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May 5, 2020

Dear readers, 

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference will take place on a virtual platform June 4, with some easy and 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. The show will go on ... virtually. 


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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

Nineteen entries advance to second phase in ‘Wisconsin YES!’ youth biz plan contest
A statewide panel of judges have selected 19 entries to advance to Phase 2 of Wisconsin YES!, a youth business plan contest for students in middle school and high school.   

Students from across the state submitted their science- and tech-based 250-word business summaries through the contest website – – in April to compete in Phase 1.

Click here to read the full story and see the finalists!


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 “YDY (You Do You), Sweets.”

For entrepreneur and survivor, double mastectomy led to idea for clothing line
By Janel Hutchison

Jaimie Sherling’s life was forever changed when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2018. Just two months after diagnoses she underwent a double mastectomy, and for the following 15 months she endured a series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

By September 2019, Sherling was cancer-free and cleared to resume life as normal. However, life as a survivor, she found, was anything but normal. Click here to read the full story.

 View Tom Still's Inside Wisconsin archives by clicking here.

UW-Madison Chancellor Becky Blank to speak during May 8 Tech Council webinar

Tech Council Innovation Network and Tech Council Investor Networks members may take part in our 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 8 webinar with
Chancellor Blank, who will discuss the role of a major research university in addressing a crisis such as COVID-19.  

Individual and corporate members of the Wisconsin Technology Council and its programs, the Tech Council Innovation Network and the Tech Council Investor Networks may register for the May 8 webinar. There are limited “seats” in the Zoom meeting. Members may email Julie Johnson at to reserve a spot. 

 Blank, Becky


The Creative Company is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, May 12 in conjunction with the Tech Council: How to Communicate with Clarity during Covid-19, featuring Laura Gallagher and Madison Lee from The Creative Company and Tom Still from the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Click here to register for this informative event


Entrepreneurs’ Conference is a virtual ‘go’!      

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference will be held online June 4, making use of a virtual platform that will engage speakers, panels, the culmination of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest and a distinct networking experience for everyone. Miss something during the day? It will all be recorded. We’re excited about this highly interactive platform and will announce details soon, including at least one speaker who combines Wisconsin roots and national reputation.  #WiTreps


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.


Quarles & Brady is offering Navigating COVID-19's Impact on Reopening Businesses and Returning Employees to the Workplace on Wednesday, May 6

Aberdean Consulting
is hosting several webinars to enhance the remote working environment safety:
Using Microsoft Forms and Power Automate for Live Events (part 2 of 2) on Wednesday, May 6
Collaborate with Microsoft OneNote on Thursday, May 7

WARF Entrepreneurons: Social entrepreneurs finding resilience during the COVID-19 crisis webinar is on Tuesday, May 12.

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.

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.
COVID-19 Volunteer Program
Religious Gatherings and Services
DVA Assistance to Needy Veterans Program
Gov. Evers Announces Badger Bounce Back Plan

·       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, 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

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 CoVID-19 news graphic Wisconsin State Journal: Hospital goals identified to reopen Wisconsin economy during COVID-19 pandemic Apps that track COVID raise privacy questions
Wisconsin State Journal: Community, research efforts related to COVID-19 funded by UW medical school
DWD: Wisconsin has paid out more than $384 million in unemployment benefits since the start of the COVID-19 crisis
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Philadelphia Business Journal: What will reopening look like for local businesses? Economic development officials say it could be costly
Startup Milwaukee: COVID-19 puts Wisconsin’s innovation economy at risk
BizWomen: Pandemic prompts new global day of giving
OZY: Virus poses added threat to America’s ‘grandfamilies’
Urban Milwaukee: Can Missy Hughes help businesses recover?
Forbes: The U.S. Treasury will borrow a record $3 trillion this quarter as stimulus spending soars
The Cap Times: Wisconsin tourism industry prepares for tough summer


View The Show full archives by clicking here.

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