WAN evestor
 In This Issue
VC data reports show WI growth
WAN director transitions to HealthX
White Papers released
MKE fund outline investment climate
Gains exemption can help angels
Forward Health closes $5.7M
BrightStar invests $1M more
3 selected to manage VC funds
Deals, acquisitions and news
Join now to become a WAN member
Upcoming events                    
 Did You Know?
Wisconsin saw a huge jump in investments in healthcare deals in 2014, according to the BioEnterprise Midwest Healthcare Growth Capital Report. The 27 deals with a total of nearly $188 million was an increase of more than 350 percent from last year's total. Only $17 million was reported for seven deals that year. 
 Become a WAN Member
Your $750 WAN membership also includes a membership to the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN). This "dual" membership is a $500 value included at no additional cost to you.

Your WIN membership entitles you to one free pass to both major conferences (Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference and Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular WIN events in Madison, Milwaukee, Appleton, Central Wisconsin, Western Wisconsin and the Lake Superior regions.

For more information on WAN memberships, call
608-442-7557 or
click here to join.
 WAN Leadership
Advisory Committee
Tim Keane (Chair)
Golden Angels Network
Lisa Johnson
Wis. Economic Development Corp.
Dick Leinenkugel
Northwoods Angels
Thomas Shannon
Shamrock / BrightStar Foundation
Tom Still
Wisconsin Technology Council
Andy Shrago

Wisconsin Investment Partners
David Ward
Angels on the Water

Emeritus: Lorrie Keating Heinemann, co-founder

Dan Blake
 'WisBusiness: The Show'
The latest episode features WEDC's Katy Sinnott discussing the international ties Wisconsin is working to create.

Previous Shows:
Joe Kremer, Isomark
Ophir Ben-Yitschak, Scopia Technologies
Wisconsin Innovation Index
Are you involved in Wisconsin's growing tech scene? Do you want to get more notice among startups, investors and others who work with innovators in the state? If so, the recently released Innovation Index map of tech assets in Wisconsin could be for you. The Wisconsin Technology Council produced the statewide map in partnership with American Family Insurance.

If you would like to purchase a copy for your office, or to find out how your organization can be listed, contact WIN Director Maurice Cheeks at 608-442-7557.
Wisconsin Technology   Council
The Wisconsin Angel Network is a program of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Join the Tech Council's mailing list to stay up-to-date on news, events, programs and more!

Other quick links:
Wisconsin Innovation Network
Tech Council Newsroom
Inside Wisconsin by Tom Still
 Newsletter Sponsors


                                                                                                    January 2015

Venture capital data reports show growth in Wisconsin

 NVCA logo

Several recent year-end reports showed growth in venture capital investment for Wisconsin companies in 2014, including a large jump in the number of state health care companies that were able to close deals during the year.

Wisconsin companies raised $86.8 million in venture capital in 2014, a small portion of the more than $48 billion raised across the U.S., according to survey data from the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association. 

Twenty-eight Wisconsin companies raised money in 2014, the highest number of state companies to land investment in more than two decades, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Eighteen companies received investment in 2013.

Meanwhile, a new report from Cleveland-based BioEnterprise tracked additional types of
funding (not just venture capital) and found 27 Wisconsin companies landing more than $187 million in funding. Wisconsin beat out many other Midwest states in number of deals and total investments, and had the largest deal reported in the Midwest, with Shine Medical Technologies landing $125 million in debt and equity financing.
WAN Director to transition to role with Madison venture fund
Dan Blake, director of the Wisconsin Angel Network since 2013, will be transitioning out of the Tech Council to join HealthX Ventures, a new Madison-based venture fund focused on digital health startups.


Blake, whose previous experience includes working at Epic Systems in Verona and also a number of years as a web journalist and political reporter at the Chicago Tribune, will continue to support the Wisconsin Angel Network until his replacement is identified. If you are interested in learning more about WAN or HealthX Ventures, Blake can be reached here or at dblake@wisconsinangelnetwork.com.

2015 White Papers released to legislature, Gov's office

The Wisconsin Technology Council unveiled its "2015 White Papers" report this week, offering policy recommendations to the State Legislature and the Governor's Office on programs that can better Wisconsin's technology and innovation economy.


The publication, which was created in consultation with the non-profit's 50-plus member board of directors that represent different sectors and parts of the state, will be distributed to state policymakers and other state leaders next week. For those interested in the publication, keep your eye on the Tech Council's website where the publication can be downloaded soon.

Diverse mix of judges to screen entries for 2015 Biz Plan Contest
About 80 judges have volunteered to judge entries in the 2015 Governor’s Business Plan Contest, a field that includes judges from a cross-section of disciplines that help define Wisconsin’s startup culture. Contestants have until 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, to enter their 250-word business ideas at www.govsbizplancontest.com.

Want to learn more? Hear from past finalists and winners on how the contest helped their businesses and why they would recommend it to others in a short video here. Also read Tom Still's recent column for more reasons to enter this year's competition.  

Milwaukee angel fund outlines investment climate

A manager of the Wisconsin Super Angel Fund, a $9 million fund based in Milwaukee, said the state's largest city has a growing number of startups worthy of funding, but raising money for both funds and companies can still be challenging in what he sees as a risk-averse environment.

"I can't tell you how hard it is to raise money," WSAF General Partner Tom Schuster told a recent Wisconsin Innovation Network meeting in Wauwatosa. "It's not only hard to gather the funds, it's hard to make a deal."

The fund has invested in six companies in Milwaukee, Madison and central Wisconsin, which cover sectors ranging from software to battery technology, and from machine tools to cranberries.

Angels: 100% exclusion of gains now law for 2014 investments

 ACA logo

The recent passage of the Tax Increase Prevention Act included a 100 percent exemption for gains made in Qualified Small Business Stock, a benefit Wisconsin angel investors may be able to apply to some of their investments, depending on criteria and limitations.


The Angel Capital Association posted more detail on the new law on the ACA's Angel Insights blog here.

Madison health-tech firm raises $5.7 million

Forward Health Group, a health data software management company based in Madison, recently announced that it had closed a $5.7 million round, led by Triple Tree Ventures, a venture fund based in Minnesota. Other investors included Madison angel group, Wisconsin Investment Partners, and BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, a venture philanthropy fund.


FHG was also recently designated a "High Performing" vendor in a new report by KLAS, a leading health care research company. Read more about the company here.

BrightStar invests $1 million into 5 more startups

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc. announced that it has invested a total of $1 million infive additional companies: Dairyvative Technologies LLC, Shine Medical Technologies Inc., Fetch Rewards Inc., Medical Companion LLC (doing business as mPirik), and Keystone Insights Inc. (doing business as Project Foundry).

The non-profit invested a little more than $2 million into 14 companies across Wisconsin in 2014. The organization also brought in an additional $1.85 million in donations, bringing the total amount to $7.85 million. Read more.

Kegonsa, MDC and NEW selected as VC managers
Three state-based groups have been chosen by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to invest a total of $4 million in venture capital, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The groups chosen were: Madison Development Corporation, Madison, $1.5 million; Kegonsa Capital Partners, Madison, $1.5 million; and NEW Capital, Appleton, $1 million.  The groups are required to raise a minimum of $4 for every $1 WHEDA provides. Read more about the new funds.
Deals, acquisitions and news
SHINE Medical Technologies and Phoenix Nuclear Labs (PNL) announced an exclusive, long-term development and supply agreement. News release

Okanjo, a Milwaukee advertising and e-commerce firm, closed a $1.7 million funding round made up of equity and debt. Investors were undisclosed. News release

Ebullient, a Madison company started by a UW-Madison professor, has raised nearly $1 million in convertible debt from investors in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Xconomy

Lucigen, a Madison company devising a speedy test for the Ebola virus, raised $2 million from individual investors. Wisconsin State Journal

Wellbe, a Madison company developing a web-based patient coordination software, announced that it had closed a $2.4 million funding round. Investors included Terrence Gibbons, former CEO of Pharmacy OneSource; Greg Baldwin, former CEO of Baxa; Mark Bakken, former CEO of Nordic; and Philip Seeger, CEO and President of Medcor, among others. News release

Semba Biosciences, a Madison supplier of scientific instruments and chemical substances for researchers, has raised more than $500,000 from investors, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

BCI Burke Holding Corp., a Fond du Lac maker of playground equipment, has raised $22.5 million from seven investors, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Wisconsin Angel Network membership opportunities
The Wisconsin Angel Network (WAN) is the Tech Council's link to an investor community that supports Wisconsin entrepreneurs. A $750 annual WAN membership includes a dual membership to the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN), the Tech Council's membership subsidiary - a community-based economic development organization dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

A WAN membership entitles you to one free pass to both major conferences (Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference and the Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular events around the state, such as the recent Investors' Edge programs at Lambeau Field in Green Bay or early stage investing workshops held in Madison, Appleton and Platteville. A membership also makes you part of an association of angel investors, venture capital groups and other private equity professionals from around Wisconsin and the Midwest. ​

Click here to fill out an online application to become a new member or renew your current membership!
 Upcoming Events

Entry deadline for Governor's Biz Plan Contest


5 p.m. Jan. 31



UWM Innovation Accelerator, Wauwatosa

Feb. 12

Wisconsin Tech Summit
GE Healthcare Institute, Waukesha
March 23 (more details to come at www.wistechsummit.com)


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