In This Edition

Lt. Gov. in 2014 BPC video
Learn about BPC at Jan. 23 event
WIN-MSN looks at co-working spaces
Ex-Gov. at Feb. 13 WIN-MKE
Cross chosen as UW System head
State selects manager of fund
Learn about SBIR at Jan. 23 event
'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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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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February 13

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Welcome to the January 2014 WIN eNewsletter
Dear Reader:

Look for more in coming months about the Wisconsin Tech Summit, which will be held April 7 at the GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha. The goal of the Tech Summit is to bring together major companies and emerging firms in a setting that allows them to meet and explore likely business relationships around technology needs and innovation. Those relationships might include contracting for research and development, becoming part of a larger supply chain, and pursuing investment or acquisition strategies. The summit is based on the assumption that large and small companies travel in different “orbits,” even if they’re in the same business sectors, and rarely collide except by chance. Some major companies in Wisconsin are already a part of the process, and we look forward to telling you more about how you can get involved.


Tom Still, president

Watch Lt. Gov. video on why 'treps should enter BPC
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch encourages Wisconsin entrepreneurs to enter the 11th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest in a two-minute video describing the contest and its results over time. 

LTGOV screenshot

Produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and a growing list of partners, the Governor’s Business Plan Contest engages contestants in a five-month process that includes the opportunity to work with mentors and receive feedback from judges. It also leads to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and helps spur economic growth in Wisconsin. Initial entries of 250 words are due online by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at

Learn more about the BPC at Jan. 23 event in Madison
Join us at Brocach in Madison on Thursday, Jan. 23, to learn more about the 2014 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest from Tom Still, Wisconsin Technology Council president, and Jonathan Fritz, 10-time contest judge, in a relaxed atmosphere. The informal presentation will include an overview of what it means to be a competitor, the benefits you will receive from participating, as well as answer your questions on how to present your idea as a winner!

There is no cost to attend and a cash bar will be available. Please register by 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 at Event partners include 100 State and the Wisconsin Innovation Network.

Co-working spaces topic at Jan. 28 WIN-Madison

Madison’s growing lineup of co-working spaces, many of which provide support, cost savings and an innovation environment for the city’s entrepreneurs, will be featured at the Tuesday, Jan. 28, meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison.

Panelists will include TJ Blitz, a principle of Cresa Madison; Brian Samson of MadWorks Co-working; and Joe Sweeney, director and chief executive officer of 100 State. 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.

“These are just three examples of an exciting trend that can work for many entrepreneurs in search of the right space,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Learn more and get registered here.

Ex-Gov. Thompson to speak at Feb. 13 WIN-Milwaukee event
Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson will talk about his transition from politician to business executive at the Thursday, 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.

“We’re excited to hear about Gov. Thompson’s latest endeavors and how he views the prospects for emerging companies in Wisconsin,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, which operates WIN chapters statewide.

Learn more and get registered here.

Ray Cross chosen as UW System president
Ray Cross, 66, who arrived in Wisconsin in 2011 to become chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension, was chosen Jan. 9 during a special closed meeting of the full Board of Regents after a quick national search.

“Chancellor Ray Cross is an educator who understands business and the necessary linkages between the two," Tom Still said in a statement issued by the Wisconsin Technology Council. "His background in New York as well as the UW System speaks to his ability to work across private and public lines to get things done. He appreciates entrepreneurship and knows the value of emerging companies, beyond the startup level, in moving regional economies ahead. He will provide excellent leadership for the UW System and serve as a trusted partner in the communities those campuses serve.”

Sun Mountain Kegonsa to manage new state venture fund
The Wisconsin Technology Council applauded the state's selection of Sun Mountain Kegonsa as the manager of the early stage capital program that will invest in Wisconsin's most promising startup companies.

Tech Council President Tom Still issued the following statement:

We are excited that this important program for our state's economy is moving forward with the selection of a credible manager like Sun Mountain Capital. Our organization has worked with Sun Mountain's team previously and is familiar with their commendable work as a fund manager in other states.

 Kegonsa Capital
​  Sun Mountain Capital Partners
We also are pleased to see that the program's management will move forward with ties to Kegonsa Capital Partners, one of the leaders in Wisconsin's venture capital community. Kegonsa has been investing for years in companies across the state and will have a 'boots-on-ground readiness' to connect with many of the investment opportunities that exist here."

Read more on the selection in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this coming Sunday.

Learn about SBIR funding to commercialize your research
Over $2.5 billion is available annually in federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Technology Transfer Research programs to fund commercialization of high risk, innovative research. Funds are available to small businesses and to collaborations between small businesses and research institutions. Sign up today to learn how to access SBIR and STTR federal funding and to meet with experts in business formation and grants management at the Thursday, Jan. 23, event at the MG&E Innovation Center in Madison. Sponsors include the Center for Technology Commercialization, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the UW-Extension.

 '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 talks with Rose Oswald Poels of the Wisconsin Bankers Association about how new lending laws will affect mortgage borrowers and lenders; Tom Still discusses exciting new prospects for Wisconsin's early stage investors in 2014; and the Stock Report for mid-January 2014 includes the port of Green Bay and alternative energy. 

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 Madison Gas & Electric, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., and the UW-Milwaukee. 

Guests on other recent shows:
Mark Gehring, Propeller Health
Bob Okabe, Angel Resource Institute

 Inside Wisconsin columns tackle state, tech issues
Wisconsin poised for 'Year of the Investor'
 Still 2008

Will 2014 be the “Year of the Early Stage Investor?” While mid-January is a bit early to make predictions for the next 50 weeks, there are some encouraging signs that angel, venture and other private equity investors are warming to Wisconsin’s startup and emerging companies.

Book captures comical interface between health care codes and art
The build-up to I.C.D.-10, a new set of computerized medical codes, is why a group of Madison-based health IT experts and artists combined to produce “Struck by Orca,” an illustrated guide to some of the more obscure and often hilarious situations that have found their way into the federal code.

It all starts with an idea: BPC offers ‘treps a way to build
It all starts with an idea and a plan to take it from cocktail napkin notes to reality. That’s what the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest has done for hundreds of entrepreneurs since its inception in 2004. 

State must find right mix of job creation, taxation
Although largely dismissed by the two major-party candidates for governor at the time, Republican Scott McCallum and Democrat Jim Doyle, the tax-reform plan remains an example of bold thinking about taxes, spending and economic growth. It was Camelot for policy wonks, even if the politics were wrong for the times.

 Innovation news round-up

JSOnline: Animal researcher leads effort to help UW-Madison entrepreneurs
Mark Cook is interim director of Discovery to Product, or D2P, a new UW-Madison effort created to coordinate all of the entrepreneurial support programs across campus and develop university research with the most commercial promise.

Madison Vaccines closes $8 Million Series A financing

Madison Vaccines Incorporated (MVI), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing innovative therapies for prostate cancer, announced an initial close of an $8 million Series A financing.

JSOnline: Visteon buying Johnson Controls unit for $265M
Johnson Controls Inc. has agreed to sell its automotive electronics business for $265 million to Visteon Corp., bringing to nearly $1 billion the proceeds from the company's recent divestitures.

JSOnline: Shorewood company advances in water startup contest
Wellintel Inc., a Shorewood start-up developing an inexpensive system to give homeowners with wells more information than ever before about their water supply, has been chosen as a finalist in  Imagine H2O's  Global Water Start-up Competition.

JSOnline: New leader named for UW tech transfer organization
WiSys Technology Foundation Inc., the technology transfer agent for the University of Wisconsin System, has a new executive director and a new chairman.

Xconomy: Milwaukee, Chicago VCs bullish on Wisconsin startups
The amount of startup activity in Wisconsin over the past few years, particularly forming new funding sources and supporting tech startups, has venture capitalists from Milwaukee and Chicago cautiously bullish about the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. That was the consensus from a Thursday panel discussion between VCs hosted by the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Wisconsin Innovation Network in Wauwatosa, a suburb of Milwaukee.

WisBusiness: Abele pushes for focus on startup culture
At a startup-themed Wisconsin Innovation Network meeting, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said he would like to see state startup investment become a conversation point in the governor's race.

JSOnline: Stemina lands $10M contract with EPA for toxicology testing
Stemina Biomarker Discovery Inc. said Thursday is has received a contract from the Environmental Protection Agency that will generate more than $10 million of revenue over the next five years.

JSOnline: Gener8tor accepts five startups to accelerator program
Gener8tor has accepted five young companies, including a water measurement start-up from Mexico, into its 12-week-long winter program.

JSOnline: Wisconsin startups attracting investors
From an entrepreneurial perspective, it was as if Wisconsin awoke from a long slumber in 2013. Support for a vibrant start-up community, which many say is needed to boost the state's mediocre business growth trends, finally appears to be gaining steam.

JSOnline: Rockwell leading way in next industrial revolution
The Internet of tomorrow has arrived, and it's about much more than Facebook, Netflix, Twitter and email, the services we use to connect with one another. This new Internet already has its own acronym, IoT, for "Internet of Things." And while many of its architects are well-known Silicon Valley companies, longtime Milwaukee industrial stalwart Rockwell Automation Inc. has positioned itself at the heart of the phenomenon, which some consider the next industrial revolution.

A New Year's look back - and forward
As the Wisconsin Technology Council looks forward to 2014, we want to close out the year with the many accomplishments of our sponsors, members, volunteers, board of directors and staff in 2013.

State Journal: Tech reigns in 2013
Whether it was adding space, encouraging young entrepreneurs or even taking one noteworthy company public, the Madison area tech sector dominated much of the business news in 2013.

Chinese company acquires Waunakee's Scientific Protein Labs
A Chinese pharmaeceutical company has agreed to acquire Scientific Protein Labs, based in Waunakee, for more than $337 million. 

Nominations sought for Governor's Export Achievement Awards
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Governor’s Export Achievement Awards. Deadline is January 31 for companies that have had exporting success. 

Wall Street Journal: Venture Investors’ Neis on improving returns
Venture Investors' John Neis speaks about the challenge of putting together syndicates for life-sciences investment, how returns are improving and the need for biotech companies to perform after going public.

 News, events and opportunities
Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the edge of the universe
Union South, Madison
January 22

2014 BPC Info Session
Brocach, Madison
January 23

Sheraton, Madison
January 28

Deadline for 2014 Wis. Governor's Business Plan Contest

250-word idea abstracts
January 31, 5 p.m.

Crowne Plaza, Wauwatosa
February 13

2014 Wisconsin Tech Summit - More info coming soon!
GE Healthcare Institute, Waukesha
April 7

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
Ascendancy Advisors
Aurora Healthcare
BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation
Exact Sciences
Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences
Pure Oxygen Labs
Wolf Track Ventures

Individual Members
Marcia Brooks
Michael Flanagan
Charles Gervasi
Karl Koenig
Chester Kolodziej
Margaret Peterman
Judy Reinhold
Michael Sussman

 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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