The Wisconsin Technology Council is a 501c3 organization that serves as the bipartisan and independent science and technology advisory body to the governor, the Legislature and selected state agencies.
As such, it is committed to a statewide mission that involves tech-based businesses and related industries from all corners of the state. The Tech Council is reflective of Wisconsin’s diverse population in the following ways, which have been and will remain part of our overall strategy:
- Its board of directors includes women and members of color to underscore the need for greater diversity in the tech industry overall. A more reflective board generally leads to greater insights into all communities.
- We host events that strive to attract participation by women and people of color.
- In building our conferences, we aim for diversity on a full range of speaking opportunities, whether the topics at hand relate to diversity or not.
- Our annual Wisconsin Portfolio report on the state of angel and venture capital investing includes metrics on women-owned and women-led businesses, as well as women investors in Wisconsin.
- The Tech Council offers registration fees designed to attract students and military veterans, both of which bring other diversity factors to the table.
- The Tech Council offers some registration “scholarships” to entrepreneurs, the availability of which tend to attract people from diverse backgrounds. For example, we have reached out to minority business groups such as Latino and Hispanic Chambers and Black entrepreneurship groups regarding such scholarships.
- Opinion columns by Tech Council President Tom Still, which are published statewide, have occasionally focused on diversity issues as they relate to the economy – for example, the need for more investors who are women or the need for the Midwest to better address economic development questions related to race.
- Our “Wisconsin YES!” business plan contest for youth (middle- and high-school ages) actively reaches into schools and school districts where there are significant minority populations.