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May 14, 2020

Dear readers, 

It’s back to the drawing board for Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Legislature regarding rules for how the state is reopened for business … or maybe not entirely? Wednesday’s 4-3 ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the latest “safer at home” order, but there is still a foundation of guidelines in place from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and other sources that could form the basis of consensus. My own thoughts on the importance of consumer confidence in the mix are below in “Inside Wisconsin.”  

Inside Wisconsin: Court ruling aside, consumer confidence still key to reopening

Please read on for information on our keynote speaker, Brian Pinkerton of Apple, and stay tuned for other announcements soon. Register today:



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?


Tom Still, president


Siri, did you hear your boss will be speaking at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference?

We recently announced that Brian Pinkerton, Apple’s chief architect for Siri and a graduate of the UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences, will speak June 4 during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference on a virtual platform that will offer plenty of interaction with attendees. Click here to read the press release!

We’ll announce more conference highlights soon, including engaging ways for attendees to network among themselves and presenters. Nothing beats live, but this will come close! Among the features of the conference over time have been the Governor’s Business Plan Contest (see more below) and a presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, or YES!, contest. A full release on the young people advancing in that competition is below, as well.

You can
register here at very affordable rates.
Please stay tuned for more about speakers, panel discussions and special networking activities.  

 Pinkerton, Brian

The BPC class of 2020: Finalist profiles

The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest began in late January and will culminate June 4 during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. Some contest finalists were profiled by senior and graduate students in a UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication capstone class. Visit our “Student Stories” and our BPC website to see more stories about these young companies. Today’s feature story is about UpStream AV.” 

A startup in Eau Claire is taking the audio-visual industry wireless
By Emily LaVoi

The Wisconsin based company, founded in 2019, has developed the hardware and software necessary to create the next generation of AV products. These AV products will have no need for wires due to its ability to rely on pre-existing infrastructure and Wi-Fi networks.

UpStream’s solution is an intuitive, mobile, device-controlled application that utilizes pre-existing audiovisual equipment with a “firmwave” attachment that connect over Wi-Fi and is backed through the internet cloud.   Click here to read the full story.




Our Business Plan Contestants could use your support!

We announced a crop of 28 finalists in the 2020 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest this week, and we’re looking forward to the competition entering the next phase. If you’re able to contribute services to the prize kitty – legal, accounting, consulting, office space, media and design, cash or something else a young company might want – please contact us. Email your ideas to: and she’ll get back to you. Thanks for helping this exciting group of entrepreneurs advance their companies during a challenging time.


ActionCOACH presents: This IS Your Wake Up Call – How to Come Back Stronger from Covid-19 on Friday, May 15

Women in Technology Wisconsin
presents Creating and Building the Brand of ‘You!’ on Friday, May 15

Wisconsin Online Global Programs and Grants Business Development present a webinar to help grow your sales, brand and business in a COVID-19 age on Tuesday, May 19.

BizTimes presents 2020 Economic Trends 2.0 | Where Do We Go from Here? on Thursday, May 21

upcoming virtual events

·       WEDC Small Business 2020 Program: Assistance will be available to Wisconsin-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) List of All 23 CDFIs in Wisconsin to provide grants to their existing loan clients to help mitigate business-related cash flow issues in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Approved CDFIs will make program grants (up to $20,000) available to for-profit businesses meeting the following criteria: Current loan recipient in good standing as of 3/1/20 with the approved CDFI (or its collaborating CDFIs); 20 or fewer PT/FT employees; Greater than $0 but less than $2 million in annual revenues; and, preference should be given to service and retail businesses
·      Gov. Evers’ office has launched a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government.

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this helpful Frequently Asked Questions document.
· (new) The Wisconsin Department of Revenue offers these information sources:

·       WEDC has compiled a comprehensive overview of their resources along with state and federal resources to assist Wisconsin citizens aimed at maintaining the viability of the companies upon which our economy depends.

·       Report any scams or price gouging to Wisconsin Department of Justice: If you suspect fraud or a scam, Attorney General Kaul suggests filing a complaint online at

·       Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses, Pending congressional and presidential approval, the SBA may offer another round of low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and Paycheck Protection Program loans for businesses and non-profits impacted by coronavirus

·       Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus latest updates

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

·       The FDIC has provided guidance to banking institutions and consumers affected by COVID-19 and encouraged financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers and customers in affected communities.

·       The Department of Labor has issued guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements.

·       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

·       The Department of the Defense has established the Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF) for COVID-19 to assess and rapidly respond to challenges presented by this pandemic. They are collecting information from both government and non-government personnel who are interested in getting involved. All resources and solutions are welcome from industry, academia, venture capital firms, individual contributors and more. Request information here.

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

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

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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 CoVID-19 news graphic Milwaukee Business Journal: Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Evers' Safer at Home order
WisPolitics: Evers says state Supreme Court ruling against stay-at-home order means ‘chaos’
Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin's patchwork of stay-at-home orders by county
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sitting in a freezer for years, potential SARS vaccine now ready for trial against coronavirus
The Journal Times: (VIDEO) 115th Fighter Wing shows support for hospital personnel with flyover
WisEye Morning Minute: (VIDEO) MMAC President Tim Sheehy on ‘Smart Restart’
EHR Intelligence: 3 Ways providers use EHRs to treat COVID-19 patients
Forbes: Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ Stay-At-Home extension blocked by Supreme Court
Wisconsin State Journal: UW-Madison led study confirms cats can be infected with COVID-19, transmit to other cats
CNN: Coronavirus may 'never go away,' says WHO official
Wisconsin State Journal: Middleton nursing home among 38 in Wisconsin with active COVID-19
Milwaukee Business Journal: Abbott Labs gets FDA emergency authorization for another Covid-19 test
NPR: How to make sense of all the COVID-19 projections? A new model combines them
Channel3000: Madison Reading Project donates thousands of books to children stuck at home
The Cap Times: Madison artists losing income due to pandemic could receive funding for city projects
Kaiser Family Foundation: Eligibility for 27 million ACA health coverages following COVID-19 job loss
CNN: Trump's rebuke of Fauci encapsulates rejection of science in virus fight
Wisconsin State Journal: UW-Madison led study confirms cats can be infected with COVID-19, transmit to other cats
The Journal Times: 'Darkest winter in modern history?' Warnings urge decisive action
USA Today: US coronavirus curve may be flattening, but estimated death toll keeps rising.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: What's open, what's closed, and updates on social distancing guidelines during coronavirus
Wisconsin State Journal: Dane County Fair, World's Largest Brat Fest canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic
WBAY: Wisconsin sees upswing in coronavirus cases even as testing lowers slightly
The Cap Times: Highway 18 Outdoor Theatre near Jefferson to open June 19
WMTV: DHS releases names of nursing homes with COVID-19 infections in Wisconsin
TMJ4: Wisconsin receives F on social distancing scoreboard


View The Show full archives by clicking here.

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