wtc_logo_white (002) May 2018
The Tech Council Current
News, events and programming from the Wisconsin Technology Council

Dear readers-

The annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference and two of its centerpieces, the culmination of Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest and the Wisconsin YES! youth contest, is less than a month away. We hope you can join us for a conference line-up that includes top-notch speakers, panel discussions and plenty of networking opportunities. The coming weeks also feature Tech Council Innovation Network discussions in Appleton, Madison and Racine County. Join us to hear the latest about Wisconsin’s strong business and technology economy! 

Tom Still, president


What’s your startup ‘brand’? Speaker can help you decide at 2018 Entrepreneurs’ Conference
Marsha Lindsay, who has helped companies large and small to brand products, services and even their missions, will lead off the 16th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, June 5-6 in Madison. Lindsay, who started her company as a UW-Madison graduate student and grew it to service firms that range from Fortune 100 multi-nationals to homegrown startups, will open the conference Tuesday morning, June 5, at Union South in Madison.


Curtain raiser: Badger Fund of Funds team to speak June 6 at Entrepreneurs’ Conference
Managers of a statewide fund that will invest in some of Wisconsin’s youngest companies will take center stage Wednesday, June 6, at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison. The morning session at Madison’s Union South will feature six investors who help lead the Badger Fund of Funds, which will take a statewide approach to vetting startups and other early stage companies. The Badger Fund of Funds was officially seeded in 2014 with a $25-million investment from the state of Wisconsin and has since raised private matching dollars. The parent fund has committed to make matching investments of 40 percent of any money the five “recipient” funds raise.

AB 489 040418 -1 Engaging state, federal policymakers is topic of May 10 Tech Council Innovation Network luncheon
Learn how the Wisconsin Technology Council and its partners work with members of the Wisconsin Legislature, the U.S. Congress and others on issues affecting the startup and scale-up economy at the Thursday, May 10 meeting of the Tech Council Innovation Network in Appleton. Tech Council President Tom Still, Steve Lyons of SJL Government Affairs and Communications, Charlie Goff of the NEW Fund and Juan Gomez of WEDC will talk about recent legislative initiatives, future priorities on the policy agenda – and seek input from entrepreneurs and emerging businesses.

Are you smarter than a chatbot? Rise of AI topic of May 22 Innovation Network luncheon
It’s predicted that artificial intelligence machines will be able to perform the same intellectual tasks as people by 2050. Will AI destroy jobs – or create them? Panelists are Derek Riley, associate professor and program director of the computer science department at Milwaukee School of Engineering, which recently received a $34-million gift to fund AI research and a new computer science center; UW-Madison Professor Jignesh Patel, founder of DataChat, which allows users to converse with an AI-powered chatbot with no coding experience necessary; and Dale Willis, co-founder of Curate, which uses AI to sift through municipal agendas and collect early information on potential construction projects.

Joey Van Nessen

What to expect with Foxconn: Renowned economist Von Nessen to speak May 24 in Racine
Foxconn Technology Group is expected to begin work soon on its production plant in the Racine County town of Mount Pleasant. Hear how a similar investment from BMW affected the South Carolina economy and prompted major changes in that state. Joey Von Nessen, a top economist at the University of South Carolina who has studied the BMW impact on manufacturing clusters, and who has tracked the Boeing project in Charleston, S.C. Von Nessen also does annual economic forecasts for South Carolina and provides expert advice to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Von Nessen’s presentation will be followed by a conversation with UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone, Rockwell Automation executive David Vasko, and foreign commerce expert Roxanne Baumann. Tech Council President Tom Still will moderate.

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From detecting gunshots to saving potato crops, Biz Plan Contest finalists show state’s tech range
Twenty-five entries representing sectors as broad as social media, health technologies and innovations in products or services are competing in the finalist round of the 15thannual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The contestants have survived two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its sponsors and volunteers. “These finalists are emblematic of Wisconsin’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Greg Lynch, Tech Council chairman.

YES logo web version
Twenty-four entries advance to second phase in ‘Wisconsin YES!’ youth biz plan contest
A statewide panel of judges have selected 24 entries to advance to Phase 2 of Wisconsin YES!, a youth business plan contest for students in middle school and high school. Students submitted their science- and tech-based 250-word business summaries through the contest website – – in April to compete in Phase 1. More than 110 entries were received from around the state.
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Journal Sentinal: Foxconn awards $100 million in site preparation contracts
WARF: How University Innovations Change the World
WisCONTEXT: Wisconsin’s startup scene is stable but slow
BizTimes: The Commons expanding to Madison
Milwaukee Business Journal: Foxconn helped pitch Wisconsin to Chinese CEO trade group in April
JSOnline: Foxconn will need thousands of workers with entry-level skills and a high school diploma
WisBusiness: Appleton animation startup in New Orleans for tech conference
CapTimes: Startup center StartingBlock reveals initial roster of companies
: Wisconsin ranks 10th in nation on hospital safety
Madison Startups: NovoMoto updates work in Africa
WisBusiness: College entrepreneurs creating a LLC will no longer have to pay the regular $130 filing fee.
Milwaukee Business Journal: Foxconn plans self-driving trucks on I-94 as early as 2021
Release: 2017 Annual Halo report released
BizTimes: Over half of surveyed Milwaukee businesswomen have experienced workplace harassment
WARF: The Wisconsin Idea for a new generation
JSOnline: Accelerator, seed money, unicorn and other things you need to know about MKE’s startup scene
Milwaukee Business Journal: Technology industry seeking more employees
Madison Startups: Redox adds single sign-on module
WisBusiness: Riding in a self-driving shuttle at UW-Madison
Milwaukee Business Journal: The 11 Wisconsin student startups that pitched at The Commons Demo Day
Release: SHINE: Selects Rock Creek Innovations
: Direct Supply tech center at MSOE to undergo $9 million renovation
Release: WARF seeking commercial partners to develop a touch screen system for people with disabilities
DWD: BLS Data: WI Ranks 4th in private sector jobs, 1st in manufacturing jobs added in 2018
Journal Times: Foxconn director: Why we came here
WisBusiness: The Podcast with Paul Krupski, director of opioid initiatives for DHS
Milwaukee Business Journal: 6 tech companies in Tosa’s Technology Innovation Center to watch
JSOnline: Rockwell and Manpower Group collaborate to train veterans for high-tech jobs
: Wisconsin’s exports on the rise
Milwaukee Business Journal: Tech execs weigh in on how local government can support MKE’s tech scene
CapTimes: Bunker, an insurance industry startup, spans Silicon Valley and Madison
JSOnline: Haribo gummy bear factory in Kenosha County could have up to 1,450 workers
UW-Madison: Innovative UW-Madison student team to unveil latest Hyperloop competition pod April 19
WisconsinInno: Everything you need to know about Wisconsin’s incubators and accelerators
Milwaukee Business Journal: Executives tell rest of MKE’s tech industry ‘it’s OK to show off our innovation’
Release: Concordia University sets groundbreaking date for The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center
UW News: EatStreet prospers eight years after idea was cooked up by UW-Madison students
WI State Journal: Playing in the big leagues: Madison game developers team with high-flying partners
WisBusiness: New broadband expansion grants announced
WisBusiness: UW scientists flock to Madison for research expo
JSOnline: Does Foxconn’s need for Lake Michigan water meet the test of the Great Lakes Compact?
WisconsinINNO: Madison startup Healthfinch raises $6M to automate healthcaretTasks
Milwaukee Business Journal: Three pop-up storefronts opening in June for Milwaukee entrepreneurs
CapTimes: Stories of women of color take spotlight at Chamber of Commerce gala
WisBusiness: The Podcast with Clay Burdelik, CEO for YoEats
Oshkosh Independent
: UWO student pursues his app dream
BizTimes: Report: Milwaukee metro area added 390 tech jobs in 2017
JSOnline: Wisconsin ranks high among best states for millennials
: Medical College of Wisconsin plans $43 million renovation of research facility
BizTimes: New meetup event to convene technologists from across Milwaukee’s tech sector
UW Stout: Breakfast beat: Students shine with cereal, coffee packaging
Madison Startups: GymDandy, Madison Parks partner
National Science Foundation: 2018 Community College Innovation Challenge finalists announced
BizTimes: Female entrepreneurship organization Doyenne Group to launch Milwaukee chapter
WisBusiness: Digital health platform improves asthma metrics
Milwaukee Business Journal: Powering up Milwaukee’s tech hub

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InsideWis: Badger Fund of Funds putting down markers across Wisconsin
InsideWis: Big Tech has met the enemy – and it may be us
InsideWis: Keeping H-1B immigrants at home will help Wisconsin’s labor crunch
: At Wisconsin’s oldest tech college, new task taking shape: Working with Foxconn
InsideWis: Outside Wisconsin’s biggest cities, academic research growing in prominence
Tom Still 2017
Tom Still,
Tech Council

Episode 205: Covers Tech Metrics, Tom Still commentary; interview with Spencer X. Smith
Episode 204: Covers Tech Metrics, Tom Still commentary; interview with Zendesk’s Nogalski
Episode 203: Covers Tech Metrics, Tom Still commentary; interview with Isomark’s Kremer
Smith, Spencer X 050917
Spencer X Smith


BizTimes: Somna Therapeutics gets approval to sell medical device over the counter
Release: BrightStar announces schedule for 2018 HATCH program
Release: gener8tor’s Premiere Night May 16
: gener8tor raising second Minnesota fund
MKE Business Journal
: Milwaukee-area tech companies raised over $11M in VC funds in first quarter of 2018
Biz Times: Tosa company researching anti-aging raises $1 million
Wisconsin State Journal
: GrocerKey announces infusion of angel funding
: GenoPalate closes on seed funding round
: Becoming an Angel: 35 Investors Share their Tips on Angel Investing.
Journal Sentinal
: Sherman Phoenix development project gets $250,000 from WEDC
WARF: Nothing ventured, nothing gained: Investing in Wisconsin innovation

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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!

Thank you to the following individuals and organizations that have recently joined or renewed their memberships:


Amy Brown


Ann Marie Finley

HealthX Ventures

Lee Gasper-Galvin

GE Healthcare

Joe Hildebrandt


Karl Koenig

Latino Chamber of Commerce

Brian Lee

Neckerman Insurance Services

Thomas Lieven

Nelson Schmidt

Robert Puissant

M3 Insurance

Jefferson Stanley


Peter Welch

Ziegler Alternative Investments

Need help finding the membership level right for you?
Please contact Angela Schlobohm, development & member
relations director: or 608-442-7557.

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Tech Council Investor Networks membership:
Your $750 Investor Networks membership entitles you to one free pass to both major conferences (Entrepreneurs' Conference and Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular Tech Council Innovation Network events.

May 10: Innovation Network-Northeast
Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton
June 26: Innovation Network-Madison
Sheraton Hotel, Madison
May 22: Innovation Network-Madison
Sheraton Hotel, Madison
July 12: Innovation Network-Milwaukee
UWM Innovation Accelerator, Wauwatosa
May 24: Innovation Network-Racine
Gateway Technical College’s SC Johnson iMET Center, Sturtevant
July 24: Innovation Network-Madison
Sheraton Hotel, Madison
June 5-6: Entrepreneurs’ Conference
Union South, Madison

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Phone: (608) 442-7557
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