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March 11, 2021

Dear readers, 

In honor of Women’s History Month, we created a quiz that showcases a few of the many women in Wisconsin history who left a mark in business, entrepreneurism, tech and medicine. We have a $25 gift card to your favorite coffeeshop if you’re our winner! We’ll pick a random winner from the top scores. Take the 12-question quiz here. Note: You may need a little research to find the answers, but that’s part of the fun!

There is still time to register for the virtual March 17 Tech Summit.  Read more about our speakers and panelists below, as well as our Top 10 reasons to attend. Former Google Ventures partner Tracie Rotter is a keynote speaker; experts in our four “Office Hours” segments will offer valuable advice; and we’ll hear from digital health experts from the Mayo Clinic, the Marshfield Clinic and software leader PDS.

Coming soon:

April 1: An insightful webinar is around the corner featuring UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone on the future and value of Wisconsin’s public research universities. Scott Button, a principal at Venture Investors LLC, will speak about investments in campus-based research.  

Also, please read my latest Inside Wisconsin column, focused this week on improvements to the Wisconsin startup ecosystem.

As always, please check out our upcoming events, news and updates

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» NEWplease click here to update your subscription preferences for Tech Council communications!

Wisconsin YES!
Back to business: Students have month to enter ‘Wisconsin YES!’ business plan contest online

The countdown is under way for middle- and high-school students to enter Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, a statewide youth business plan contest modeled after the successful Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. It is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. April 14, 2021.

Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through

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March Member Spotlight: Dana Guthrie

What macro goals do you have in your investing role?

My main goals are to achieve above national average returns for my investors and do so while positively impacting the entrepreneurial communities that we target. We, at Gateway, intend to do well and do good – by identifying emerging entrepreneurial geographies that lack venture capital and being the first institutional dollar into young startups in those areas. In Wisconsin, the largest of which is Milwaukee County.

Click here to read more about Guthrie and our other members.

Guthrie 2021 

Wisconsin Tech Summit: General admission registration open! 

>> NEW Countdown! Top 10 reasons to check out the upcoming March 17 Tech Summit
Our virtual ‘offices’ will be open for advice to businesses during March 17 Tech Summit
Healthcare IT experts to discuss digital health at virtual March 17 Tech Summit
Former Google Ventures partner to headline virtual March 17 Tech Summit

Next week: The day-long event will be held Wednesday, March 17, 2021 virtually via Meeting Mojo and on vFairs.
More information and
full agenda with speakers can be found at

The Tech Summit will feature a series of brief meetings, or “speed dates,” to foster communication and partnership. It is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum.

22 participating major firms thus far: 3M, Advocate Aurora Research Institute, American Family Insurance, AT&T, Dedicated Computing, EUA, Exact Sciences, Findorff, Froedtert Health, Georgia-Pacific, J.P. Morgan, Johnson Controls, Kimberly-Clark, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mead & Hunt, Northwestern Mutual, PDS, Promega, Rockwell Automation, Schreiber Foods, Titletown Tech, and WIPFLi.

Click here to learn more and register!

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>> NEW "WisBusiness: The Show"

The latest episode of “ The Show” spotlights Missy Hughes, secretary and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. She outlines state budget plans to invest in a venture capital fund and to assist small businesses statewide.

Also, Tom Still gives a primer on the state budget process and updates the 2021 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. He’ll also preview upcoming Tech Council webinars and conferences, including: 

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.


Governor’s Business Plan update: On to Round 2!

>> NEW: HNGNews: Sun Prairie-based Ventris Learning among Governor’s BPC semi-finalists
>> ICYMI: From Denmark to DeForest, 55 entries advance in 2021 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest

Fifty-five entries from 31 communities have advanced to the semi-final round of the 18th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, contest producers announced.

The contestants were selected from a field of more than 250 qualified first-round entries by an independent panel of almost 80 judges organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, the Tech Council Innovation Network and the Tech Council Investor Networks.

The semi-finalists are spread among four broad categories: advanced manufacturing (13), business services (15), information technology (14) and life sciences (13).

How can you help? More offers of prizes, both cash and “service” prizes, are needed and welcome. You can help the finalists by chipping in; all cash goes directly to contestants who reach the final stages in June.
Contact Tammy Ehrmann:

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Track news/developments on Gov. Tony Evers’ fund-of-funds proposal

  • Read the Tech Council’s 2021 “white papers” report for background on the fund-of-funds proposal. 
  • >> Read an updated FAQ on the $100-million “Wisconsin Fund.”
  • The “2021-23 Budget in Brief” is a summary of Gov. Tony Evers 2021-2023 budget proposal, which includes a $100-million venture capital “fund of funds” plan as well as other initiatives to spur economic growth.  The document summarizes budget proposals across the board in state government and will be subject to legislative review and approval. The next fiscal year begins July 1. Read the 2021-23 Budget in Brief.
  • Also, read news articles and Tom’s InsideWis columns that follow the progress of the $100-million fund.

Click here to access the page.

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Department of Health Services update

Wisconsin continues to be a leader in the nation for vaccine distribution: 2,140,265 doses have been allocated with 1,837,885 administered. Nearly 20% have received at least one dose, while 11.1% have completed their vaccine series.

Helpful links:

The State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee’s (SDMAC) Vaccine Distribution Subcommittee is responsible for making distribution decisions. SDMAC holds public meetings and anyone can submit public comments. You can find information about the SDMAC here. To register for the DHS weekly newsletter, click here.




  • Charter Communications launches new multiyear, multibillion-dollar initiative to expand broadband availability
  • BizTimes MKE: Snap-on acquires Canadian software company in $200 million deal
  • TechRepublic: Female tech titans on how to thrive in the enterprise and beyond
  • IB Magazine: Madison Development Corp.’s Venture Debt Fund gives $1.6 million in loans help local tech companies
  • BizWomen: Women gig workers are earning 10% less than men. Here’s why, according to researchers
  • WisBusiness: Women in the workforce need support as the pandemic continues
  • MKE Business Journal: The latest Covid-19 relief bill is set to become law. Here's everything for small businesses
  • WisBusiness: The Podcast features CROWE Director Noah Williams
  • The Information: 12 charts that show how tech took off during a year of shutdowns
  • CUTimes: CUNA Mutual Group sets $1.3 billion acquisition agreement in motion
  • Journal Sentinel: Stella & Chewy's will expand its Oak Creek HQ, $67.7 million project will add 245 jobs.


  • WEDC awards 13 grants to support entrepreneurship programs throughout Wisconsin
  • TechRepublic: How the COVID crisis has created a new avenue for entrepreneurs: Becoming their own bosses
  • MKE Business Journal: WEDC's Seyoum Mengesha cultivates businesses and entrepreneurs statewide
  • WisconsinInno: Milwaukee, Madison drop toward bottom of ranking of best cities for women in tech
  • Merlin Mentors seeks applications from entrepreneurs for its mentorship program
  • UW-Madison: Entrepreneurial spirit ‘boosts’ undergrad Kit Chow’s prospects
  • Venture Capital Journal: Why the ideal entrepreneur may not be young, white and male
  • MKE Business Journal: The winners of the inaugural MBJ Tech Awards are announced
  • Release: gener8tor and Georgia-Pacific team up in northeast Wisconsin to accelerate consumer goods innovation
  • Roll Call: Entrepreneurship can help lead us out of our current crisis, from NVCA CEO


  • TitletownTech leads investment in Springbok Analytics, a healthcare tech company using AI
  • Patch: Wisconsin’s Hug Sleep founder, MSOE grad, return to Shark Tank in rare ‘same season’ follow-up
  • TechCrunch: Investors discuss alt-financing and the role of venture capital
  • Crunchbase: VCs invest near-record $35 billion in startups, minting 22 new unicorns
  • St. Louis Business Journal: Lewis & Clark Ventures raises $50M for new investment fund
  • BizWomen: Startups, investors increasingly connect via Apple’s Clubhouse app
  • Crunchbase: Refugee Maria Salamanca, partner at Unshackled Ventures, specializes in immigrant founders


  • CDC issues new guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinated population on March 8
  • MKE Business Journal: Medical College's Dr. Raymond is upbeat on Wisconsin's pandemic prognosis
  • WisBusiness: WHA expressed confidence COVID-19 won’t cause a spike in penalties for Wisconsin hospitals
  • BizWomen: Women more likely than men to delay medical care during pandemic
  • Channel3000: Vaccinators play 'wait-and-see game', scheduling appointments based on supply estimates
  • UW-Madison: UW Health’s healthcare heroes have stepped up
  • WisconsinEye: [Video] Pandemic disproportionately affects women in the workforce
  • SafeLiving101: Doctors, personal trainers share the safe way to return to exercise after COVID-19
  • Healthline: COVID-19 concerns grow over restriction relaxation


  • WPR: Meet Lawrence University's new president, Laurie Carter
  • UW-Madison: Chancellor Blank announces a new initiative to raise funds for diversity efforts
  • Madison365: One City Schools prepares for 3rd and 4th grade expansion, open enrollment
  • EdWeek: Strategies for teaching students online & face to face at the same time
  • UrbanMKE: Milwaukee non-profit combines STEM and art instruction, worked with 40 schools last year
  • News8000: UW-La Crosse looking to become global leader in freshwater science
  • UW-Madison: ‘Can’t stop a Badger’ campaign highlights hard-working, innovative Badgers tackling today’s issues

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** Current listings this week include opportunities at ATC, WHEDA, CHIME, WARF, KW2, Tesla,
Affiliated Engineers, UW Health, Neugen, von Briesen & Roper and FIndorff.

Current members are encouraged to email their open opportunities to for inclusion.

Help us stay on top of events for our readers!
Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

Milwaukee Business Journal is hosting their Virtual Power Breakfast featuring Bill Westrate, CEO-elect of American Family Insurance on Friday, March 12. American Family Insurance CEO-elect Bill Westrate will give an update on the impact of the pandemic on the company, along with his plans for the firm's growth as he succeeds current CEO Jack Salzwedel.

Milwaukee Magazine presents Women and Entrepreneurship webinar on Tuesday, March 16, featuring Chris Zajdel of Skiin, Anne Zizzo of The Zizzo Group, and special guest Missy Hughes, CEO of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Greater Green Bay Chamber presents Trends and Forecast: Talent webinar on Tuesday, March 16 featuring panelists from Emsi, LinkedIn and Breakthrough. This series deep dives into a specific influential topic in economic development and seeks to understand causality in current trends and then project forward what the economy can expect.

Godfrey & Kahn
presents Clean Energy Business Opportunities panel on Thursday, March 18 as they discuss how emerging environmental technology and policies may impact your business. Topics include Energy Act of 2020; recommendations for Wisconsin's clean energy future; recommendations from Governor Evers' Task Force on Climate change; and existing and future federal clean energy initiatives and resources.

Connected Systems Institute offers Understanding the Traditional White Male Culture & Steps You Can Take to Create an Inclusive Environment on Thursday, March 18. This session is especially designed for senior executives who are in charge of developing and managing diverse teams. Concepts of addressing confirmation bias and other issues that impact team interaction will be explored.

Gov. Evers to host “Badger Bounceback Live Session” on Economic Recovery & Opportunity on Thursday, March 18. The session will cover topics such as ensuring our economy can recover and bounce back from this pandemic, including investing in and support small businesses, kickstarting innovation and startups, ensuring tax fairness and providing tax relief for Wisconsin’s working families, and investing in our agricultural economy and rural prosperity.

American Family’s Dreambank celebrates Women’s History Month with a webinar featuring Robin Roberts and AmFam’s COO Telisa Yancy on Thursday, March 18. Join in as they share their perspectives on staying committed to your dreams, overcoming obstacles, remaining true to yourself and blazing trails that illuminate the path for others.

WSJ Health Forum happens on Tuesday, March 23. Join the editors as they convene business leaders, policy makers, scientists and other experts to explore a range of issues at the center of international conversations in 2021—including the race to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to develop and deploy tests, treatments and vaccines.

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Tech Council Innovation
Tech Council Innovation Network membership:
Experience for yourself why the Innovation Network has been a Tech Council tradition for over a decade. With more than two dozen events annually, you'll expand your network while learning from top-notch speakers. When you become a member, your membership applies to all chapters, statewide. With a variety of membership types to choose from, you and/or your company will be sure to find a membership that fits your business goals. Join today!

Need help finding the membership level right for you?
Please contact Angela Schlobohm, development & member
relations director: or 608-442-7557.

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Tech Council Investor Networks membership:
Your $750 Investor Networks membership entitles you to one free pass to our two major conferences (Entrepreneurs' Conference and Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular Tech Council Innovation Network events.
Please reach out to interim director Joe Kremer at
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