In This Issue
Gov's Biz Plan Contest launches
Investors on tap for WIN-Mke.    
Jan. 10 deadline for InvestMidwest
Bio firms make top innovation list
BrightStar adds to team      
Thompson investing in healthcare
Milwaukee software firm has exit
Murfie named as top tech of 2013
Xconomy opens bureau in Wis.
WIN featured top angel investor
WARF event on early stage scene
Deals, acquisitions and news
Upcoming events                    
 Did You Know?

A UK-based startup is crowdfunding the launch of its "x2 Underwater Jet Pack" that uses thrusters attached to your arms to propel scuba divers under water. For just $5,700, you could be flying under the suface of Lakes Michigan or Mendota.

Key man provision - A clause that if a specific number of key principals in a fund cease to devote a specified amount of time to the partnership, then the fund manager is prohibited from making any further investments, until new key executives are appointed.

 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  talks with Mark Gehring of Propeller Health about his experience with building startup companies; Tom Still discusses the evolving bioenergy field in Wisconsin; and the WisBusiness.com Stock Report covers advanced manufacturing and jobs.

Previous Show:
Bob Okabe, Angel Resource Institute
Wendy White Eagle, Native Capital

 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


December 2013 
Wis. Governor's Business Plan Contest open for entries
The annual Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest, which will award winners this year more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, launched this month with an online submission deadline of 5 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2014.

The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the seed, startup and early growth stages of high-tech businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, high-quality education, management talent and possible sources of capital. Past contestants have gone on to raise more than $70 million from investors.
Read more here.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit a 250-word (or 1,
400-character) idea abstract online. Check out the updated website - www.govsbizplancontest.com - for more information on eligibility, contest deadlines and entrepreneurial resources.

To get involved as a judge, mentor or sponsor, email

 Hear from 'I-Q Corridor' investors at the Jan. 9 WIN event
Hear how early stage venture capital firms that travel the Upper Midwest’s “I-Q Corridor” view potential deal flow in Wisconsin at the Thursday, Jan. 9 luncheon meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wauwatosa.

These investors will talk about their groups and deals attracting investors to Wisconsin: Dan Palay from Tactics II Ventures, a venture firm in the Chicago area; Chris Abele from CSA Partners, a newly-formed venture fund in Milwaukee; Larry Hayward from Independence Equity, an early-stage venture firm in Northbrook, Ill., and Wendy White Eagle from Native Capital, also based in the Chicago area.

Click here for more information and to get registered.

 Jan. 10 deadline to apply to present at InvestMidwest


The 2014 InvestMidwest, to be held March 26-27 in St. Louis, Mo., provides an opportunity for high-growth companies from throughout the Midwest to present to an audience of over 300 attendees, including more than 60 venture capital investors. The conference features three presentation tracks: life sciences, technology and food/ag/bioenergy.

The final application deadline is Jan. 10, 2014. Click here for more information or to apply to present.

 Madison biotech firms make top innovations list
Lucigen Corporation, of Middleton, and Promega, Fitchburg, developed two of the top technological life science innovations in 2013, according to The Scientist magazine.

Lucigen was recognized for having developed a new line of E. Coli, which will allow for less costly and faster research. Promega developed a more reliable assay kit that can be used in drug development and research. Read more on the innovations here.

In separate news, Lucigen received its ISO 13485 certification, meaning its manufacturing facilities meet international quality standards and regulatory requirements, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The certification clears the way for the company to create molecular diagnostic tests.

BrightStar names 5 to investment committee
BrightStar Wisconsin, a new non-profit foundation that will invest donations received into startup companies, elected five new members to its investment committee. The new members are: Pam Evason, Windermere Wealth Advisors; Lisa Johnson, WEDC; Daniel Matola, Jacobus Wealth Management; Dan Shannon Fidelity National Infromation Services and Andy Shrago, Wisconsin Investment Partners.

The new members join five existing committee members for the group. BrightStar plans to begin deciding on investments in early 2014. See more information on their investment process here and how to register on the group's website.

 Ex-Gov. Thompson active in healthcare investing
Tommy Thompson, the ex-governor, former U.S. Cabinet Secretary and one-time candidate for the presidency and U.S. Senate, has been investing and advising about 30 companies, mostly in the health care sector, according to a recent Tom Still column.

Thompson said his interest stemmed from both his tenure as Health and Human Services secretary, but also his time as Wisconsin's governor. Among Thompson's holdings include emerging and mature companies, but he also sits on the board of several publically-held companies.

Thompson is also active on Twitter (
@tommyforhealth), often sending out information on the changes affecting the healthcare industry.

Milwaukee insurance software firm sells division
Zywave, a Milwaukee software company with more than 2,700 clients, sold its insurance solutions division to a private equity firm based in Los Angeles earlier this month for an undisclosed amount.

The company founders had earlier sold off much of the company, so the deal represents a second payoff in the company. The benefits of such a deal spill over into other new ventures, according to a John Torinus column, outlining the benefits of early exits.

 Madison's Murfie named to 2013 top tech list

Murfie, a 2 1/2-year-old online music marketplace based in Madison, was named by Yahoo! as a top technology of 2013.

Murfie buys old CDs and then allows for a buying, selling and trading platform for users. The CD also gets converted to a format so the music can be played on other devices.

Murfie also recently had the first close on a larger fundraising round, according to an SEC filing.  
 Xconomy, a national tech website, opens bureau in Wisconsin
Xconomy, a growing network of websites focused on the technology industry, launched a bureau in Wisconsin where it plans to cover life sciences, health IT, advanced manufacturing, water technology, consumer tech, energy, and other topics.

The bureau's editor, Jeff Engel, was previously a reporter at the Milwaukee Business Journal. Among the first stories for the new site, which launched in December, included a look at recent company exits in Wisconsin, and also a profile of Milwaukee investor, Tim Keane, who heads the Golden Angels Investors network in Milwaukee.

 WIN luncheon featured top state angel investor, George Mosher
The December WIN meeting in Milwaukee featured a presentation by the most recent inductee to the Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame, George Mosher


Mosher, a member of Golden Angels and Silicon Pastures angel groups and who is also on the board of the newly-formed BrightStar Foundation, told of his years of angel investing, including 17 successful exits. In total, Mosher said he's had another 45 investments fail, and has over 100 still open, of which he described several he's especially excited about.


Mosher talked in detail about his investing criteria and also some challenges he sees facing early stage companies, which you can read more about here. The luncheon also featured a presentation from the 2013 Elevator Pitch Olympics winner, Trevor Ghylin, on his company, Microbe Detectives. Read more about Ghylin's company here.

 WARF Entrepreneurons outlines state's early stage financing scene
The Wisconsin Angel Network was one of several organizations invited to participate on an early-stage financing panel at Entrepreneurons, a University of Wisconsin event series that supports entrepreneurial activity. 

WAN Director Dan Blake joined Scott Button, of Madison venture capital firm
Venture Investors, Toni Sikes, CEO of CODAWorx and a general partner at Calumet Venture Fund, and Patricia Struck, administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions for a discussion moderated by Joe Kremer, CEO of Madison startup, Isomark.  

Mark Reinstra, a partner at Silicon Valley law firm,
Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, gave the session's keynote, which focused on his firm's experience in Silicon Valley and how it compares to what he sees in his home state of Wisconsin. See video of that presentation, past events and Reinstra's keynote slides here.

 Deals, acquisitions, exits and news

San Francisco private equity firm, Sverica International Management, acquired a "major" stake in 7Summits, a social media marketing consulting firm based in Milwaukee. Terms were not disclosed. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


ConjuGon, a Madison company working to develop an antibacterial technology, raised about $600,000, according to a recent SEC document.

Murfie, a Madison online music marketplace and community, closed on about $500,000 in the first close of a larger fundraising round, according to a recent SEC document.


Silatronix, a company developing new compounds used in energy devices and batteries, recently raised $700,000. Investors included Venture Investors, WARF, Pyle Group and Venture Management.

Upcoming Events
WIN-Milwaukee: Regional investors size up Wisconsin companies, Jan. 9
Cleantech Network
: Spotlight on Milwaukee-area energy partnerships, Jan. 14

Deadline for Governor's Business Plan Contest entries, Jan, 31

2014 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference, June 3-4


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