Dear readers, April 2019

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Jeff Rusinow
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John Zeratsky

Milwaukee is home to major-league baseball’s Brewers, pro basketball’s Bucks, the 2020 Democratic National Convention and an emerging tech hub. It will also be the site of the 2019 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held June 4-5 at Venue42. We’ve been a part of the momentum building around tech-based startups and scale-ups in southeast Wisconsin through our Tech Council Innovation Network for years, and we’re pleased to return the Entrepreneurs’ Conference to the Cream City. Please read a letter (below) from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who is welcoming the conference to town, and stay tuned for announcements about speakers, panels and networking!

Two regionally and nationally known figures will be among the June 4-5 speaker line-up! They are Jeff Rusinow, founder of Silicon Pastures (Milwaukee’s first angel network) and a respected observer on early stage investment trends, and John Zeratsky, a tech designer, author and creator of the Google Ventures Library.  More to come!   

Visit to learn more. Registration now open!


Tom Still, president

Green Deal
The Green New Deal: Idealism or inevitable? Learn more at April 23 Tech Council luncheon in Madison
Is the “Green New Deal” a costly, quixotic theory or an opportunity for young tech companies to prosper? Learn about the future of bioenergy and bioproducts. Tim Donohue, executive director of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at the UW-Madison, will talk about the work of the laboratory and its partnerships with businesses. Following that presentation, perspectives will be offered by Scott Coenen, executive director of the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, and John Imes, executive director and co-founder of the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative. Click here to learn more + register
     WARF 2016
WARF, 4490 offer views on venture investing: Learn more at May 21 Tech Council luncheon in Madison
Two Wisconsin investors with ties to the nation’s larger venture capital community will talk about trends and practices that affect Wisconsin: Mike Partsch, chief venture officer of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which is the state’s oldest and largest technology transfer office, and Dan Malven, managing director of 4490 Ventures, which focuses on information technology start-ups and was co-founded by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board and WARF. Click here to read more + register.

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett welcomes the June 4-5 Entrepreneurs’ Conference to Milwaukee in 2019
"I commend the Wisconsin Technology Council for selecting Milwaukee to host one of the premier conferences for young companies in Wisconsin and the Midwest.The significance of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference is unparalleled. Since 2004, the conference culminates with the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan, and honors an entrepreneur through the Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” Award. Both events are informative and inspirational for entrepreneurs of all ages and sectors. The conference agenda will include workshops, keynote speakers, panel discussions and more – all designed to help young companies get on their feet and remain standing." 
Click here to read Mayor Barrett’s full letter.


From gunshot detection to medical breakthroughs, Biz Plan Contest finalists show state’s tech range
Twenty-five entries representing sectors as broad as social media, health technologies and innovations in products or services are competing in the finalist round of the 16th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
The contestants have survived two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its sponsors and volunteers. Eleven of the 25 finalists are women and 13 of 25 hail from outside Dane County. Click to read more and see the 25 finalists.

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Paul Jones 
VentureBest team 
at MIchael Best 

Guest column: Profits or growth? The Entrepreneur's dilemma

Way back when, startup exits were mostly driven by profits. These days, the really big exits are mostly notable for how fast they are growing – and for those who care to look under the covers, for how much money they are losing. (Consider Lyft’s recent IPO: $911 million loss on $2.2 billion revenue; $24 billion valuation.)

So, what is an entrepreneur to do? Make money the old-fashioned way – by making money? Or, jump on the growth bandwagon – and spend like there is no tomorrow?

Read the full column by Tech Council Innovation member Paul Jones, of counsel to the VentureBest team at Michael Best


Week of April 8

WisBusiness: U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin both helped introduce bipartisan legislation that would create a new government entity focused on expanding broadband access.
Xconomy: Four things every smart startup should do as it scales
Milwaukee Business Journal: Foxconn spent $93M on real estate; 90% of employees from Wisconsin
BizTimes Milwaukee: Lift Up MKE trains women in tech
Wisconsin State Journal: Two Madison biotech leaders to represent the Midwest at a conference in Europe 
Wisconsin State Journal: Madison-based Nordic names new CEO
AVI Live 2019: The largest tech showcase in the region May 15, 2019

Week of April 1

Milwaukee Business Journal: Froedtert & the Medical College expand their ties with digital firm Xealth
BizTimes Milwaukee: Milwaukee pair launches geolocation app
Wisconsin State Journal
: Student demand for computer science straining UW-Madison department resources

Wisconsin Public Radio: UW-Parkside to become one of first universities in state with CBD testing lab WisBusiness: Isthmus Project has accepted two startups, eyeing others
Whitewater Tech Park
: Member profile: IIB Consulting
Milwaukee Business Journal
: Online marketplace launches for Wisconsin businesses in search of tech providers
Green Bay Press Gazette: Streetwise: Northeastern Wisconsin startups developing NASA tech, safe ride certification
WisBusiness: SwanLeap looking to reach new international customers
Milwaukee Business Journal: Energy industry veteran steps out on his own to commercialize innovative biogas purification system
Milwaukee Business Journal: WMC’s Bauer emphasizes ‘seriousness’ of workforce issues after new report

Week of March 25

It’s a wrap: Tech Summit 2019 coverage from Lambeau Field in Green Bay
Xconomy: As Exact Sciences’ sales surge, CEO reflects on 10-year turnaround
Water Council
: New startups selected to participate in BREW Accelerator Programs
WisBusiness: Health systems looking to startups for new solutions
WisBusiness: Exact Sciences CEO calls for creation of new corporate investment fund
BizTimes Milwaukee
: CMXTwenty enters phase 2 on opioid alternative
WPR: Foxconn: Mount Pleasant manufacturing plant will be operational by 2020
WisBusiness: Bankers looking for transparency, certainty around hemp businesses
BizTimes Milwaukee: Omni Resources sold at auction
InWisconsin: Northeast Wisconsin a growing hub for entrepreneurship

Week of March 18

Release: Foxconn announces Round 2 winners of Smart Cities-Smart Futures, kicks off Round 3
Madison Startups: Promega launches Water-Glo system
PRNewswire: Versiti Blood Research Institute develops new life-saving treatment
WisBusiness: The Podcast with Brad Hollister, founder of SwanLeap
WisBusiness: Digital health platform improves asthma metrics
Release: Isomark ‘Canary’ device proves effective in multi-center study, publication says

Lift up MKE
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Tom Still 2017
Tom Still,
Tech Council


04/04/19: InsideWis: In a spreading tech environment, Wisconsin must strive to compete
03/28/19: InsideWis: New UW Health project focuses on innovation, startups
03/20/19: InsideWis: Paper or plastic? Question tied to future of legacy Wisconsin industry

03/14/19: InsideWis:
Building stronger tech workforce is issue nationally and Wisconsin
Andy Burish,
UBS Burish Group



04/01/19 Episode 223: Tech Metrics, Tom Still commentary; interview with Andy Burish, director of UBS Burish Group

04/10/19 Episode 224: Tech Metrics, Tom Still commentary; interview with Mike Connor, co-founder of Fab Lab Stoughton


Portage Daily Register: IN DEPTH: Successful startups utilize resources, capital and some luck
Madison Startups: HealthMyne selected by FirstHealth
PRNewswire: Motor pioneer C-Motive Technologies closes financing round
WisBusiness: Novomoto has big plans for 2019
CapTimes: Seed money: Madison has become fertile ground for venture capitalists
Wisconsin State Journal
: ImageMoverMD adds investors
: WEDC: Investments in WI startups increase
BizTimes Milwaukee: ShockRay Self Defense gets cash prize on ‘Project Pitch It’
BizTimes Milwaukee: Dan Voell launches Milwaukee VC fund
BizTimes Milwaukee: State representative establishes Milwaukee VC fund
BizTimes Milwaukee: Badger Fund of Funds identifies seventh and final fund manager

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Tech Council Innovation
Tech Council Innovation Network membership:
Experience for yourself why the Innovation Network has been a Tech Council tradition for over a decade. With more than two dozen events annually, you'll expand your network while learning from top-notch speakers. When you become a member, your membership applies to all chapters, statewide. With a variety of membership types to choose from, you and/or your company will be sure to find a membership that fits your business goals. Join today!

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Need help finding the membership level right for you?
Please contact Angela Schlobohm, development & member
relations director: or 608-442-7557.

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Tech Council Investor Networks membership:
Your $750 Investor Networks membership entitles you to one free pass to our two major conferences (Entrepreneurs' Conference and Early Stage Symposium), as well as regular Tech Council Innovation Network events.


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