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February 18, 2021

Dear readers,

The proposal by Gov. Tony Evers to invest $100 million from the state in a larger “fund of funds” is a welcome development and something that has been at the top of the Tech Council’s agenda for nearly 10 years. Please read my latest “Inside Wisconsin” column on the topic and follow other news stories and development through a dedicated web page (below).

Track news/developments on Gov. Tony Evers’ fund-of-funds proposal

We’re getting an impressive response to our “call for companies” for the 8th annual Wisconsin Tech Summit, which will feature 22 major companies and at least 70 emerging firms that will be able to take part in “speed dates” with the big firms. Missed the deadline? No worries: You can still sign up to attend the overall March 17 conference. Please see more below.

Also, please check out the latest study tied to the Epic Health Research Network, which we’ve featured in past Tech Council webinars. It contains data on the decline in non-COVID-19 hospital system admissions, which signals people may be delaying care in ways that could be harmful to their long-term health. This joint study from EHRN and Kaiser Family Foundation is an update to an earlier study that found a drop in hospital admissions at the start of the pandemic last spring; this study similarly finds a decline in the fall as COVID-19 cases rose around the country.

Epic Health Research Network: Trends in Overall and Non-COVID-19 Hospital Admissions

As always, please take a look at our upcoming events, news and updates.


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Tech Council’s 2021 ‘white papers’ urge investing in workforce, capital and broadband

Improving access to investment capital for young Wisconsin companies, educating and training a strong workforce, making it easier to be an entrepreneur and building on the state’s tech infrastructure are four major themes of the Wisconsin Technology Council’s 2021 “white papers” report.

The report is timed for the start of a new session of the Wisconsin Legislature and the start of the 2021-23 state budget debate, which may focus in part on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to ideas in the four focus areas, the report also looks back on goals laid out in 2003 by the Tech Council in one of its earliest publications, “Vision 2020: A Model Wisconsin Economy.”

Click here to read and download the report.

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Wisconsin Tech Summit: General admission registration open!  

The day-long event will be held Wednesday, March 17, 2021 virtually via Meeting Mojo and on vFairs.
>> NEW More information and full agenda with speakers can be found at

The Tech Summit will feature a series of brief meetings, or “speed dates,” to foster communication and partnership. It is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum.

22 participating major firms thus far: 3M, Advocate Aurora Research Institute, American Family Insurance, AT&T, Dedicated Computing, EUA, Exact Sciences, Findorff, Froedtert Health, Georgia-Pacific, J.P. Morgan, Johnson Controls, Kimberly-Clark, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mead & Hunt, Northwestern Mutual, PDS, Promega, Rockwell Automation, Schreiber Foods, Titletown Tech, and WIPFLi.

Click here to learn more and register!


>> NEW "WisBusiness: The Show"

The latest episode of “ The Show” spotlights Erin Clausen, investment manager for Irontek in Beloit. Clausen oversees Irontek and Grey Collar Ventures, which invests in Beloit-based startups.

Also, Tom Still presents “Tech Metrics,” which chart key indicators and events in the Wisconsin economy.
He’ll also preview upcoming Tech Council webinars and opportunities at the
March 17, 2021 Tech Summit conference.

Sponsors include
Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.


Tech Council recognizes several prominent scientists who hail from Wisconsin

Black History Month is a time to reflect on the contributions of Black men and woman from all walks of life to American society. We start with just a few examples of people tied to Wisconsin who can be counted among those scientists who left a mark. Please read their stories and email with other Wisconsinites we can feature!

>> NEW
In this Spotify Black Oxygen podcast episode hosted by Angela Russell, Dr. Eric Wilcots, a Black astronomer and Dean of UW-Madison’s College of Letters and Science says, “2020 taught us some remarkably important things and if we are wise, we will listen to them." Give the podcast a listen.

  • Hubert Mack Thaxton
  • Etta Zuber Falconer
  • Brian Nord
  • Percy Lavon Julian
  • Dr. Ivor Benjamin

Also, please read Amplified Digital: 7 ways we can all support Black History Month


2021 Governor’s Business Plan update!

Thanks to everyone who entered the 2021 Governor’s Business Plan Contest! Judging is under way for 253 qualified entries with about 80 volunteers across the state. Some metrics of which we’re proud: More than 100 of the entries came from women, continuing the rise in the number of female entrepreneurs. About 25% came from people of color or diverse ethnic backgrounds. We’ll talk more about the breakdown of the entries in coming weeks.

How can you help? More offers of prizes, both cash and “service” prizes, are needed and welcome. You can help the finalists by chipping in; all cash goes directly to contestants who reach the final stages in June.
Contact Tammy Ehrmann:


Department of Health Services update

To date, there have been more than 1 million doses of vaccine administered in Wisconsin.
WMTV: 5% of Wisconsin has completed their COVID-19 vaccine series

Helpful links:

>> DHS’s vaccine registry launching March 1 (when and where you can get your vaccines)

The State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee’s (SDMAC) Vaccine Distribution Subcommittee is responsible for making distribution decisions. SDMAC holds public meetings and anyone can submit public comments. You can find information about the SDMAC here. To register for the DHS weekly newsletter, click here.


UW-Madison’s ‘$30 Billion Impact on the Wisconsin Economy’ report released

Earlier this month NorthStar Analytics released a report detailing the UW-Madison’s economic impact in the State of Wisconsin. I’m writing today to share the good news. What many in Wisconsin already know, but which the study confirms, is that UW–Madison is one of the state’s leading economic engines, and vital to creating a prosperous future for our state.

The research conducted here, the students we educate, the companies we help launch and the talent we attract – that impact is felt in every county across the state. And it’s felt primarily in the private sector. Click here to learn more and read summary.

 Becky Blank + Bucky 2

>> The Tech Council is one of about 50 groups taking part in the “Stop the COVID Spread" coalition, which is a private-sector effort to do precisely what the name suggests: Encourage people to take common-sense steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Click here to watch the newest ad and please share with your networks.

“Given the current pace of vaccination in Wisconsin, it will take some time for the vaccine to take hold in the state,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “Regardless of the political debates taking place in Madison, masks and other mitigation behaviors are critical factors in our COVID-19 fight.”

>> Click here for regularly updated metrics on the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

Please watch videos by Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor and federal Health and Human Services secretary; Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan; Green Bay Packers players and healthcare workers from across Wisconsin. On Wisconsin!



  • APG Wisconsin: Wisconsin lawmakers agree to keep PPP loans tax free
  • UW-Madison: Aldevron expands manufacturing capabilities in Madison
  • WisBusiness: Madison's economic growth has pushed the demand for housing to record numbers
  • MKE Business Journal: Wisconsin questions for President Biden: Workforce, pandemic, investment
  • WisBusiness: State manufacturers say workforce shortage is largest economic inhibitor
  • Axios: Madison just outside of Milken Institute’s 2021 Top 10 powerhouse cities for best regional economies
  • MKE Business Journal: MMAC at odds with WMC on Gov. Evers’ sales-tax increase proposal
  • WisBusiness: PSC to require utilities to publish diversity numbers in annual reports


  • Madison Startups: Exact Sciences to acquire Ashion Analytics
  • Built In: The weird and wonderful things Midwest founders do after they’ve had a big exit
  • WEDC: New round of WEDC grants to focus on aid to diverse entrepreneurs
  • UW-Madison: WARF’s UpStart program supports women and BIPOC entrepreneurs
  • WisconsinINNO: Waukesha startup Manthini aims to be a player in energy distribution market
  • BusinessWorld: Do women handle entrepreneurship better? Studies show they do
  • The Surge: [Video] A conversation with the co-founders of fintech, SaaS platform Debtle
  • WisconsinINNO: Here are the startups picked for Eau Claire's first seed accelerator
  • TechRepublic: Healthcare is adopting AI much faster since the pandemic began


  • MKE Business Journal: Gov. Evers’ budget to include $100 million for new Wisconsin venture capital program
  • The Lonely Entrepreneur: [Video] The things that make investors invest
  • Tech Council’s 2021 ‘white papers’ urge investing in workforce, capital and broadband
  • Wharton: Building diversity into the venture capital ecosystem
  • The Information: The winners and losers of the current venture boom
  • Mint: Pandemic spurs companies to increase tech startup investing


  • DHS investing $6.1 million to promote equity in COVID-19 vaccine program
  • CapTimes: More deadly, faster spreading COVID-19 variant 'out of the gate' in Wisconsin
  • Health eNews: Important reminders and tips for wearing, cleaning your face masks
  • NYTimes: A grim measure of COVID’s toll: Life expectancy drops sharply in U.S.
  • Wisconsin Health News: Biden says COVID-19 vaccine doses will be available for all by mid-summer
  • USA Today: COVID-19 likely to become an endemic disease in the U.S., Fauci says
  • WMTV: Thousands of service members saying no to COVID-19 vaccine
  • BioPharma Dive: U.S. secures 200 million more vaccine doses from Pfizer, Moderna
  • The Daily Reporter: Boldt building prefab, modular vaccination centers - VaxMod


  • Channel3000: Gov. Evers' $91 billion biennial budget plan pushes big spending in education
  • FinanceBuzz: Madison #20 for “best cities for teachers who've gone remote”
  • U.S. News: UW System president Thompson wants 75% of UW’s classes in-person this fall
  • CapTimes: State approves over $12 million in UW-Madison maintenance, repairs
  • WSJ: School reopening in midst of pandemic pits parents against teachers
  • WLAX: UW-Eau Claire professor on ‘Safer Internet Day’ to promote a safer digital environment for teens
  • Urban Milwaukee: Thompson pushes discussions to consolidate some two-year colleges and voc-tech institutions
  • USA Today: Biden defends decision to forgive $10,000 in student loans instead of $50,000
  • BizTimes MKE: SC Johnson donates $5.5 million for Gateway Technical College scholarships

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Current listings this week include opportunities Tesla, Affiliated Engineers, UW Hospital, Neugen,
 M3 Insurance, von Briesen & Roper, AmFam Ventures and Findorff.

Current members are encouraged to email their open opportunities to for inclusion.

Help us stay on top of events for our readers!
Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

The Surge’s next Founder Feature presents a conversation with the co-founders of Carbliss on Tuesday, Feb. 23. We'll talk with the founders about their entrepreneurial journey, including what prompted the idea for the business, what it's like running a startup as a husband/wife duo, and the growth of the business since its launch.

Morgridge Institute for Research presents COVID-19: The Science of Vaccines on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Delve deeper into the science of viruses and vaccines. Experts in virology and vaccine development will share about how coronaviruses infect, how COVID-19 vaccines (including a new class of mRNA vaccines) protect us, and how scientists were able to make the vaccine possible within a year.

InBusinessIB Intros (virtual) is slated for Wednesday, Feb. 24. In this speed-networking format, you’ll connect with six other Madison-area professionals through a series of one-on-one conversations.

STAT presents The Pandemic's Toll on Mental Health on Thursday, Feb. 25: STAT will speak with global experts about how mental health clinicians have responded, the lasting effects of the crisis, and how the mental health system can be strengthened to better serve people even beyond the pandemic.

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce hosts MadREP’s Jason Fields during their Lunch(UP)date on Thursday, Feb. 25. Fields will participate in a wide-ranging conversation about his experience and the opportunities, challenges ahead in his new role.

Join the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for a panel discussion with black-owned business owners on Thursday, Feb. 25 as they share their small business stories and how they pivoted during the pandemic and utilized SBA’s critical financial lifelines.

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