Entrepreneur and investor Tom Shannon, who led the creation of BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation – the nation’s first non-profit early stage investment fund – will be inducted into the Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame during a Nov. 15 dinner tied to the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.
Shannon was elected by a panel of 10 judges that included the five past inductees: Dick Leazer, a founder of Wisconsin Investment Partners, the state’s oldest angel investment network; George Mosher, a Milwaukee “super angel” investor; Roger Ganser, a co-founder of Venture Investors LLC, the state’s oldest and largest venture capital fund; Jeff Rusinow, founder of Silicon Pastures; and Carl Gulbrandsen, former managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
Shannon will be honored during a dinner of about 80 invited angel and venture capitalists following the first day of the Early Stage Symposium in Madison.
“BrightStar takes a unique approach to investing in early stage companies,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “The fund accepts charitable donations as a 501c3 organization and uses them to take equity positions in for-profit, early stage companies. Earnings on investments are reinvested, again and again, to create jobs – and taxable companies – for Wisconsin.”
BrightStar has funded nearly 40 Wisconsin companies since its inception. President and Chief Executive Officer Shannon previously led Prodesse, a biotechnology company that sold for $72 million in 2009. His other investments include Shamrock Energy Corp., Proxim Diagnostics, Somna Thrapeutics and Aver Informatics.
The dinner, sponsored by Baird Capital and SquareOne Bank, is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Investor Network. The TCIN works with the state’s angel groups as well as early stage funds and other investors. The Investor Hall of Fame award is one of many conference features. Other highlights unveiled so far:
- Forty-two young companies have been selected to pitch to investors in two tracks: The Tech Council Investor Networks track and the Elevator Pitch Olympics.
- Remarks at the Wisconsin W·O·M·E·N reception the evening of Nov. 14 by Toni Sikes, the CEO of CODAworx. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. at The Madison Club. Register here for this separate event.
- An un-keynote presentation on Nov. 15 from Tamara Kleinberg, founder of LaunchStreet, on innovation and getting ahead of the competition.
- Nov. 16 plenary panel discussion entitled “Outside looking in: Thoughts on Wisconsin from investors in other states.”
- More than 40 investor groups set to meet with emerging firms in “Investor Intros” on Nov. 16.
More speakers and special attractions to be announced soon.
The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: 100state, Aberdean, Accuray, ACS, Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, Affiliated Engineers, Alliant Energy, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, BMO Harris Bank, Boardman & Clark, Bunker Labs Madison, Carroll University, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University, Cresa, CUNA Mutual, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, DXC Technology, Enbridge, Findorff, First Business Bank, Fluno Center, Functional Biosciences, Godfrey & Khan, HealthX Ventures, Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Madison Central, Husch Blackwell, IBM, Madison College, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Medical College of Wisconsin, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, Morgridge Institute, Murphy Desmond, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Northwestern Mutual, Omni Resources, Perkins Coie, Promega, Red Arrow Productions, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, River Valley Bank, Skyward, Smith & Gesteland, Square 1 Bank, Susan Healy (Tech Council board member), SWIB, TASC, University Research Park, UW-Green Bay, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy, UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, Venture Investors, WCMP, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WERCBench Labs, Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi, Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Wisconsin Hospital Association and Ziegler.
Learn more and register at www.wisearlystage.com.