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December 3, 2020

Dear readers, 

The face of early stage investing in Wisconsin is changing, perhaps slowly but surely. The Tech Council held a webinar in mid-October on how minority-led funds can boost return on investment while finding deals that might otherwise go overlooked. On Dec. 2, we held a webinar on the increasing role of women in the early stage investment community.

Please read my latest “Inside Wisconsin” column here.

Also, WisBusiness: Wisconsin women in investing space making strides, but still more work to be done

While Wisconsin remains in the grip of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Tech Council and an affiliated group, the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum, were early members of the “Stop the Spread Coalition.” Please read more about the work of that group below.


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?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for helping to build a stronger Wisconsin!

Tom Still, president

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


New "WisBusiness: The Show" featuring Christopher Johnson of new drone photography company Mappix, who recently secured the Early Stage Symposium’s “People’s Choice Award” for best presentation at the Elevator Pitch Olympics.

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.

 Johnson, Chris 050917

Winnow Fund forges partnership with Concordia University: Fund manager will be university’s venture capitalist in residence

The Winnow Fund, a woman-led, seed-stage venture capital fund has begun a unique partnership with Concordia University Wisconsin.  Through the partnership, Concordia will provide the Winnow Fund with access to a pipeline of potential startups and the Fund will bring experienced mentoring, networking opportunities, and potential investments to the university’s entrepreneur students.

Click here to read the full release.


The Tech Council is one of about 50 groups taking part in the “Stop the Spread” coalition, which is a private-sector effort to do precisely what the name suggests: Encourage people to take common-sense steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please watch a video by Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor and federal Health and Human Services secretary.

The Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers recently joined the coalition as well. Watch a video featuring Packer players hereOn Wisconsin!

Watch the newest PSA here. Thank you for doing your part!


Please read the UW-Madison LSC student stories listed below stemming from Early Stage Symposium companies:

  • Mappix creating a social network for drone imagery
  • AirDeck helps create on-demand business presentations during COVID-19
  • C-Motive Technologies is reshaping electric motors and generators
  • Qobotix tackles the automated challenges facing manufacturers
  • Don’t worry, ‘Twi’ happy: Find anxiety relief with vitamin-fortified Satori drinks
  • CarePool lowers rural transit barriers for elderly, disabled
  • Is a truly wireless future closer than we think? Eau Claire company thinks so [UpStream AV]
  • SmarTrac can help alleviate shortage of physical therapists
  • Boosted Chews hopes to boost its reach into the caffeine market
  • Talent Bandit hopes to ‘steal’ its share of the staffing market
  • Estrigenix Therapeutics develops hot flash treatment for menopausal women that minimizes cancer risk



2020 Wisconsin Portfolio now available!

In terms of investment dollars, 2019 was another successful year for the early stage community in the state. At least 123 Wisconsin early stage companies raised more than $450 million in investment capital in 2019, eclipsing the $400 million mark for the first time in a single calendar year in Wisconsin.

This publication also features:

• A profile on Jan Eddy, the 2019 inductee into the Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame
• New charts and graphs
• Policy highlights and updates
• A primer on early stage investing in Wisconsin
• A column by Tom Still about the state’s investment community during COVID-19
• A resource guide

Click here for a downloadable copy.


2020 Portfolio-Cover


  • WEDC: Additional funds added to grant program for small businesses
  • UW-Oshkosh: Wisconsin businesses wrestle with making operational changes, UWO COVID-19 impact survey shows
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Assembly Republicans unveil COVID-19 legislation as Gov. Tony Evers urges quick action
  • CapTimes: Madison area businesses eager to rebuild confidence, survey finds
  • WISN: DWD head hopes to clear backlog of unemployment cases in next few weeks
  • WisBusiness: New report outlines rural Wisconsin’s economic challenges, opportunities
  • STAT: Every state needs emergency regulations to protect essential food workers
  • Leader Telegram: Nestlé pouring $50 million into Eau Claire factory
  • WPR: Paper Company's 'pause' on mill sale leaves laid-off workers in limbo
  • NYTimes: Pandemic threatens to leave a legacy of deeper inequality, Fed officials warn
  • Wisconsin State Journal: $10 million initiative seeks to boost farmers, economy and environment with grazing
  • UpNorthNews: COVID-19 killing small businesses, restaurant, taverns - They need a financial boost
  • WisBusiness: Midwest ski resorts planning for upcoming busy (COVID) season
  • UpNorthNews: Apparently Foxconn will be making Google server parts in Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Foxconn not expected to receive state tax credits over next 3 years
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Illinois health care packaging company HQ to bring 300 jobs to Pleasant Prairie
  • NBC: Bipartisan group in Congress pushes $908 billion COVID-19 relief bill
  • WAOW: Wisconsin Restaurant Association launches “Ready to Serve Safely” campaign


  • UpNorthNews: How these Brown County high schoolers invented a non-invasive ventilator
  • Guardian: DeepMind AI cracks 50-year-old problem of protein folding
  • InBusiness: Three area companies named finalist for Governor’s Awards
  • Entrepreneur: How regulatory frameworks drive technological innovations
  • StateScoop: With Pai's departure, FCC likely to restore net neutrality, strengthen municipal broadband
  • WisconsinINNO: SoFresh wins $500,000 at business competition for innovative food, agriculture technology startups
  • Release: VibeTech sales force poised for market entry in early 2021
  • Insight: TitletownTech provides a ‘step change’ for startups
  • TheWeek: What the coronavirus vaccine shows about the potential for innovation
  • STAT: The U.S. must support access to care and incentives for the innovation that transforms it
  • Popular Science: The 100 greatest innovations of 2020
  • WisBar: Joe Boucher receives distinguished service award
  • Forbes: Innovation in isolation: Five tips to learn from forward-thinking entrepreneurs
  • Guardian: [Podcast] How COVID-19 vaccines lead to immunity
  • Insight: Turning Green Bay into a hub for startups
  • StateScoop: How cities rediscovered data and digitalization in 2020
  • Guardian: Coding the future: The tech kids solving life’s problems


  • Inside Wisconsin: Removing 'weirdness' from being a female early stage investor
  • Release: AirDeck raises $3.4 million for seed round funding
  • A Q&A with HealthX partner, investor Taha Jangda
  • WisBusiness: Dept. of Natural Resources: Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund reaches $1 million
  • ChicagoINNO: This is Midwest investors evaluate early-stage consumer app startups
  • BizWomen: At-home health tests startup Everlywell raises $175 million in funding
  • Forbes: 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital 2021: Meet the young investors spotting tech’s next breakouts
  • Crunchbase: COVID-19 puts supply tech investing under the spotlight
  • Dow Futures soar 330 points; vaccines hope extends rally
  • Business Insider: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced more than $35 billion of investments last quarter


  • Fox: Vaccine should go to health care workers, long term care facilities first, CDC panel recommends
  • Wisconsin State Journal: As COVID-19 vaccine nears, Wisconsin looks at how to divvy up first doses
  • CDC: What you need to know about how COVID-19 vaccine recommendations in the U.S. are made
  • STAT: What the biopharma industry is doing to build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines
  • WSAW: A look inside a COVID unit at University Hospital
  • Wisconsin Alumni Association: R. Alta Charo, James Conway and Jonathan Temte discuss the vaccines
  • WSJ: For COVID-19 long-haulers, a little-known diagnosis offers treatments—and challenges
  • NBC: Ambulance companies at 'a breaking point' after receiving little COVID aid
  • UpNorthNews: Wisconsin’s National Guard has been the backbone of the state’s testing operation
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: As COVID cases mount in Wisconsin, close to 2,300 workplaces investigated for outbreaks
  • NBC: Anti-vaccination groups grow louder amid COVID vaccine news


  • GB Press Gazette: Wausau cardiologist: America's obesity epidemic is worsening COVID-19 pandemic
  • Pioneer: Wisconsin set to distribute vaccines, help small businesses
  • LinkedIn: Increase your emotional intelligence to boost connection, confidence and well-being
  • Epic: From idea to reality: A new patient-designed MyChart experience
  • Wisconsin Health News: Uncompensated care increased at Wisconsin hospitals in FY 2019
  • InBusiness: MadREP’s annual diversity survey reveals incremental progress along the long road to equity
  • WDJT: New trial at Medical College of Wisconsin focuses on COVID-19 patients recovering at home
  • WTMJ: Medical College of Wisconsin joins effort to research treatment for COVID-19 patients
  • GLBRC: Genetic modification of bioenergy producing microbes made easier with web-based CRISpy-pop
  • GB Press Gazette: For 60 years, underreporting has plagued the FDA system for tracking drug side effects
  • Northwestern Mutual: 30% of Americans say COVID-19 has changed the age at which they plan to retire


  • GB Press Gazette: Microsoft, gener8tor will offer job skills program to more locations nationally after success of northeastern Wisconsin pilot
  • Pioneer: 'Engagement is critical': Districts see mixed results with virtual learning
  • WSJ: College-loan debt hits parents hard during pandemic
  • CapTimes: UW-Madison’s Luis Columna brings exercise to children with autism virtually
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Madison School Board president Gloria Reyes not seeking reelection
  • OnMilwaukee: New rapid result COVID test at UW-Milwaukee is quick, free and efficient
  • Wisconsin State Journal: UW-Madison has a new cutting-edge home for sausage, bacon, steak and innovation
  • OnWisconsin: Student teaching during COVID takes creativity to provide a workplace-experience course

 CoVID-19 news graphic

Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

WARF presents Stories of Innovation: What Happens After Disclosing Your Invention to WARF? Campus researchers share their stories of key steps in the technology commercialization process, plus highlights of this year’s breakout inventions on Tuesday, Dec. 8

Edible-Alpha LIVE! is a one-day virtual event will showcase national leaders in the food and ag industry for podcast interviews and up-and-coming entrepreneurs for early look presentations focused on impact investing and innovation, taking place Wednesday, Dec. 9

WEDC is offering virtual
Marketplace 2020: The Governor's Conference on Diverse Business Development offers training, education, networking and mentoring opportunities to Wisconsin small business owners, with particular attention to challenges faced by minority, woman, veteran and LGBTQ entrepreneurs on Tuesday, Dec. 8 – Thursday, Dec. 10

Join CTC (Center for Technology Commercialization) for a discussion with Anne Smith and Nathan Hammons, Directors of the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinics at UW-Madison Law School and Marquette University on Thursday, Dec. 10

 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

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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