MADISON – Members of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, the Economy and Small Business heard Tuesday from four people involved in building Wisconsin’s tech-based economy.

Speakers at an informational hearing by the committee were Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, and three start-up company executives: Eric Antonson of U.S. Trailmaps, Wausau; Ralph Kauten of Quintessence Biosciences in Madison; and Greg Meier of Lansare, PhysioGenix and TrackCost in Milwaukee.

The committee is chaired by Rep. Louis Molepske Jr., D-Stevens Point. Rep. Penny Bernard-Schaber, D-Appleton, is the co-chair.  Rep. Rich Zipperer, R-Pewaukee, is the ranking Republican.

Antonson was a past finalist in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest and has helped to build U.S. Trailmaps into a software and device company with licensing agreements with three major geopositioning system manufacturers – Garmin, Magellan and Navico.

Kauten is a serial entrepreneur who has been a leader in Madison’s biotechnology sector since the early 1980s. Quintessence Biosciences is a biopharmaceutical company that is developing anti-cancer drugs. Its first drug candidate, QBI-139, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for study in a Phase I human clinical trial. That trial is now underway at the UW-Madison’s Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Meier is a serial entrepreneur whose current companies involve research services for diabetes and cardiovascular disease; data solutions for the financial services industry; and automated time sheets for professional service firms.

The Tech Council is the independent, non-profit and non-partisan science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature. Through its Wisconsin Innovation Network and Wisconsin Angel Network, the Tech Council provides outreach and services statewide.