In This Issue
BPC open until Jan. 31
State selects venture fund manager
WIP on list of most active groups
2014 Portfolio under way
Co-working topic at WIN-MSN    
Ex-Gov. to speak at WIN-MKE
MVI closes $8M round
Promentis raises $3M
Stemina awarded EPA contract
Gener8tor announces new class
Deals, acquisitions and news
Upcoming events                    
 Did You Know?
The creator of the movie "Office Space" and TV's "Beavis and Butthead" is working a new HBO sitcom focused on Silicon Valley and the misadventures of a computer programmer and his friends as they try to start a new web company. The show starts on April 8.
 Become a WAN Member
Your $750 WAN membership also includes a membership to the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN). This "dual" membership is a $500 value included at no additional cost to you.

Your WIN membership entitles you to one free pass to both major conferences (Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference and Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular WIN events in Madison, Milwaukee, Appleton, Central Wisconsin, Western Wisconsin and the Lake Superior regions.

For more information on WAN memberships, call
608-442-7557 or
click here to join.
 WAN Leadership
Advisory Committee
Tim Keane (Chair)
Golden Angels Network
Lisa Johnson
Wis. Economic Development Corp.
Dick Leinenkugel
Northwoods Angels
Thomas Shannon
Shamrock Partners
Tom Still
Wisconsin Technology Council
Brad Taylor
Wisconsin Investment Partners
David Ward
Angels on the Water

Emeritus: Lorrie Keating Heinemann, co-founder

Dan Blake
 'WisBusiness: The Show'
On the latest episode, 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 WisBusiness.com Stock Report for mid-January 2014 includes the port of Green Bay and alternative energy. 

Previous Show:
Mark Gehring, Propeller Health
Bob Okabe, Angel Resource Institute
 Wisconsin Technology   Council
The Wisconsin Angel Network is a program of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Join the Tech Council's mailing list to stay up-to-date on news, events, programs and more!

Other quick links:
Wisconsin Innovation Network
Tech Council Newsroom
Inside Wisconsin by Tom Still
 Newsletter Sponsors


January 2014 
Wis. Governor's Business Plan Contest open until Jan. 31
With more than 85 judges and mentors already signed up to volunteer, the annual Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to get constructive feedback on their business plans. Since the contest's inception in 2004, more than 2,600 entries have been received from more than 280 Wisconsin communities.  

The contest engages contestants in a five-month process that helps in shaping and positioning a new venture.  Finalists in this year's contest, which is free to enter, will share in more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. The initial 250-word entry is due by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31.  Read more on the record number of judges participating in this year's contest, and watch a short video from Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch on the reasons to get involved.
Sun Mountain Kegonsa selected for state venture capital program
Sun Mountain Kegonsa, a partnership between a Wisconsin venture capitalist and a New Mexico-based firm, was chosen in January as the manager of the state's new venture capital program.

The partnership beat out two other firms in its effort to manage the $30 million fund of funds that will be invested in at least four venture capital funds. The funds will then be invested in the most promising of the state's startups.

Sun Mountain Capital, based in Santa Fe, manages seven regional funds with about $500 million in assets. Sun Mountain's managing partner Brian Birk, a former Wisconsin resident, has also recently spent time in Wisconsin as Sun Mountain Kegonsa was in formation.
Sun Mountain Capital Partners  Kegonsa Capital 

Kegonsa is run by Ken Johnson, a Madison venture capitalist and angel investor, who has also been an entrepreneur. The new partnership will look to a strategy used by Kegonsa coined, "Money for Minnows," which focuses on making small investments in a large number of new or growing companies across diverse industries, technologies and locations.

Read more on the "Money for Minnow" strategy here and in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

 Halo Report: Madison's WIP one of most active groups in U.S.
The latest Halo Report, which summarizes angel investment activity and trends in North America, was released this month and identifies Madison's Wisconsin Investment Partners as one of the most active groups in the U.S.

he report found median round sizes dropped to $520,000 per angel deal closed during the third quarter of 2013. The Great Lakes region, which includes Wisconsin, saw the largest increase in the share of total deals to 14%, but saw the biggest drop in the share of dollars invested to 5.3% Dive deeper into more of the Halo Report data here

Meanwhile, several other reports came out recently examining Wisconsin's overall venture marketplace. The numbers varied based on the report. The MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association reported 19 state companies raised about $35.9 million in 2013. According to Pitchbook, 35 state companies raised about $73 million in venture capital in 2013. CB Insights data placed Wisconsin 25th in the U.S. with $70 million invested in 17 companies.                       
 2014 Wisconsin Portfolio data-gathering under way
The Wisconsin Angel Network has begun compiling data for the 2014 Wisconsin Portfolio publication, which closely tracks the state's early-stage investment environment. 

WAN will be compiling deals closed statewide during calendar year 2013 by using surveys, public records, and other available materials. If you are an investor or entrepreneur who closed a deal in 2013 and want to have your information included, please contact WAN Director Dan Blake at dblake@wisconsinangelnetwork.com or 608-442-7557. 

See how the data is used by checking out the 2013 Wisconsin Portfolio.

Madison 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, WIN luncheon meeting 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.

Madison Vaccines closes on $8 million Series A round
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 round.

The investment was led by Madison's Venture Investors,  and joined by Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), Venture Management (VM), the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), and others. 

Read more about the development of the company's vaccines here.
Milwaukee's Promentis Pharmaceuticals raises $3 million

Promentis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company developing novel compounds for schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and pediatric disorders including autism,  has raised nearly $3 million in Series B financing.

The round was led by Black Horse Investments GmbH, located in Dusseldorf, Germany. Additional investors included the Golden Angels Investors, a Milwaukee angel group, and other private investors.                                              
Stemina Biomarker Discovery awarded $10 million EPA contract

Stemina Biomarker Discovery announced a $10.6 million, five-year contract with the EPA this month, under which the Madison company will screen drugs and chemicals for their potential to cause birth defects if exposed to pregnant women.

Stemina, which includes Madison's Wisconsin Investment Partners as an early investor, has also received $3.75 million in grants and is currently trying to raise an additional $10 million. Read more about the announcement here and in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Gener8tor announces 5 startups chosen for latest class

Gener8tor, a startup accelerator based in Madison and Milwaukee, kicked off its 4th class this month in Madison. The 12-week program leads up to a Launch Day event on April 3 in Madison where the companies pitch to potential investors and others.


The companies participating in the program include: Edison DC Systems, Milwaukee; Liv Blends, Cambridge, Mass.; Men's Style Labs, Des Moines, Iowa; Driblet.io, Monterrey, Mexico and Review Trackers, of Chicago. Read more on the companies here. 

 Deals, acquisitions, exits and news
Wellbe, a Madison healthIT company, has partnered with UW Health to provide patients with an online support tool as they recover from a total joint replacement surgery. News release

NexVex, a Milwaukee online roof replacement marketplace, recently raised $200,000 from investors, according to a SEC filing.

Pegasus Sustainability Solutions, of Fitchburg, which provides environmental programs and waste management solutions to their clients, recently raised $250,000 from local Madison area angel investors, according to the company and a SEC filing.

Dock Technologies, which offers simple visual reminders in a health care setting, raised $100,000 recently, according to a SEC filing.
Investors included The Weinert Ventures Fund and Daniel Nevaiser Fund, and the NCIIA.               
Upcoming Events
WIN-Madison, Sheraton, Madison, Jan. 28

WIN-Milwaukee, Crowne Plaza, Wauwatosa, Feb. 13

Deadline for Governor's Business Plan Contest entries, Jan. 31

Investors Edge: Spotlight on central Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point, March 12
More information coming soon.

2014 Wisconsin Tech Summit, GE Healthcare Institute, Waukesha, April 7

2014 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference, June 3-4

Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions