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October 1, 2020

Dear readers: 

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has launched the “We’re All Innovating Contest” to highlight the efforts of small businesses statewide – and across all for-profit sectors – in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The contest will culminate with cash awards, financed through a total of $3 million in federal CARES Act money, spread among nearly 200 companies selected through an independent judging process managed by the Wisconsin Technology Council. Go to to learn more and apply by Oct. 18! Click here to watch a recorded webinar from today on the contest. Also, please read this related news story:   

Wisconsin State Journal: WEDC to award $3 million to small businesses with COVID-19 innovations

Want to volunteer your talents as a contest judge? Email to be considered.

Also, please read my latest “Inside Wisconsin” column below.

Inside Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s growing reputation as COVID hotspot not good for business – or anyone

Registration is open for the Nov. 9-11 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, which has already attracted nearly 50 investor groups. Please register here. Review the latest press releases 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?

Thanks for helping to build a stronger Wisconsin!

Tom Still, president

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

The market case for supporting emerging and diverse investment fund managers in Wisconsin will be discussed during an Oct. 13, 10 a.m. webinar produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council.

The hour-long event will focus on how emerging managers – generally defined as smaller funds with a market cap on assets under management – and diverse managers – which are minority- or women-owned firms – may offer a strong return on investment while serving entrepreneurs who can otherwise be overlooked.

The webinar is the latest in the Tech Council Innovation Network’s continuing webinar series, “Crossing the Coronavirus Chasm.” Tech Council Innovation Network and Investor Networks members may register at no charge; the price for non-members is $20 for general admission and $10 for students and returning veterans. Click here to register. The Tech Council’s Julie Johnson will send webinar credentials prior to the event.

Panelists will include Jason Fields, founder of Dark Knight Capital in Milwaukee and a retiring member of the Wisconsin Assembly; Cory Nettles, founder of Generation Capital and one of the authors of Wisconsin’s investor tax credits law during his tenure as state Commerce Secretary; Will Martin, chief executive officer of the Badger State Opportunity Fund and a former state agency executive, and Erik Iverson, chief executive officer for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

 Screen Shot 2020-09-24 at 3.52.50 PM

New "WisBusiness: The Show" features Zerology’s Shree Kalluri.

Kalluri built Forte Research Systems into a successful bioinformatics firm before selling it and starting two more companies – Zerology and Mobile22. He also acquired Green Cab in 2020.

Please watch Kalluri’s interview on the latest edition of the Show. Also, Tom Still also previews upcoming Tech Council webinars and opportunities, such as November’s Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.

Kalluri, Shree 2020


Registration is now open for our annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium #ESSWI, to be held Nov. 9-11 on a virtual platform.

The conference will focus on increased opportunities for emerging companies and startups to meet with investors 1:1, pitch and present their companies. Our virtual exhibitor booths will be enhanced time to meet with sponsors and others. Nearly 50 investor groups have already signed on (see hyperlinked list here) with more to come.

Wisconsin ‘Creative Destruction Lab’ to be featured at 2020 Early Stage Symposium
Viral marketing pro, entrepreneur Jacques joins 2020 Early Stage Symposium line-up
Read the latest “Call for Companies” press release here.

Watch for more information to come via the Tech Council Current, press releases and social media!



  • UpNorthNews: Trump farm aid dollars meant for Wisconsin end up in Ag Secretary’s region
  • Cap Times Idea Fest: [Video] Rethinking restaurants: How COVID-19 is transforming the service industry
  • WisBusiness: The Podcast with economist Noah Williams, director of CROWE
  • Wisconsin State Journal: State expects to address outdated unemployment system in next budget
  • WPR: Some people are considering trading city life for rural Wisconsin due to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin-Minnesota passenger rail project to receive $31.8 million federal grant
  • WHEDA: CEO Altoro gains national appointment on advisory board of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus crisis threatens to set back women’s careers
  • InBusiness: Findorff weathering 2020 storm


  • WisconsinINNO: 25 under 25: Tech and startup leaders to watch
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: 'Making it happen' in new ways during the pandemic
  • The Cap Times: UW’s Badger Seal promises to make masks work better
  • WisconsinINNO: UW-Madison grad’s gaming company pivots into tech service for other small businesses
  • StateScoop: Minneapolis CIO says ‘data quilting’ can solve tough challenges
  • Fox: Walmart brings online shopping experience in stores with app-driven redesign
  • WisconsinInno: Gaming company pivots into tech service for other small businesses
  • Channel3000: Startup aims to create meaningful employment after incarceration
  • WisBusiness: Arch Electric completes state’s largest privately-owned solar system
  • WisconsinINNO: Six Wisconsin companies awarded $100,000 each in SBIR grants to commercialize inventions
  • Wall Street Journal: Women founders of AI startups take aim at gender bias


  • WisconsinINNO: Madison's 4490 Ventures leads two multimillion-dollar funding rounds
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: WEDC supports African American Chamber’s Milwaukee office development with six-figure grant
  • NVCA: VC Policy Pulse: The Volcker Rule change helps VC funds
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Madison's CMFG Ventures leads $10 milion investment round for Medicare insurance agency


  • UpNorthNews: ‘Safe to assume the virus is everywhere,’ Wisconsin’s Chief Medical Officer says
  • Post Crescent: Wisconsin coronavirus hospitalizations worry staff, who fear surge
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: All eyes are on Pfizer as Trump pushes for vaccine by October
  • CNBC: With 1 million deaths, the coronavirus has altered life as we know it
  • Wall Street Journal: Why hospitals can’t handle COVID surges: They’re flying blind
  • UpNorthNews: Conservative law firm asks judge to kill new Wisconsin mask order
  • CNBC: ‘Helpless’ doctors at start of coronavirus pandemic now have more treatments to save lives
  • WisBusiness: Exact Sciences prepares for November launch of at-home COVID-19 tests


  • CapTimes Idea Fest: Public and private efforts boost COVID-19 testing, but community should still ‘double down’ on prevention
  • The Cap Times: Wisconsin officials warn of dire COVID-19 scenario as cases spike, flu season nears
  • WPR: Evictions damage public health, CDC has banned them — for now
  • USA Today: 1 in 3 parents won't vaccinate their kids against flu, poll says
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Advocate Aurora Health declares racism a public health crisis
  • WPR: Working moms are reaching the breaking point during the pandemic
  • Fox: Cyberattack hobbles major hospital chain's U.S. facilities, staff forced to use paper records
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Some workers face looming cutoffs in health insurance
  • CNN: Belly fat linked to early death, study finds
  • BizTimes Milwaukee: Rogers Behavioral Health to open new research, resource center on Oconomowoc campus


  • Wisconsin State Journal: Failed UW System presidential search cost $216,400.90
  • Badger Herald: NCAA Board of Governors appoints UW Chancellor for four-year term
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: As more colleges refuse to accept test scores, a billion-dollar industry is thrown in flux
  • WPR: UW-Madison researchers develop COVID-19 test that uses saliva
  • Milwaukee Magazine: Local entrepreneurs and artists offering classes in their areas of expertise
  • BizTimes Milwaukee: MATC, NEWaukee partner to create gap year program
  • The Information: Six startups filling the growing need for online education

 CoVID-19 news graphic

Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

The Rotary Club of Madison West Towne-Middleton will host Tech Council president Tom Still to discuss an economic update on Friday, Oct. 2

UW-Madison Center for Healthy Minds’ virtual event series “The World We Make 2020” explores the science of well-being, features new insights from Dalai Lama from Oct. 5-9

WARF presents: Investing in Research, Making a Difference: Campus leaders headline talk on transforming UW-Madison’s innovation ecosystem on Tuesday, Oct. 6

DOD SBIR/STTR Virtual Symposium’s theme is Shaping the Future of Innovation – slated for Wednesday, Oct. 7

Quarles & Brady presents Business Valuation During COVID-19: Considerations Before and During a Bankruptcy Proceeding on Wednesday, Oct. 7

WEW presents How Women Can Take Charge of Their Mental Health During COVID-19 on Wednesday, Oct. 7

STAT presents The Future of Clinical Trials with Dr. Robert Califf of Google Health on Thursday, Oct. 8

 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

>> WisconsinEye interviews candidates for the Nov. 3 general election.
Click here to watch free on-demand.

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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