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October 15, 2020

Dear readers: 

My latest “Inside Wisconsin” column covers three themes – the state of angel and venture capital investing during COVID-19, the upcoming Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium and the need for more diverse fund managers. Please read on to learn more.

* Watch our Oct. 13 webinar on diverse fund managers in Wisconsin.

WisBusiness: Diverse fund managers ‘change the narrative’ in venture capital
Inside Wisconsin: Anticipated COVID-19 flattening of early stage investing hasn’t occurred

* This is a one-time release of a webinar normally available only to members of the Wisconsin Technology Council, its affiliated programs or those who pay a registration fee. If you would like to continue to have this kind of content available, please become a member at any of our affordable levels: visit our membership page or email Angela Schlobohm.

Register now for the Nov. 9-11 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium! Nearly 50 investor groups will be participating, entrepreneurs will pitch and present their companies, speakers and panelists have significant content to offer, and there are awards to be celebrated. Read more of our recent press releases below and register here.



Make sure to check out our newsroom below for fast-changing information about Wisconsin's reopening process.
Stay tuned for announcements about virtual Tech Council webinars on COVID-19 issues of interest to our members and others

Do you have news or best practices to contribute to a future edition of Tech Council Current?

Thanks for helping to build a stronger Wisconsin!

Tom Still, president

» NEWplease click here to update your subscription preferences for Tech Council communications!

Guest column: Closing the tech gender gap is good for business and our customers

by Sangeetha Rai, Northwestern Mutual

In this digital era, technology is at the center of everything. Women must be, too – and as organizational leaders, we need to do more to ensure they have a seat at the table and opportunities to grow their careers. Gender equity is critically important for our teams, our businesses and our society to thrive. Women comprise 47% of America’s workforce, but just 25% of its tech roles careers. Among the top 100 tech companies, women represent just 16% of the digital designer roles, 23% of leadership roles, and only 6% of the chief executives. This gap is problematic in many ways, and here’s why.

Read her full column here.

Rai, Sangeetha 2

Leading Wisconsin advocacy groups launch “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition to combat COVID crisis

As the pace of COVID-19 infections continues to increase rapidly in Wisconsin, a robust group of the state’s leading advocacy organizations have launched a new coalition aimed at combatting the growing COVID-19 crisis.

“Stop the COVID Spread!” is a coalition of more than 20 of Wisconsin’s leading health care, business, and advocacy organizations, including the Wisconsin Technology Council and the related Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum.

The coalition has formed to underscore the seriousness of the pandemic and the critical need for preventative measures, including social distancing, hand washing, and the use of protective masks. The organization addressed the looming public health crisis that is threatening to overwhelm health care systems around the state. Click here to read more and the organizations involved.


Do you have experience with young companies and business plans? We’re looking for experienced judges who can confidentially review the “We’re All Innovating” contest. Please email Julie Johnson with your interest. Thank you!

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New "WisBusiness: The Show" coming soon!

Sponsors include Exact Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and BDO.

View our full show archives here.



The 2020 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium: Registration now open!

Registration is now open for our annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium #ESSWI, to be held Nov. 9-11 on a virtual platform. We hope you’ll join us!

The conference will focus on increased opportunities for emerging companies and startups to meet with investors 1:1, pitch and present their companies. Our virtual exhibitor booths will be enhanced time to meet with sponsors and others. Nearly 50 investor groups have already signed on (see hyperlinked list here)!

Epic Health Research Network to be featured at 2020 Early Stage Symposium
Long-time angel capital leader to receive ‘Triple E’ award at Early Stage Symposium
Midwest Investors to discuss potential in Wisconsin, region at Early Stage event
Wisconsin ‘Creative Destruction Lab’ to be featured at 2020 Early Stage Symposium
Viral marketing pro, entrepreneur Jacques joins 2020 Early Stage Symposium line-up

Watch for more information to come via the Tech Council Current, press releases and social media!

 Lorrie Keating Heinemann


  • WisBusiness: State’s golf industry poised for bright future
  • Michael Best: Cybersecurity terms all companies need to know from A to Z
  • Inc.: 6 ways to come back from the pandemic with a stronger team
  • Capital Valuation Group: Looking at your business like a buyer
  • CNN: Nobel Prize in Economics awarded to Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson for contribution to auction theory
  • Brookings: What could additional fiscal policy do for the economy in the next three years?
  • CNBC: Inflation is making a ‘pervasive and persistent’ comeback, economic forecaster warns
  • Reuters: After two lost decades, U.S.'s weakest local economies may face worse from pandemic
  • The Hill: Fed vice chair: US economy will take years to fully recover from coronavirus


  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Shorewood startup SafeLi named Wisconsin Innovation Award winner
  • MKE Tech: i.c.stars - Milwaukee’s impact on regional talent development
  • Wisconsin-based Institute for Corporate and Social Impact values Philly’s community of entrepreneurs
  • UW-Madison: Partita’s April Weir orchestrates a shift to help keep people safe
  • ChicagoINNO: A new accelerator program is launching to support underrepresented startup founders
  • Channel3000: Madison-based Blend Protein is shaking up the supplement world
  • Focus Forward: [Podcast] WEDC’s Missy Hughes talks with award-winning entrepreneur Sabrina Madison
  • Edtech startup Fulphil just placed in an international pitch competition
  • TechRepublic: Microsoft wants AI to be more helpful for people who are blind or use wheelchairs
  • Marquette: Scale Up Milwaukee leader helps others find purpose through entrepreneurship and value creation
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: Northwestern Mutual to hold virtual Women in Tech conference in December


  • ESSWI: Long-time angel capital leader to receive ‘Triple E’ award at Early Stage Symposium
  • Release: Fiveable backed by top-tier investors to reimagine learning for high school students
  • WisconsinINNO: Investors poured more than $37 billion into U.S. startups last quarter, how much flowed into Wisconsin?
  • Wausau Pilot & Review: Wisconsin River Partners acquires Lemke Industrial Machine
  • Bloomberg: Stocks drop after Mnuchin remarks on stimulus
  • Wall Street Journal: Investors are betting corporate earnings have turned a corner


  • Channel3000: White House task force data shows Wisconsinites largely ignoring requests to stay home
  • CNN: U.S. is seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases; small household gatherings are helping drive it, CDC chief says
  • Field hospital for Wisconsin COVID-19 patients opens doors as state inpatients top 1,000
  • Fox: Wisconsin judge blocks Gov. Tony Evers' coronavirus order limiting bar, restaurant capacities
  • NYTimes: A dose of optimism, as the pandemic rages on
  • USA Today: Experts say COVID-19 trial pauses are part of science
  • STAT: Charting the coronavirus pandemic over the next 12 months — and beyond
  • Daily Cardinal: UW-Madison sees decline in COVID-19 cases, UHS urges maintenance of social distancing
  • CNBC: Healthy young people might not be able to get the coronavirus vaccine until 2022, WHO says
  • Reuters: Kids may not be recommended for COVID-19 vaccination initially, U.S. CDC says
  • Business Insider: Herd immunity approach to COVID-19 is 'unethical,' the WHO says
  • CNN: [Video] Why COVID-19 spreads more in the winter


  • ESSWI: Epic Health Research Network to be featured at 2020 Early Stage Symposium
  • UW Eau-Claire: Suicide prevention month goes virtual during pandemic
  • Wall Street Journal: Facebook to ban ads discouraging vaccines
  • USA Today: The kids aren't all right: COVID, inequities affect kids' eating and disorders
  • Wall Street Journal: Pandemic, new platforms prompt surge in new therapists
  • USA Today: Hope isn't a luxury. It's essential for mental health
  • UW Health: 'Like a map of the city' - How metabolic networks contribute to our understanding of cancer's growth
  • STAT: How software inadvertently infuses racism into U.S. health care
  • WisconsinINNO: Epic, Lyft partnership allows health system staff to arrange non-emergency medical transportation


  • Badger Herald: A closer look at UW’s endowment during COVID-19 as financial issues abound
  • WPR: Wisconsin Technical Colleges reporting enrollment declines amid pandemic
  • Spectrum News: Cows To COVID: How a veterinary lab became key to UW-Madison’s pandemic response
  • UW-Green Bay: Some universities and colleges are seeing lower COVID-19 positivity rates than their communities are
  • School Library Journal: Recommended books by, for, and about Indigenous People
  • WMSN: Gov. Evers announces $50 million in funding for childcare, education

 CoVID-19 news graphic

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Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

StartingBlock would like to invite you to Technologies to Save the Planet in Madison and Beyond with Dr. Bruce McCabe on Tuesday, Oct. 20

MIT presents The Role of Research Universities and MIT’s Climate Initiatives on Tuesday, Oct. 20

Novel Coworking is hosting an in-person, safe Open House for Working Parents & UW Students on Wednesday, Oct. 21

YP Week: Building Our Future is a national conference for young professionals ready to build a new, more equitable future. YPWeek is a NEWaukee initiative on Tuesday, October 20 and Wednesday, Oct. 21

Aberdean is offering Successful Project Task Management with Microsoft Planner on Thursday, Oct. 22

MadREP and the Urban League present the 2020 Madison Region Economic Development & Diversity Summit on Thursday, Oct. 22 and Friday, Oct. 23

Milwaukee Business Journal presents: How Creating an Equitable Workforce Can Build Your Business on Wednesday, Oct. 28

 200x200 Virtual events

·       Gov. Evers’ office regularly updates a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the departments of Financial Institutions, Revenue and Workforce Development. Some specific sites:

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this FAQ document.

·       The Wisconsin Department of Revenue offers these information sources:

·       The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses.

·       Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Outbreaks in Wisconsin

·       NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers are providing services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers such as connecting businesses that are pivoting their production in response to the coronavirus to new supply chains, connecting firms with state resources, advising companies on new operational issues, and providing workforce support.

·        “Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talentis a new project to help those displaced from jobs and employers now hiring

·       Wisconsin Hospital Association releases a COVID-19 dynamic Situational Awareness Update

·       View an interactive map of public wi-fi “hot spots” in Wisconsin

>> WisconsinEye interviews candidates for the Nov. 3 general election.
Click here to watch free on-demand.

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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