In This Edition

Tech Summit applications due Feb. 24
Ex-Gov. to speak at Feb. 13 WIN-MKE
Sonic Foundry alums at Feb. 25 event
Nearly 300 entries for 2014 BPC
Wisconsin YES open for entries
'Investors' Edge' is Mar. 12
'WisBusiness: The Show'
Inside Wisconsin columns
Innovation news round-up
News, events and opportunities
Get WIN-volved
Sponsor a regional meeting
Promote your events

 WisBusiness: The Show

Click here for the latest episodes of "WisBusiness: The Show," which include a rising-and-falling stock report on Wisconsin business, commentary and an interview with a state business leader. Produced by Tweedee Productions and sponsored by Whyte Hirschboeck DudekUW-Milwaukee and Madison Gas & Electric.

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 Entrepreneurs' Toolkit
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The Entrepreneurs' Toolkit, a soup-to-nuts guide for Wisconsin entrepreneurs, is available at and through the Wisconsin Technology Council website. It was launched in April and is designed to give innovators a pathway to resources available in the state and beyond. Those resources include information on business assistance programs, sources of financing, permits and regulations, how to choose a business structure, how to write a business plan and more.

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As the winter weather continues, please let us know if you discover a coat in your closet that isn't yours. We're looking for one that went missing at the March WIN-Madison meeting. 

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Welcome to the February 2014 WIN eNewsletter

Dear Reader:
What do the following major companies have in common: American Family Insurance, AT&T, Aurora Healthcare, Faith Technologies, GE Healthcare, HP Enterprise Services, IBM, Johnson Controls, Kraft Foods, Rockwell Automation, Runzheimer International and TASC? They will all be represented at the April 7 Wisconsin Tech Summit, where company executives will meet with selected emerging companies in a “speed dating” setting. It’s an opportunity for emerging companies in Wisconsin and beyond to connect with companies that could become customers, partners or investors. It’s not a general admission conference, but a chance for selected companies to meet with potential downstream partners. See the full story below to learn how to apply. Also, watch our news releases for announcements about major conference speakers and features! 
Tom Still, president

Tech Summit application deadline is Feb. 24
 Tech Summit Logo

Emerging companies can apply through Feb. 24 to meet with major firms and explore likely business relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the first annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

The day-long event will be held Monday, April 7, 2014, at the GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha, Wis. More information, including an application form, can be found at

Major companies will be able to hear from emerging firms with innovative products or services tied to areas such as “big data,” connected devices and data analytics in sectors ranging from health care to information systems, and from power electronics to telecommunications. The Tech Summit, produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council, will include a series of brief meetings, similar to a “speed-dating” exercise, that will foster communication and partnership.


Participating major companies thus far are American Family Insurance, AT&T, Aurora Healthcare, Faith Technologies, GE Healthcare, HP Enterprise Services, IBM, JCI, Kraft Foods, Rockwell Automation, Runzheimer International and TASC (Total Administrative Services Corp). Others are being invited.

Speakers will be announced later this month.

Visit for more information on the event, the application process and sponsorship opportunities. Read Tom Still's column on the Tech Summit in the Wisconsin State Journal here.

Ex-Gov. Thompson to speak at Feb. 13 WIN-Milwaukee

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson will talk about his transition from politician to business executive at the Feb. 13 luncheon meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Wauwatosa.

The luncheon will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10499 Innovation Drive, Wauwatosa. Registration and networking begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. and the presentation at 12:15 p.m.

Thompson, who also served as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the chairman and chief executive officer of Thompson Holdings, a business umbrella under which one of the most familiar names and faces in Wisconsin politics is investing and advising about 30 companies, mostly in the health care space.

Register for the event HERE.

Sonic Foundry alums discuss latest ventures at Feb. 25 event
Sonicfoundry cropped
Just like sound waves resonate far beyond the source, learn how Madison-based Sonic Foundry “alumni” have created sizable ripples of their own as they have engaged in other ventures at the Tuesday, Feb. 25, meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison. 

Sonic Foundry alums include Monty Schmidt, founder of Sonic Foundry; Rimas Buinevicius, former chief executive officer and chairman from 1997 to 2011; James Dias, former vice president of sales & marketing from 2001 to 2005; Chris Cain former general counsel and Roy Elkins, former vice president of sales and marketing from 1997 to 1999. Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council will moderate.

The luncheon will be held at the Sheraton Hotel on Madison’s John Nolen Drive. Registration and networking begin at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m.

Register for the event HERE.

Nearly 300 entries received for 2014 Biz Plan Contest
Entrepreneurs from 87 communities across Wisconsin submitted 292 entries in the 11th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Those entries included 98 in the contest’s business services category, 87 in information technology, 57 in advanced manufacturing and 50 in life sciences. The entries represent 283 individuals and include entries from 13 communities that had not previously participated in the contest.

Sponsors are contributing cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing and more. A major sponsor is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Additional sponsors of the 2014 contest thus far include: 100state; 5Nines; Aberdean Consulting; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Company; AT&T; BDO; Cleantech Open; Cresa Madison; Exact Sciences; Kollath & Associates; Madison Gas & Electric; Makin’ HEY Communications; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Michael Best & Friedrich; Mortenson Construction; Murphy Desmond; Pieper Properties; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media; Smith & Gesteland; Tweedee Productions; University Research Park; and UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations.

Read more about this story here. To become a sponsor or to learn more about the contest, visit or contact

Wisconsin YES youth biz plan contest open for entries
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Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, a statewide youth business plan contest modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest, is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. March 17, 2014.    

Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through the website. Entries that advance to Phase 2 of the competition will expand their idea into a 1,000-word executive summary. Throughout the process, students get feedback from professionals across Wisconsin who will serve as judges.

   WEA logo   IBM

The Tech Council produces the contest, with major sponsorship from WEA Trust and IBM.

Visit to learn about the contest and sponsorship opportunities. For information on becoming a judge, contact Joy Sawatzki.

Mar. 12 'Investors' Edge' is a spotlight on central Wisconsin
Join the Wisconsin Angel Network on March 12 at UW-Stevens Point for Investors' Edge: A spotlight on central Wisconsin.

The program will feature speakers and presentations in the following areas:

- The Wisconsin Technology Council and Wisconsin Angel Network on the latest trends, data and best practices in the state for investing in Wisconsin innovation.

- A Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. representative will outline the economic development agency's resources and programs.

- University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point researchers whose projects were recently awarded more than one-fifth of total grant money given out as part of a new UW System program.

 Edge Cropped
Attendees will also meet with other investors from around Wisconsin. Updates on varied topics from investors will include deal-flow opportunities, successful exit strategies for portfolio companies, the latest on deal terms trends and much more.

This free event will be followed by an evening networking reception. Learn more and get registered HERE.

 'WisBusiness: The Show' covers news, commentary
Please watch these latest editions of "WisBusiness: The Show," the twice-a-month Web show covering state business news and issues.

On the latest episode of “ The Show,” Liz Schrum interviews Lorrie Keating Heinemann of the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, the non-profit organization that is jump-starting the early stage investment field; Tom Still discusses advancements and opportunities in farm science and technology; and the Stock Report for late January 2014 covers biotechnology and the bitter cold weather. 


Click here to view the biweekly show, produced by
Tweedee Productions for the Wisconsin Technology Council and, as well as our archives of past shows.

The show is sponsored by Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., Madison Gas & Electric and UW-Milwaukee.

Guests on other recent shows:
Rose Oswald Poels, Wisconsin Bankers Association
Mark Gehring, Propeller Health

 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
Still headshot for newsletter
Bill helps UW researchers meet national, economy needs with cybersecurity work
Enhancing cybersecurity to protect against threats from abroad, as well as close to home, is a national priority that touches just about everyone in our digital age. The risks can range from breaches of department store credit card data to attacks on America’s lifelines – including its energy grid, its water supply, its health-care institutions and its financial institutions.

Patent lawsuits, jet fuel from plants, angel investing and more
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation isn’t the only organization accusing Apple Inc. of infringing on a high-tech patent.

UW, UWM team up on energy, power and control
An emerging proposal involving UW-Madison, UWM and a variety of industry partners is the latest example of how the state's largest cities are finding ways to work together in a competitive world that doesn't care about geographic borders — global or municipal.

Science, information can help farming survive tough regulatory climate
In a society where fewer and fewer people have any ties to farming, even a generation or two removed, how will agriculture meet its many challenges? Managing information better and using science and technology to solve problems will be part of the answer.

Striking an energy generation balance
One speaker after another at the Renew Wisconsin Policy Summit cited examples of how other states, often Midwest neighbors but also politically “red” states around the country, are forging ahead with strategies that involve solar, wind, biomass and other renewable generation sources.

 Innovation news round-up

JSOnline: Fund Milwaukee investment network reaches $1 million mark
Fund Milwaukee, a grass-roots investment network providing an alternative to traditional business financing, has hit a milestone — more than a million dollars advanced to small local firms.

WKOW: Policy may be lifted to allow classified research at UW
State lawmakers are looking to change a University of Wisconsin System research policy that dates back to the Sterling Hall Bombing of August 24th, 1970.

JSOnline: Cancer drug company Novelos changes name to Cellectar

Novelos Therapuetics Inc., a publicly traded developer of drugs for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, has changed its name to Cellectar Biosciences Inc. Cellectar is in the process of moving its headquarters back to Madison from Newton, Mass. The company was founded in Madison in 2003 by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Jamey Weichert.

JSOnline: Baird Venture Partners to raise $150 million for fourth fund
Baird Venture Partners, a division of Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co., plans to raise $150 million for a fourth fund, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cap Times: Environmental business center eyed for East Wash
Imagine a showcase building in downtown Madison featuring entrepreneurs, nonprofits, technology companies and financiers all interested in environmental sustainability. The concept has been floating around for a couple of years but is moving forward with the recent hiring of the group involved with development of Chicago’s "Green Exchange," the country's largest sustainable business community.

CDI, Novelos to present in New York City at investor conferences

Two Madison-based biotechnology companies will present at separate investor conferences in New York City this week.

JSOnline: MobCraft Beer lets fans dream up, vote on brews' flavors
Madison's MobCraft Beer LLC bills itself as the world's first completely "crowdsourced" brewery. It brews small batches of craft beer based on recipes or ideas submitted by beer drinkers.

JSOnline: Microsoft names UWM grad as CEO to replace Steve Ballmer
Microsoft named University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee grad Satya Nadella as its next CEO, only the third leader in the company's 38-year history. The announcement lifts to the top of one of the world's best known companies a relatively young man — Nadella is 46 — who 25 years ago studied graduate-level computer science at UWM.

JSOnline: Somna Therapeutics raises $700,000 from angel investors
Somna Therapeutics has raised $700,000 from individual angel investors, an amount the company says will allow it to market its adjustable neck band that keeps stomach acid from rising into the throat.

Area Development Online: State's bioscience industry achieves global recognition
Wisconsin’s bioscience industry continues to expand, often led by spinoff companies that are established to commercialize groundbreaking university research.

JSOnline: State-sponsored venture capital effort shaping up
Sun Mountain Kegonsa, selected to oversee the state-sponsored venture capital effort, envisions creating a handful of funds across Wisconsin that seeds as many as 100 early-stage, job-creating companies and breeds a new generation of young venture capitalists.

Milwaukee Biz Journal: Promentis Pharmaceuticals raises $2.9M
Promentis Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Milwaukee, which is developing compounds for treating schizophrenia and other central nervous system disorders, has attracted $2.9 million in a second round of capital-raising.

 News, events and opportunities

Crowne Plaza, Wauwatosa
February 13

Application for 2014 Top 10 Businesses of the Year Award
February 21

Emerging company application deadline for Tech Summit
February 24

Sheraton Hotel, Madison
February 25

'Investors' Edge': A spotlight on central Wisconsin
UW-Stevens Point
March 12

2014 Wisconsin Tech Summit
GE Healthcare Institute, Waukesha
April 7

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

Get WIN-volved! Membership has its privileges
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Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) is The Tech Council's membership subsidiary - a community-based economic development organization dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. In association with the Tech Council, WIN programs focus on the needs and challenges faced by new and growing technology-based businesses in Wisconsin.
When you become a WIN member, your membership applies to all chapters, statewide.  Membership is for one year starting with the month you join. Go here to learn more about the benefits of a WIN membership.

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

Corporate Members
Faith Technologies
HP Enterprise Services
Milwaukee Institute

Wellstream Media Inc.

Individual Members
Gerry Pelanek
Fred Tidstrom
Bill Whalen

 Sponsor your next regional meeting
Sponsoring your chapter's next WIN meeting will give you and your company immediate exposure to Wisconsin's best and brightest people. WIN is a network dedicated to giving a voice to the technology community as a whole - from the bottom up! Sponsorship opportunities are available on a monthly or annual basis. Contact Molly Lahr, WIN director, for more information.

 Post events in our community events section
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Click here to add your event to the Tech Council Community Events section that is designed to assist in the development, growth and success of science- and technology-based businesses in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) eNewsletter is a periodical of news, events and programs about the needs and challenges faced by the new and growing technology-based businesses in Wisconsin. WIN has chapters in western Wisconsin, the Lake Superior region, Madison, Milwaukee, northeast Wisconsin and central Wisconsin.
Phone: (608) 442-7557
Fax: (608) 231-6877

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