WISCONSIN TECH SUMMITMarch 27, 2017 - GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha #wistechsummit
On behalf of the Wisconsin Technology Council and our 2017 conference co-chairs,
Sujeet Chand of Rockwell Automation and Vivek Bhatt of GE Healthcare,
thank you for your interest in the 2017 Tech Summit!
The fourth annual event was held March 27, 2017 at the GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha.
Chris Rizik, the chief executive officer and fund manager for the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund in Michigan, was the featured speaker at the 2017 Wisconsin Tech Summit.
Rizik leads what is essentially a corporate “fund of funds” that was launched by some of Michigan’s largest companies with the goal of improving the state’s economic diversity while achieving a strong return on investment. The Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, along with Cintrifuse in Cincinnati, are the leading examples of such funds. Read Tom Still’s recent column on those funds here.
With three decades of experience in technology, finance and law, Rizik has played a principal role in dozens of multi-million dollar venture capital transactions. Prior to forming Renaissance, Chris served as a co-founder, partner and board member of Ardesta LLC, an industry accelerator dedicated to the development of microsystems and other small technologies. Rizik also co-founded and served as managing director of Avalon Investments, then Michigan’s largest venture capital firm. During his tenure at Avalon and Ardesta, he accepted four consecutive “Deal of the Year” awards from the Michigan Venture Capital Association. Read his full corporate bio here.
The goal of the Wisconsin Tech Summit is to bring together major companies and emerging firms in a setting that allows them to meet and explore likely business relationships around technology needs and innovation. Major companies heard 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.
Those relationships might include contracting for research and development, becoming part of a larger supply chain, and pursuing investment or acquisition strategies. The 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.
To foster this type of communication, the Tech Summit featured pre-scheduled, 15-minute strategic meetings between major companies and emerging companies. This format resembled a “speed dating” exercise, allowing both parties to learn more about the needs and developments of the other.
Emerging companies met with major firms and explored likely business relationships around technology needs and innovation. Applications were screened by the participating major companies and selected for meetings based on the information provided. Applications were also welcome from early stage funds that wanted to introduce portfolio companies and otherwise connect with major companies.
ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS EACH YEAR
– An opening discussion to talk generally about Tech Summit goals, company needs and emerging markets.
– Office Hours, which are available to all participants during those times in which they are not scheduled for individual meetings.
– A deluxe continental breakfast, networking lunch and onsite reception.