In This Issue
Tech Summit roster grows
Platteville angel meeting
Boston investors look to connect
WIN to feature 4490 manager
Renaissance sells for $1.1B
BrightStar makes first investments
ACA Summit kicks off in Washington
Drifty raises $1M
Midwest gets TechCrunch call-out
Water accelerator apps out
Phoenix Nuclear closes sale, funding
Deals, acquisitions and news
Upcoming events                    
 Did You Know?
Buffalo, N.Y. is launching what's being called the world's largest business idea competition, with $5 million offered in prizes. The contest, called "43North," will award one startup $1 million, along with free incubator space, guidance from mentors and other incentive programs.
 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 Partners
Tom Still
Wisconsin Technology Council
Brad Taylor
Wisconsin Investment Partners
David Ward
Angels on the Water

Emeritus: Lorrie Keating Heinemann, co-founder

Dan Blake
 'WisBusiness: The Show'
On the latest episode, Liz Schrum interviews Greg Robinson of the 4490 Venture Fund; Tom Still comments on science, technology, engineering and math education (or "STEM" education) in Wisconsin; and the WisBusiness.com Stock Report features the city of Green Bay and the status of mass layoffs in Wisconsin. 

Previous Show:
Steve Lyons, WGCC
Jim Morgan, WMC Foundation

 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


March 2014 
Tech Summit roster grows to 16 major companies

 Tech Summit Logo

An increasing amount of interest has grown the number of large state companies participating in the April 7 Wisconsin Tech Summit in Waukesha.

Newcomers to the annual event include: Direct Supply, Blood Center of Wisconsin and Intel. Those companies join 13 others that were already slated to meet with emerging companies during an all-day event at the GE Healthcare InstituteYou can see the list of participants with related links here.

Attendance is limited to representatives of participating major companies, selected emerging companies and event sponsors.

David Krakauer, the first permanent director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, will be the event's luncheon speaker and his presentation will focus on “The Open Generation: Open data, open science, open universities and reflections on the future of the open state.”  MaryAnn Wright, vice president of engineering and product development for Johnson Controls Inc., and UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mike Lovell are also scheduled to discuss how the partnership between their two organizations is helping JCI, the university and the broader economy through development of next-generation batteries.

Further detailed information can be found at the event website - www.wistechsummit.com. The Wisconsin Angel Network is assisting with organizing the event.
Platteville angel reception planned for Tuesday
The Wisconsin Angel Network is hosting a reception on the UW-Platteville campus on Tuesday for investors and others who work with entrepreneurs in southwest Wisconsin.

In partnership with UW-Platteville, the evening event will feature some of the latest data on angel investing in Wisconsin and across the nation. Expected attendees include Iowa investors interested in learning more about new entrepreneurial activity in Wisconsin.

If you are an investor in the region and are interested in attending, or if you would like to learn more about the Wisconsin angel investing landscape, please contact WAN Director Dan Blake at 608-442-7557 or at dblake@wisconsinangelnetwork.com.
 3 Boston investors look to build relationships in Wisconsin
Three Boston investors representing large investment firms said they are increasingly looking at opportunities in the growing cluster of healthcare IT companies in Wisconsin.

The comments came at an "Investors' Edge" event at the downtown Madison headquarters of Nordic Consulting, a firm that helps
customers optimize their installation of Epic Systems electronic health records systems. 

Yumin Choi, a partner with HLM Venture Partners said he has met with at least a dozen companies in Madison and Milwaukee since his firm invested in Nordic. The panel also included Peter Grua, another partner at HLM and Darren Black, a managing director at growth-equity firm Summit Partners.

Discussion at the event, organized by the Wisconsin Angel Network and 100Health, ranged from what's going on in Wisconsin to some of the latest challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector. Madison is one of the places people are looking for solutions to challenges in the health care system. In fact, four business leaders recently met with Obama Administration officials in Washington to talk about the subject.

Read more on the event from Xconomy and from Tom Still in the Wisconsin State Journal.     

New 4490 Ventures manager to speak at WIN-Madison

4490 Ventures, a new $30 million fund comprised of contributions from the State of Wisconsin Investment
WIN logo for newsletter 
Board (SWIB) and the University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), recently announced the hiring of Silicon Valley veteran Greg Robinson as general partner.

Robinson spent 12 years at Peninsula Ventures, a $75 million fund based in Redwood City, Calif. Prior to Peninsula, Robinson also co-founded and was chief operating officer of Cogent Technologies, which was acquired by BrightStar. 

Robinson will be one of several panelists at the Tuesday, March 25 WIN-Madison luncheon, which will also feature three other new Wisconsin leaders: John Biondi, new director of the University of Wisconsin's D2P initiative to commercialize university technology; Susan LaBelle, director of the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; and Arjun Sanga, director of the WiSys Technology Foundation, which helps to facilitate tech development on UW System campuses. 

To learn more and register, click here.  
 Renaissance Learning to be purchased for $1.1 billion
A Wisconsin Rapids-based education technology company that just a month ago received a $40 million investment from Google, announced it will be acquired by a private-equity firm for $1.1 billion. 

Renaissance Learning was founded in 1986 and specializes in online testing technology. It has nearly 1,000 employees, including 600 in Wisconsin Rapids and about 60 in Madison. Read more in the Wisconsin State Journal.
BrightStar Foundation makes first 3 investments
BrightStar Foundation
, a new venture fund that raises funds through charitable donations, announced it has invested in three companies, all from different parts of Wisconsin.

The investments total more than $250,000. Engineered Propulsion Systems Inc., New Richmond; Stemina Biomarker Discovery Inc., Madison; and 425 Inc., Mount Pleasant all received investment.

“Our investment committee has chosen companies that have the potential to quickly create family sustaining jobs,” said Anthony Handzlik, an attorney with Reinhart Boerner and a BrightStar officer. Read more here and in BizTimes.     

2014 ACA Summit in D.C., to focus on public policy

The 2014 ACA Summit, which brings together hundreds of angel investors from around the world, will be held next week in Washington.

The 2-day conference will feature workshops, panel discussions on the latest issues affecting angel investors and also an opportunity for attendees to interact with their elected representatives in the nation's capital.

ACA logo 
Featured speakers at this year's Summit will include: U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.); Keith Higgins, the director of the SEC's division on corporate finance; and Michael Chasen, found of Blackboard and CEO of Social Radar. Follow WAN on Twitter @wisangels and the 30Forward blog for updates from the conference.
 Madison mobile tech firm raises $1M
Drifty, a Madison firm that makes a suite of tools for mobile developers building apps and websites, recently closed a $1M investment from Arthur Ventures, a firm with offices in Minneapolis and Fargo, N.D.

Read more on the investment and about Drifty here. Arthur Ventures is investing out of a $45 million fund and is primarily focused on the Midwest.  
Midwest gets called out in national tech blog

In an article entitled, "For tech investors, the Midwest is flyover country no more," TechCrunch recently profiled the uptick in entrepreneurial and venture activity in the Midwest.

The article also called out "a slew of acquisitions and public offerings from Wisconsin." See the article

Water accelerator accepting company applications
A water technology startup accelerator dubbed The BREW, formerly the Global Freshwater Seed Accelerator, is launching the second round of its application process. The program was created by the Water Council and WEDC. Read more on the program here.  

Phoenix Nuclear Labs closes sale, funding round

Monona-based Phoenix Nuclear Labs has signed a contract to supply a thermal neutron generation system to a U.K. company. Phoenix Nuclear also recently announced it had closed a $1.15 million financing round. Read more here.
 Deals, acquisitions, exits and news
Whole Trees, a company that offers timber construction solutions and technologies to the forest products industry, recently raised $270,000 from investors. The company is based in in Lacrosse and has an office in Madison.

425 Inc., which makes an an LED light personal safety device that makes it easier to see emergency personnel in the dark or low lighting situations, has raised about $200,000.

EPS, a company building a new light-weight diesel engine, raised more than $100,000 recently from BrightStar foundation as part of an $11 million funding round. The company raised $3 million in 2013.

Stemina Biomarker Discovery has raised $100,000 from BrightStar as part of a $1.5 million convertible note round, according to BizTimes.

Branch 2, a health IT startup in Madison, recently raised $40,000 as part of a $500,000 fundraising round, according to a SEC filing.  

Mobcraft, a crowdsourced brewery based in Madison, recently closed on a $100,000 convertible note from an undisclosed investor.
Upcoming Events
WIN-Madison: New kids on the block: Campus-to-commerce leaders featured at March 25 meetingSheraton Hotel, Madison 

2014 Wisconsin Tech Summit, GE Healthcare Institute, Waukesha, April 7

2014 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, June 3-4

Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions