MADISON – Peter Gunder, the chief business
development officer for American Family Insurance and one of the architects of
the company’s involvement in Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial scene, will speak March
23 at the close of the 2015 Wisconsin Tech
will anchor a day-long agenda that will include a host of “speed dating”
meetings between 14 major companies such as Madison-based American Family,
which has nearly $20 billion in assets and $7 billion in annual revenues, and
emerging companies from across Wisconsin.
chief business development officer, Gunder serves as the executive in charge of
American Family Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm, in addition to
innovation, data science and analytics. Gunder previously served as American
Family’s chief investment officer, executive vice president, senior vice
president of investments and vice president of investments.
Family Insurance is a leader among major state companies in terms of its role
in Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial scene. Long an investor in state venture funds, its
efforts have grown to include its corporate venture fund and its investment in
projects such as the 50,000-square-foot “StartingBlock Madison” project.
StartingBlock is envisioned as a hub for young companies and other related
Gunder represents American Family’s overall commitment to corporate investing,
not only for the good of its customers and the company’s long-term interests,
but as a leading corporate citizen,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin
Technology Council. The Tech Council is producing the Tech Summit.
a company like American Family gets involved with emerging companies – whether
as a customer, mentor or investor – both parties can win,” Still said. “The
corporation can achieve a direct return on its investment; acquire research,
expertise or partners that help modernize its operations; or broaden its sales
Participating major companies in addition to
American Family Insurance include Aurora Health Care, BloodCenter of Wisconsin,
Dedicated Computing, Direct Supply, Faith Technologies, GE Healthcare, HP
Enterprise Services, Intel, Johnson Controls Inc., Kraft Foods/Oscar Mayer
Information Systems, Marshfield Clinic, Rockwell Automation and TASC (Total
Administrative Services Corp.). More
than 60 qualified emerging companies have applied from across the state.
the second annual event is limited for now to representatives of participating
major companies, selected emerging companies and event sponsors.
The “speed dating” meetings will run
about 15 minutes each. Other features of the event will include:
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;
Hours” meetings and presentations, which will be available to all participants
during those times in which they are not scheduled for individual meetings;
continental breakfast, networking lunch and onsite reception.
Sponsors thus far include American Family
Insurance; AT&T; American Transmission Company; Baird Capital; BDO;
BloodCenter of Wisconsin; Center for Technology Commercialization; Dedicated
Computing; GE Healthcare; Madison Gas & Electric; Marcus Hotels &
Resorts; Milwaukee Institute; Rockwell Automation; UW-Madison Office of
Corporate Relations; UW-Milwaukee; Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; Wisconsin Economic
Development Corp. and Wisconsin Health and Education Facilities Authority.
Visit www.wistechsummit.com for more information on the event and sponsorship