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October 29, 2020

Dear readers: 

As many of you know, the Wisconsin Technology Council has been a source of bipartisan policy advice for successive governors and Legislatures since 2001. During that period, our board’s advice has led to major initiatives around investment capital, human capital, infrastructure and more. This week, we announced formation of an informal, bipartisan caucus within the Legislature to serve as a sounding board for future ideas and briefings. We’re hoping others join the founding co-chairs to continue progress within Wisconsin’s tech sector. Please read our news release below.

Formation of 'Tech Caucus' will help keep state lawmakers apprised of trends, issues

No matter which candidate for president wins the Nov. 3 election, a bevy of science and technology issues awaits him in the Oval Office of the White House. Please read my latest “Inside Wisconsin” column:

Inside Wisconsin: Here are science and tech priorities that will face the next president

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: Take action to secure your email and the cloud technology you use!

By Jim Blair, Aberdean Consulting

In February 2020, the Tech Council Current published our guest column headlined, "If you think your email is secure, think again." Here is an update with more actions for businesses and individuals to take.

The pandemic and the social distancing that require remote work is further aggravating the existing security vulnerabilities that organizations face. Compromising users via email remains the top threat and can be prevented. In the last 90 days, Aberdean Consulting has seen an increase in the 200-300% range for phishing and spoofing messages.

Click here to read the full guest column.

 Blair, Jim

The Tech Council is one of about two-dozen groups taking part in the “Stop the Spread” coalition, which is a private-sector effort to do precisely what the name suggests: Encourage people to take common-sense steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please watch a video by Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor and federal Health and Human Services secretary.

The Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers recently joined the coalition as well. Watch a video featuring Packer players hereOn Wisconsin!


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).

vFairs to power interactive virtual platform for November Wisconsin Early Stage event
Can Wisconsin lead bio-industrial surge? Find out at 2020 Early Stage Symposium

Vets, students get discounted entry to November Early Stage event
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!



  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Smaller turkeys, higher wages and big numbers forecast as grocers prepare for a busy, pandemic-flavored holiday season
  • Dairy Reporter: Irish Dairy Cooperative plans $10 million investment in Wisconsin facility
  • CNBC: World Economic Forum says machines will create jobs but warns of pandemic disruption
  • NPR: How social distancing can destroy the global economy
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Candy maker Haribo to begin construction on Wisconsin facility later this year 
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: In midst of controversy, mounting questions, see construction progress on Foxconn site from above
  • FDL Reporter: Mercury Marine has earned a 2020 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award
  • WalletHub: The most and least financial distressed cities during COVID-19
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Xcel Energy pursuing $100 million solar farm in western Wisconsin; Alliant adds 115 megawatts
  • JSOnline: TikTok Ocean Spray challenge good for Wisconsin cranberry growers
  • Wausau Pilot & Review: Facing challenges, honeybees’ production has dropped in the U.S.
  • Fortune: No, offices aren’t going away—but they won’t be the same


  • CapTimes: Q&A: Jasmine Banks to find permanent home for beauty business in Madison Public Market
  • Crunchbase: Sustainable food supply chain begins with startups on the farm
  • WBAY: Appleton International Airport starts growing its own greens in hydroponic garden from Fork Farms
  • Forbes: Women are underrepresented in the music industry – Wisconsin’s LÜM is trying to change that
  • Visual Capitalist: Mapped: The top female founder in each country
  • WeAreGreenBay: UW-Green Bay grad launches clothing line despite obstacles
  • Crunchbase: Some startups thriving in volatile times, here’s what they’re doing


  • WisBusiness: Newly restructured fund, Gateway Capital Fund, seeks to be the first venture capital investment in startup companies that are not yet generating revenue
  • NVNG Investment Advisors: [Webinar recording] Attracting Venture Capital to the Midwest
  • WisconsinINNO: Weather tech company Understory looks to fuel growth with $4.1M capital raise
  • Great North Labs: Tech Sector’s growth has accelerated
  • Milwaukee Business Journal: [Podcast] Nettles talks diverse management, his next private equity fund
  • Times of Entrepreneurship: A $100 million Fund of Funds for venture capitalists of color
  • Crunchbase: Unequal access to capital worsens COVID’s economic toll
  • Reuters: Wall Street rebounds ahead of tech earnings, upbeat U.S. data helps
  • ImpactAlpha: How impact investors are using donor-advised funds to shift power to the people and communities
  • Release: Impact America’s $55 million second fund is hunting for unicorns in the disruption of systemic racism
  • What can investors learn from entrepreneurs?


  • CapTimes: As cold sets in, state's top infectious disease official Westergaard warns of 'nightmare scenario'
  • Spectrum News: 'Doctors have a hard time differentiating it without a test': What to know about coronavirus vs. flu
  • World Economic Forum: 10 most discussed tech topics during COVID-19 so far
  • Spectrum News: UW-Oshkosh bet on antigen tests. Now, it’s helping the CDC evaluate them
  • WKOW: [Video] CDC director Redfield visits UW-Madison testing lab
  • CNN: American Academy of Pediatrics sees 14% increase in child COVID-19 cases with close to 800,000 U.S. kids infected


  • Release: Exact Sciences makes acquisition to become a leader in blood-based, multi-cancer screening
  • CapTimes: Q&A with Jonathan Baran, CEO and Co-founder, Carebot Health
  • Harvard Business Review: To handle increased stress, build your resilience
  • CNN: Some doctors in U.S. fighting the pandemic now have another thing to worry about – losing their visas
  • LinkedIn: Why managing your work-life is harder but more important during COVID
  • Wisconsin State Journal: Exact Sciences stock soars with acquisitions of 2 blood-based cancer screening firms for $2.56B
  • NYTimes: Some U.S. hospitals are reaching their limits
  • UW Health: Developing a COVID-19 winter resilience toolkit is important for mental health
  • CNET: How to boost happiness hormones in everyday life
  • Thrive Global: 15 ways to redefine productivity in our next normal


  • Morgridge Institute: National Science Foundation establishes a partnership with UW-Madison to advance throughput computing
  • CapTimes: UW to start second round of furloughs, increase minimum wage in January
  • UW-Eau Claire: New documentary features international research project in Lithuania that includes Blugolds
  • Wisconsin Energy Institute: Advancing Wisconsin’s rural bio-economy video series
  • Madison Startups: WARF gives $88.5 million in grants to UW
  • Release: UW-Milwaukee commits to ‘Moon Shot for Equity’ to end equity gaps in higher ed
  • Black Enterprise: Robert F. Smith donates $50 million to assist STEM students at HBCUs
  • MKE Neighborhood News: This Milwaukee charter school is more than quadrupling the number of Wisconsin Black students taking the AP computer science exam
  • STAT: COVID-19 researcher fights back against a different kind of virus: sexism and power imbalances in science
  • Foundation for Economic Education: New report shows stunning success of apprenticeship program as college alternative
  • NYTimes: Colleges slash budgets in the pandemic, with ‘nothing off-limits’
  • Badger Herald: Mental health workers, students work to manage mental health during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Spectrum News: Parents are split over state of schooling in a pandemic
  • Wisconsin State Journal: MATC meat cutting program sees record enrollment thanks to interest in local foods

 CoVID-19 news graphic

Please send your upcoming virtual events for consideration to

UW–Madison’s Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership will present a virtual debate on antitrust policy in the digital age on Friday, Oct. 30.  Topics will include growth of big tech, the ongoing regulation and oversight activities of national governments, and how this might play out in the years ahead.

Madison College presents Dr Ibram X. Kendi discusses antiracism and racial justice on Wednesday, Nov. 4

The Tech Council’s annual Early Stage Symposium will be virtual for the first time from Monday Nov. 9 – Wednesday, Nov. 11

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is hosting their first-ever virtual
Big Night Out with the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Nov. 11

WARF Innovation Day has opened registration! This 60-minute event will include four quick pitches, glimpses of cherished UW-Madison places, people and traditions and a moderated Q&A session on Nov. 18

Women’s Entrepreneurship Week presents To Bootstrap or to Raise?  Considerations in a COVID-19 World on Friday, Nov. 20

 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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