In This Issue
Tech Council begins 'white papers'
Badger FoF at July WIN-Madison
WHEDA seeking VC managers
Wis. truck idling startup acquired
WIN-Lake Superior event Aug. 8
State startups lead in survival rates
2014 Portfolio outlines state trends
New WIN director announced
1 Million Cups coming to MKE
Sens. push new federal legislation
Could Wis. land coast's tech jobs?
Angel group gets win from exit
Deals, acquisitions and news
Upcoming events                    
 Did You Know?
As if you haven't heard enough about LeBron James recently, the NBA superstar raked in more than $30 million in cash and equity as part of Apple's recent acquisition of Beats Electronics, which makes high-end headphones. Oh, and he's also moving back to Cleveland.
 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'
On the latest episode, Liz Schrum speaks with Yumin Choi from HLM Venture Partners; Tom Still discusses the pivotal role of technical colleges in Wisconsin's work force; and the WisBusiness.com Stock Report covers the tech industry and tax collections.

Previous Shows:
Chris Olsen, Drive Capital
Craig Culver, Culver's

 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


                                                                                                                      July 2014

 Wisconsin Technology Council 'white papers' process underway

The Wisconsin Technology Council and its board recently began discussing the 2014-2015 edition of its "white papers," an advisory report to state and federal policymakers. Discussion centered on the following areas important to early stage investors and the technology sector in Wisconsin:

-- Improving access to investment capital
-- Enhancing the startup and business climate
-- Improving access to human capital
-- Technology development

Past white papers have contributed to or been responsible for a number of executive and legislative branch actions, including: Passage of the Badger "Fund of Funds" in 2013; passage of the Act 255 investor tax credits (2004) and revisions to the nationally recognized program (2009, 2013); Passage of AB-729 (2014), which allows UW System to pursue classified research projects through a mechanism that allows for faculty governance with regular reporting to the Legislature. 

Look for more details on the 2014-2015 white papers in the coming issues of eVestor, or contact Wisconsin Angel Network Director Dan Blake at dblake@wisconsinangelnetwork.com for more information.
'Badger fund of funds' topic at July's WIN-Madison luncheon
 Badger Fund of Funds Green (2)
Learn more about the status of the new Badger Fund of Funds (http://badgerfundoffunds.com) at the July 22 meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison.


The meeting will feature a presentation by the fund’s managers, Sun Mountain Kegonsa, who are developing plans to invest $25 million from the state of Wisconsin plus matching private dollars in Wisconsin-based companies.


To learn more and get registered, go here.

WHEDA seeks proposals to manage $4M venture capital fund
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is seeking proposals to
manage $4 million in funds to be used in venture capital or private equity deals. The agency, known as WHEDA, is offering the money to help with financing at the seed/angel, early-stage, expansion and mezzanine debt financing stages. 

The program, first announced at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference in June, put out the request for proposals last week. 

Applicants must have a private match for the federal dollars. The applications are accepted until July 30.  More information on the program can be obtained from Tamera Wourms, WHEDA program specialist, at tammy.wourms@wheda.com 
Wis. startup focused on truck-idling solutions acquired

A Madison-based manufacturer of energy-saving auxiliary power units (APUs) that was started by a former truck driver has sold to a Minnesota-based manufacturer for an undisclosed sum.

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Founded in 2003, Idle Free Systems provides drivers in long-haul trucks with heat, air conditioning and electricity inside their sleeper cabs without having to idle, or run the vehicles' engines, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

The company's founder, Robert Jordan, saw an opportunity based
on the waste he saw during his 20-year career of more than 6,000 hours sleeping in his truck. Idle Free raised initial rounds of capital in 2009 from Kegonsa Capital Partners.

WIN-Lake Superior to host August 8 conference in Ashland

The 2014 Lake Superior Business & Technology Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 8, in Ashland. The event, which runs from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, is $30 for general admission and $10 for students.

The event will feature presentations from Bob Davies, professor, UW-Stout and national business consultant; Doug Moquin, retired vice president, Phillips Plastics Corp.; Morna Foy, president, Wisconsin Technical College System; Jim Hagstrom, entrepreneur and developer, Blue Wave on the Bay; and Randy Hulke, director, UW-Stout Discovery Center. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch will also attend. This year’s Business Idea Contest finalists' will present their entries.

Register here. For more information on the conference, call the Ashland County UW-Extension office at (715) 682-7017 or the Bayfield County UW-Extension office at (715) 373-6104. The event is produced by the Lake Superior chapter of the Wisconsin Innovation Network.

 lake superior
Wisconsin leads Midwest in startup survival rate
Recently released statistics from the U.S. Small Business Administration show that Wisconsin leads the Midwest in startup survival rates, which some attributed to a strong support system but also the state's more cautious approach to starting businesses. Read more about what the ranking means for the state here.
2014 Wisconsin Portfolio outlines state's investment trends
More than $128 million was invested into Wisconsin early stage companies in 2013, a 20 percent drop in total funding from the year before, according to the annual Wisconsin Portfolio, a report produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and its Wisconsin Angel Network. Download a copy of the annual report and read more about the trends in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Xconomy.

Tech Council welcomes new WIN director, Maurice Cheeks

 Cheeks, Mo

Maurice “Mo” Cheeks has joined the Wisconsin Technology Council as the director of its Wisconsin Innovation Network.

Cheeks previously served as director of sales and outreach at Filament Games, which grew from 25 to more than 40 employees while partnering with national organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, McGraw-Hill Education and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics.org.

Read more in an interview with Mo. Cheeks can be contacted at 608-442-7557 or mocheeks@wisconsintechnologycouncil.com.

Entrepreneurship program, 1 Million Cups, launching in Milwaukee
1 Million Cups, a program backed by the Kauffman Foundation designed to provide entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their startups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors and other entrepreneurs, is coming to Milwaukee in August. Read more about the program.

Senators push legislation to help startups, angels


Two new pieces of federal legislation were introduced that could affect early stage investing in Wisconsin and across the country. A pair of senators, including sponsor Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), were joined by two congressmen in sponsoring a federal 25 percent angel tax credit program, similar to existing programs in states like Wisconsin.

Separately, Murphy recently introduced a bill, titled "HALOs Act" or "Helping Angels Lead our Startups Act," which would provide more definition around what constitutes a "general solicitation." Entrepreneurs and investors have expressed concern about what constitutes general solicitation since the SEC lifted the ban on founders openly advertising their offering.

The developments come at the same time as the SEC is conducting a review of the current accredited investor standard ($200,000 income and $1 million net worth). The Wisconsin Angel Network submitted a recent letter to the SEC urging regulators to keep the current net worth and income thresholds in place. Read the letter here.

Wisconsin could continue to attract jobs, companies from coasts
With rising costs for essentials like office space and talent, technology companies on the coasts are increasingly looking to other locations to set up offices or even possibly relocate. At a recent WIN-Madison event, a venture capitalist from New York said he sees a big opportunity for tech firms to bring jobs to Madison. One recent example of this trend is Zendesk, a San Francisco tech company with a growing presence in Madison. Read more about the opportunity for Wisconsin.

Angel group gets win with portfolio company deal

The Chippewa Valley Angel Investor Network was among the investors who saw a solid return from its investments in Minnesota-based ABILITY Network, which recently received a $550 million strategic investment.


The Northwest Wisconsin angel group made their first investment in the healthcare technology company in 2006. ABILITY recently received the large strategic investment from Summit Partners, a growth equity firm based in California that was also featured at a Wisconsin Angel Network investor event in Madison.


Read more on the investment here.

Exact Sciences CEO Kevin Conroy wins entrepreneurship award

Kevin Conroy, chief executive officer of Exact Sciences Corp. and Wisconsin Technology Council board member, is one of eight executives named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in the Midwest. Exact Sciences, Madison, has developed a stool-based, DNA test for colorectal cancer.

Read the full Wisconsin State Journal story here.

 Deals, acquisitions, exits and news
StudyBlue, a Madison education technology company, has raised an additional $1.7 million from investors. The company has raised more than $17 million in total funding. Education Week

Runzheimer International, a Waterford provider of workforce travel programs, has acquired Chicago-based ProduceApp, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Zurex Pharma, a Middleton-based startup developing antimicrobial products to prevent hospital-acquired infections, has raised $5.1 million from existing investors, including Baird Capital, SWIB and Wisconsin Investment Partners (WIP). Wisconsin State Journal

Thalchemy, a Madison company developing sensory processing in smartphones and other devices, has raised $650,000 from local and Silicon Valley investors. Xconomy

Kiio Inc., a company focused on disrupting the physical therapy space using technology, raised nearly $680,000. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Cellectar Biosciences, Madison, announced a stock split of its common stock as a first step in a planned listing of its common stock on the NASDAQ stock exchange. WSJ

Rowheels, the winner of the 2012 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest, won a pitch competition at the New York Venture Summit held Tuesday in New York City. Rowheels was one of 30 competitors in the life sciences track and won for best innovation. Wisconsin Technology Council

Dairyvative Technologies, a Top 25 finalist in the Governor's Business Plan Contest this year, has been awarded a Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Grant for dairy processors. Wisconsin Technology Council
Upcoming Events
July 22 - Badger Fund of Funds featured at WIN-Madison

July 29 - Wisconsin Cleantech Network forum, Madison

Aug. 8 - Lake Superior Business and Technology Conference, Ashland

Aug. 14 -- New 4490 Ventures fund outlines vision at WIN-Milwaukee, Milwaukee

Aug. 26 - UW-Madison researcher to outline new influenza virus, WIN-Madison

Nov. 12-13 - Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, Madison, Monona Terrace


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