Tech Summit LogoEmerging companies can apply through March 16 to meet with major firms and explore potential business relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the third annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

The day-long event will be held Monday, April 25, 2016, at the GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha, Wis. More information, including an application form, can be found at  

The Tech Summit is based on the assumption that large and small companies travel in different “orbits,” even if they’re in the same business sectors, and rarely collide except by chance. The summit will include a series of brief meetings, similar to a “speed-dating” exercise that will foster communication and partnership. It is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and partners that include the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

“In each of the summit’s first two years, about 15 major companies took part in brief meetings with more than 50 emerging companies,” said Toni Sikes, chief executive officer of CODAworx and chairwoman of the Tech Council. “This is a way to enhance company-to-company connections in Wisconsin and beyond, with benefits to entrepreneurs and major companies alike.”

Major companies will be able to hear from emerging firms with innovative products or services tied to areas such as “big data,” connected devices and data analytics in sectors ranging from health care to information systems, and from power electronics to telecommunications.

New this year: Applications are welcome from early stage funds that may want to introduce portfolio companies and otherwise connect with major companies.

“The evolving information needs of major companies may require strategic partnerships with innovative young companies,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Potential business relationships might include contracting for research and development, becoming part of a larger supply chain, and pursuing investment or acquisition strategies.”

Participating major companies thus far include AT&T, Aurora Health Care, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Dedicated Computing, GE Healthcare, HP Enterprise Services, Johnson Controls and Rockwell Automation. Additional companies will be announced in the coming weeks.

Emerging companies may apply to participate at The deadline is March 16. A selection process involving major companies and the Tech Council will follow. Selected companies may meet with more than one company, depending on mutual interest.

A company registration fee is due at the time of application; Wisconsin Innovation Network members are eligible for a discounted rate. Companies that are not selected to participate will receive a full refund.

Attendance at the event is limited to representatives of participating major companies, selected emerging firms or funds and event sponsors.  

The “speed dating” meetings on April 25 will run about 15 minutes each. Other features of the event will include:

  • An opening panel discussion to help set the stage for emerging companies by allowing major companies an opportunity to talk generally about their goals, needs and emerging markets;
  • Educational seminars, which will be available to all participants during those times in which they are not scheduled for individual meetings;
  • A continental breakfast, networking lunch and onsite reception.

Sponsors thus far include American Transmission Co.; AT&T; BDO; BloodCenter of Wisconsin; Baird Capital; Dedicated Computing; GE Healthcare; HP Enterprise Services; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Visit for more information on the event, the application process and sponsorship opportunities.