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March 31, 2020

Dear readers,

We continue to be amazed and humbled the efforts by many Tech Council members and affiliates as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in ways that help people in Wisconsin and beyond. From major companies such as Promega, Epic, Exact Sciences and GE Healthcare to emerging companies such as Midwest Prototyping, Partita, Red Fox AI and many more, the innovation effort is nothing short of impressive.

Consider today’s guest column by Buckley Brinkman, the head of the Wisconsin Center on Manufacturing and Productivity, with whom we’ve worked to discuss supply-chain issues. Or the launching of the “Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talent” website by Scott Resnick of Hardin Design and others, also below. Examine our links from members and partners who are offering timely professional service advice. Keep it coming, everyone; we’ll get to the other side of this crisis much faster and better.       

Only a few "seats" remain open …

“Crossing the coronavirus chasm: Tips from investors for the COVID-19 era” 
Individuals + corporate members of the Technology Council may register today for a 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 1 online webinar with two of the state's veteran early stage investors; Tim Keane of the Golden Angels Network and John Neis of Venture Investors. Keane and Neis will talk about what leaders of emerging companies should know as they look to complete term sheets already in the pipeline, seek follow-on funding and when (or if) to pursue and initial round of financing in today's climate.

There are limited "seats" for the Zoom webinar. Current members of the Tech Council and its programs, the Tech Council Innovation Network and the Tech Council Investor Networks, may email to reserve a spot. Meeting log-in credentials and other guidelines for the hour-long session will be sent prior to the event.


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?


Tom Still, president

  • 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.
  • 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, and is offering low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) 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.
  • COMPTIA offers eight cybersecurity tips for working remotely
  • (new) “Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talentproject to help those displaced from jobs and employers now hiring

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talent: The goal of this website is to connect job seekers with companies hiring now.

If you are hiring, please take a few minutes and upload your opportunities here. Also, please consider looking at a local candidate who is in search of work. You can view candidates by using the password: WIJOBSThis includes early stage startups, larger startups, and corporate innovation teams. 

If you are reducing staff, please consider sharing this page with your team members. The goal will be to ensure as smooth of a transition as possible for those who are now facing economic challenges. 

If you are a venture fund, please consider sharing this with your portfolio companies that are either hiring or reducing staff. 

Tech Council members may also continue to use:  to post positions they may have open. Please email Angela Schlobohm at to get your opening posted on our website. 

 COVID startup talent

GUEST COLUMN: Don’t waste a crisis!
All of us started by making sure our loved ones and those close to us were safe and as healthy as possible. My journey continues by helping the state find personal protective equipment (PPE), while staying connected to my peers across the country to discover how we can collectively overcome common obstacles. I'm learning a great deal from engaging around this cataclysm.

Once again, we'e learning to the vital role our manufacturing base plays in our resilience and ability to maintain a strong economy in the face of a health emergency. Our current demands put tremendous stress on the system, exposing its strengths and weaknesses.

Tech Council member Buckley Brinkman is the Executive Director/CEO at Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity. Click here to read the full column.

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Move to online schools offers students chance to enter ‘Wisconsin YES!’ business plan contest
The closing of schools across Wisconsin due to the COVID-19 epidemic means teachers and students will pursue instruction opportunities online in the coming weeks. One useful tool readily available for middle- and high-school students is the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, or Wisconsin YES!, contest. 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. This free, statewide youth business plan contest is modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest. It is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. April 13, 2020. The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through
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Channel3000: ‘We just want to do our part’: Exact Sciences begins COVID-19 testing
Gov. Evers requests Presidential Disaster Declaration in response to COVID-19 pandemic
Wisconsin State Journal: UW-Madison braces for estimated $100 million loss because of COVID-19 pandemic
WisconsinEye: Sec. Frostman responded to questions regarding the Wisconsin unemployment insurance situation
Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin launches child care portal; warn COVID-19 crisis could 'decimate' strained system
The Wisconsin Paper Council thanks ND Paper for generous donations to fight COVID-19 in Wisconsin
WKOW: BioForward Wisconsin donates personal protective equipment to eight Madison agencies
Release: Johnson & Johnson announces commitment to supply 1 billion vaccines worldwide for emergency pandemic use
CNBC: Abbott Labs CEO on new coronavirus test launches: ‘There’s a need for more’
WisBusiness: Hotel and lodging group CEO seeing ‘devastation’ in the industry

Click here to view THE SHOW archives


Release: After a successful launch, StartingBlock announces search for next executive director


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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!

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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.
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