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April 13, 2020

Dear readers,

My March 19 “Inside Wisconsin” column noted that the 2008 recession, as bitterly difficult as it was for years, led to the birth of many startups that became vibrant companies. Will the “black swan” of COVID-19 give wings to another flock of young firms? It’s too early to tell, of course, but observers ranging from Sequoia Capital to Mark Cuban predict that may be the case. Perhaps some of the finalists in the 2020 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Contest will be among those COVID-19 success stories.
Read our news release on the 28 who have moved on the next round!




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

View Tom Still’s full InsideWis archives by clicking here.

Guest column: Keeping focused when opportunities arise

Congratulations! Your bank has approved your Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan application and it’s now been sent to the SBA.  You’re about to receive additional funds to keep your operations running.  However, now is not the time to lose focus. Use this opportunity to be even more focused on your strategies as you anticipate the receipt of this much needed infusion.

Your goal is to keep as much cash as possible to weather the storm. Try to be aggressive in your forecast and assume you may need at least 12 months of cash on hand. The more rigor you put into developing your cash-flow projection, the more meaningful the exercise will be for you.

Tech Council member Bote’s full column written for the Tech Council Current can be accessed here.

Bote, Ron 052019
        Ron Bote
Deadline extended through Tuesday to enter ‘Wisconsin YES!’ business plan contest!

The closing of schools across Wisconsin due to the COVID-19 epidemic means teachers and students will pursue instruction opportunities online in the coming weeks. One useful tool readily available for middle- and high-school students is the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, or Wisconsin YES!, contest. 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. This free, statewide youth business plan contest is modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest. It is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. April 14, 2020.
The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through


Aberdean Consulting is hosting several webinars to enhance the remote working environment safety:
Fast Track to using Microsoft Teams on Tuesday, April 14
Remote Office/Home Office Personal Security Discussion on Thursday, April 16
Microsoft Outlook Productivity Hacks on Tuesday, April 21 and Tuesday, May 5
Collaborate with Microsoft OneNote on Thursday, April 23 and Thursday, May 7

Husch Blackwell’s Distilled Guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program is Tuesday, April 14

WARF's Crossroads of Ideas webinar (first of three-part series) will feature health experts to highlight how UW-Madison has been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, April 14

Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs is hosting a virtual lunch designed for networking and mentoring on Thursday, April 16.

Join UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies for their Earth Day Conference on Monday, April 20

Baker Tilly is offering a series of coronavirus-related business concerns (registration for all):
From survival to recovery: Shielding your supply chain from COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 15
A briefing on coronavirus-related tax relief on Wednesday, April 22
Crisis, continuity and recovery: A real-time enterprise risk workshop on Wednesday, April 29


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
  • (updated) Gov. Evers’ office has launched a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government, including: 
    COVID-19 Volunteer Program
    Religious Gatherings and Services
    DVA Assistance to Needy Veterans Program
  • The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this helpful Frequently Asked Questions document.
  • 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, and is offering low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) 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.
  • COMPTIA offers eight cybersecurity tips for working remotely
  • Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talent 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.
  • (new) Wisconsin Hospital Association released a COVID-19 dynamic Situational Awareness Update
CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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 CoVID-19 news graphic Milwaukee Business Journal: SBA rations disaster relief loans to $15,000 per applicant, U.S. Chamber says
Wisconsin State Journal: (Podcast) COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin: The effect of social distancing on the Madison curve
UW-Madison: Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients tested as therapy at UW Health
WisBusiness: State’s March unemployment rate estimated at 26.8 percent
Fox6Now: MATC respiratory therapist headed to COVID-19 hotspot will teach while managing ventilator treatments
USAToday: (Poll) In four devastating weeks, Americans' fears of the coronavirus have exploded
The Journal Times: Survey shows pent-up demand for travel continues to build among Americans
WisBusiness: WDA: Minnesota dairy producers light the way to industry recovery
WalletHub: States with the most (and least) affected small businesses due to coronavirus
The Journal Times: Health or wealth? Nations pressured to loosen rules
CNBC: Fed's Neel Kashkari says coronavirus economic recovery 'could be a long, hard road'
Wisconsin State Journal: Madison may repurpose streets to help pedestrians, cyclists maintain social distancing
Milwaukee Business Journal: Associated Bank set to fund nearly $750 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans
Wisconsin State Journal: Stepping up to help health care workers and restaurants amid COVID-19 pandemic
The New York Times: How a premier U.S. drug company became a virus ‘super spreader’
CapTimes: Madison, Dane County look to challenging budgets as coronavirus wreaks economic toll
BizTimes Milwaukee: Fiveable’s online learning platform sees 500% increase in users


View The Show full archives by clicking here.

CoVID-19 news graphic - other resources

  • (new) WI Health Connect: Think you may have COVID-19? Free, confidential over-the-phone screening now available.
  • Live dashboard with QUICK NUMBERS and FACTS on the IMPACT of COVID-19
  • View UW-Madison’s COVID-19 top updates, plans and response.
  • IdeaAdvance: Get your idea off the ground: Learn more about this $75,000 seed fund.
  • Newance is offering free “Office Hours” for business leaders: Reach out to Amanda Daering.
  • Fiveable offers free AP assistance, the exams through CollegeBoard are scheduled for at-home and online in May.
  • Access Microsoft’s efforts to help teams work remotely and navigate online.
  • Michael Best has formed a COVID-19 Task Force to address business and legal implications.
  • Reinhart’s Coronavirus Resource Center includes the impact of HR 6201 on employees.
  • BDO monitors the latest COVID-19 business impacts and regulatory updates.
  • Wisconsin Veteran’s Chamber of Commerce: Member guide, understanding COVID-19 and how to plan.
  • Learn more about Epic tools that can help you and your organization treat and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • WIPLFi: Information to help businesses and individuals weather the coronavirus.
  • Quarles & Brady has created a resource of COVID-19 articles that impact clients and businesses.
  • Click here to sign up for the WisPolitics/WisBusiness daily healthcare report.
  • gener8tor is working in conjunction with AmFam Institute to host emergency one-week virtual programs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Husch Blackwell explores issues at the intersection of law and public health emergencies.
  • TASC is making its expertise and emergency benefits accounts available for free to Dane County employees in 2020.
  • Neider & Boucher provides their clients with the necessary focus to help define and reach their goals during COVID-19.
  • UW-Madison’s CROWE researchers track and analyze the economic impact of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and beyond.
  • WMC launched a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Resource Center and Employer Toolkit.
  • Godfrey & Kahn’s COVID-19 Resource Center provides timely insights on the unique legal challenges and business implications created by the pandemic.
  • Baker Tilly’s Coronavirus Resource Center: how an unplanned event such as the COVID-19 outbreak can affect your organization, employees, customers and suppliers.

  • JobPostingeNewsv2


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