symposium
Jesse Depinto
Jesse Depinto, VoxelMetric 
Photo by Bob Modersohn,
Driftless Mode

Twenty-eight early stage companies spanning products as diverse as medical devices, dairy products, a portable jet ski and a diesel aircraft engine presented to potential investors and others during the Wisconsin Angel Network Investors' Track at this month's 2013 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison.

Read profiles of these companies at

 Forbes: URP one of 12 business incubators changing world
University Research Park in Madison, and its MGE Innovation Center that houses many emerging companies when they first arrive at the park, has been listed in a Forbes magazine ranking on "12 business incubators changing the world." Others listed are located in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Read more:

 UW-Madison launches $3.2M entrepreneurship program
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Seeking to push more of the results of its vast research efforts into the marketplace, the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Tuesday announced a $3.2 million program to encourage both dorm-room and faculty-driven entrepreneurship.

"Discovery to Product" — D2P for short — is being launched jointly by the university and its patenting and licensing arm, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Its initial goal: help spin research and ideas from students and faculty into five new companies or commercialized outcomes a year. Read the full Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story here.

 Get on board at the Nov. 21 'Entrepreneurons' event
Learn how to create a board and structure to best connect to resources, capital and clients while avoiding common—and often disastrous—mistakes at the Nov. 21 event of
the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation's Entrepreneurons series.

The session will be held from 4 – 6 p.m. in the H.F. DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

This week's keynote speaker will be Kevin Conroy, Exact Sciences. Panelists will include Lorrie Keating-Heinemann, Brightstar Wisconsin Foundation; Scott Resnick, Hardin Design & Development; and Paul Wrycha, Foley & Lardner. The session will be moderated by Dan Olszewski of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship.

Visit for a complete series schedule. Contact with questions.

Parking is available in lots 17, 20 and 80. For a map of parking, visit:

 '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 this episode of the show, Liz Schrum interviews Mark Schmitz, owner of the ZEBRADOG design studio in Madison; Tom Still discusses why comparing the character and economy of one city to another isn't always a healthy exercise; and the Stock Report for early November 2013 includes venture capital and the Kenosha casino debate.

 105 compressed
Click here to view the biweekly show, produced by Tweedee Productions for the Wisconsin Technology Council and, as well as our archives of past shows.

The show is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, Madison Gas & Electric, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., and the UW-Milwaukee. 

Guests on other recent shows:
Al Wearing, Group Health Cooperative
Rebecca Larson, Alliance of Health Insurers

 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
 Still headshot for newsletter

Ten trends that define tech sector growth in Wisconsin While Wisconsin continues to lag in the creation of net new companies, directions in sectors that are sources of young, high-growth companies promise to help over time. Here are 10 trends shaping the future of Wisconsin’s tech-based economy.

Philippines typhoon shows need for better storm prediction science
Two days after Typhoon Haiyan left a trail of death and destruction in the Philippines, some of the nation’s leading climate scientists gathered at a higher education conference to talk about how to better predict the next mega-storm. Their conclusion: Whether or not people and policymakers buy into the notion of man-made climate change, the science of forecasting the strength, target and frequency of such storms must qualitatively improve. 

Investor George Mosher is example of ups and downs of angel investing Angel and venture capital investing in Wisconsin has many faces. They range from sophisticated fund managers, inside the state and out, who handle multi-million-dollar deals to the casual investor who may join a hometown angel network and take part in one five-digit deal a year. One of the most familiar and humble faces belongs to George Mosher.

Program aims to better link UW System, state economy It's a common question, often voiced inside the Capitol and within Wisconsin's business community: How can the University of Wisconsin System better align itself with the state's economic future?

Cities, states and regions must ultimately map own routes to success
It’s rarely a bad idea to compare-and-contrast when it comes to business development, whether it’s city to city, state to state or region to region. It can be a really bad idea, however, to get hung up on it. Unfortunately, the latter seems to be the case these days in Wisconsin, where a slow recovery from the Great Recession has sent business, government and economic development leaders scrambling for answers wherever the grass looks greener. 

Why making connections abroad matters for emerging companies
Louis Ho, the director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s seven offices in North and South America, freely admits he didn’t know that much about Wisconsin until a recent visit to Minnesota’s Twin Cities persuaded him to look across the border.

 Innovation news round-up

JSOnline: Cracked cellphone screens are entrepreneur's business
The cracking sound and spider web of shattered glass that comes from dropping your cellphone or tablet is something nobody wants to hear or see — not to mention the expense and mess that follow. But if there's a glimmer of hope that the damaged device can be repaired, that's where Natalya Schilling with Fix Phone Land steps in.

JSOnline: Computer tech support scams targeting residents
Scammers who claim to be from Microsoft or Windows tech support continue to call Wisconsin consumers, saying the consumer has a virus on their computer. The caller offers to "fix" the alleged problem in an attempt to gain remote access to the computer. Several consumers have fallen for the scam and lost hundreds of dollars, according to the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin.

Wisconsin awards HP $221 million Medicaid contract extension
HP Enterprise Services has announced the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has signed a $221 million agreement for HP to continue its 36-year relationship as the state’s Medicaid fiscal agent.

State Journal: The Art Commission changes its name to CODAworxThe Art Commission, a Madison online business that connects artists with design professionals, is now called CODAworx (Collaboration of Design+Art).

JSOnline: EatStreet gobbles up more online restaurant orders

Three years back, Matt Howard, Eric Martell and Alex Wyler were UW-Madison students with a bright idea and not much money. But they had a solid corps of friends, and sometimes that can get you by. The three are co-founders of EatStreet Inc., a promising young Madison tech firm that supplies restaurants with software for handling online orders.

JSOnline: MEDC to consider $300,000 investment in HarQen
The Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. will meet this week to discuss a potential $300,000 investment in HarQen Inc., a Milwaukee digital voice technology firm. HarQen presented during the Wisconsin Angel Network Investors' Track at last week's Early Stage Symposium.


JSOnline: Super Angel Fund invests in two Wisconsin startups
Wisconsin Super Angel Fund LP, which launched in March with more than $5million to put into early-stage companies, said Tuesday it has invested in two Wisconsin-based startups.


JSOnline: Chris Abele's money at work in venture fund
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has committed at least $10 million of his own money to a venture capital fund that will invest in early-stage companies here and around the Midwest.


JSOnline: Startup Alithias Inc. gets a boost from big business
In the struggle for sales that is at the heart of every start-up, Alithias Inc. has been helped by a surprising number of much bigger companies. At least seven established companies in Wisconsin have funded beta testing or become early customers of the Milwaukee maker of health care price and quality information software programs. Alithias presented at the 2013 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.


JSOnline: Dane County ranks 9th on list of counties with IT job growth
In a world that is rapidly digitizing, Dane County ranked 9th on a list compiled by the Progressive Policy Institute of counties that have had strong job growth in information technology and related sectors during the last five years.


State Journal: Wellbe will be growing after $1.4M from investors

Madison health IT company Wellbe has finished its first fundraising round, receiving $1.1 million from angel investors in Wisconsin and beyond, as well as a $300,000 loan from the Madison Development Corp.


JSOnline: Chinese investment a growing trend in Wisconsin
The Global Water Center, which houses laboratories, university faculty and more than a dozen water tech companies, wouldn't likely have happened without the infusion of $12million from Chinese investors, who provided more than half the cost of acquiring and renovating the 107-year-old warehouse in Milwaukee's Walker's Point neighborhood.


JSOnline: Gauthier Biomedical partners, not just supplies customers
In July 2012, Gauthier Biomedical moved its offices and factory to a $10 million, 80,000-square-foot building in Grafton. The company has invested $8 million in equipment, including more than $4 million in the past two years. It now employs more than 80 people, with plans to hire an additional 25 this year. That growth came by reinvesting profits and without money from outside investors.


JSOnline: PKWare takes radical path with new development
PKWare is a case study in the ideas of influential business thinker Clayton Christensen, whose theories on why successful companies find it difficult to embrace radical innovation have been hailed by such tech luminaries as Steve Jobs and former Intel Corp. CEO Andy Grove.


Tech Council's Still interview for Visionary Talk Radio show
Click here to listen to an Oct. 15 interview with Tech Council President Tom Still on Visionary Talk Radio, in which he discusses the role of the Tech Council, the role of higher education in innovation, and attributes of successful entrepreneurs.


JSOnline: Looking for fish? Check the algorithms
A technology-focused startup company in Madison traces its roots to a really bad fishing trip. Strategic Fishing Systems LLC was formed in 2007 by three guys who describe themselves as "avid outdoorsmen who are passionate about technology." Strategic Fishing Systems won the 2012 Governor's Business Plan Contest in the information technology category.


JSOnline: U.P. power line proposed
American Transmission Co. asked Michigan state regulators to approve a more than $100 million project designed to shore up the reliability of the power grid in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Daily Cardinal: WARF instrumental patent attorney dies Friday
Howard Bremer, a patent attorney who helped develop the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s influence in the worlds of research and innovation, died Oct. 11, according to a news release.


JSOnline: Wisconsin seeks to export more products to Middle East

Wisconsin companies exported more than $1 billion worth of products to the Middle East last year, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is taking steps to increase that amount.


UW Regents’ economic growth chair addresses Tech Council board
UW Regent Tim Higgins, chair of the board's Research, Economic Development and Innovation Committee, addressed the Wisconsin Technology Council board of directors on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Neenah. The meeting was hosted by Plexus Corp.. View Higgins' remarks, as well as the UW System's strategic plan surrounding economic development, here.

 News, events and opportunities
Sheraton, Madison
November 26

Crowne Plaza, Wauwatosa
December 12

6th Annual Wisconsin Sustainable Business Conference
Lands' End Headquarters, Dodgeville
December 13

 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
BMO Harris
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Morgridge Institute
Quarles & Brady 

Individual Members
Dennis Barnum
Scott Dicks
Bill Dougan
Scott Fulton
Egor Korneev
Colum MacCarthy
Mike Mathews
Jim Van Pelt
Jay Wigdale
Ron Zhu

 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 Molly Lahr, WIN director, 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
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