MADISON – Leaders of three of
Wisconsin’s leading academic institutions will discuss how research
partnerships are driving innovation and economic growth during a Nov. 13
opening panel discussion at the 2014 Wisconsin
Early Stage Symposium.
UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, UW-Milwaukee Interim
Chancellor Mark Mone and Jacqueline Fredrick, president and CEO
of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, will discuss how their
institutions are working together and with industry partners, from larger firms
to emerging companies, to enhance the state’s economy.
“Fostering innovation: Academic
R&D powerhouses of the I-Q Corridor” will also examine how research and development
collaborations in Wisconsin are helping to close the perceived cultural and
economic gap between Madison and Milwaukee.
“Leveraging the assets of the I-Q
Corridor – innovation, intellectual property, investment and quality – begins
with having a strong research base that doesn’t rest on old ‘ivory tower’
models,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “These
leaders will talk about how their institutions are embracing that idea.”
The plenary panel discussion will
take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the second day of the 2014 Wisconsin Early
Stage Symposium, to be held Nov. 12-13 at Madison’s Monona Terrace Convention Center.
The annual symposium, known by
different names over the past 30 years, has been a premier event where
companies gained visibility among investors, other entrepreneurs and business
This year’s conference, with a theme of “30X10,”
will celebrate a rich history dating to 1984. Originally the Madison Venture
Fair, the event has been called the Wisconsin Venture Conference, the Wisconsin
Life Sciences & Venture Conference – and for the past 10 years – the
Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. Nearly 500 companies have presented during the
conferences in one format or another.
There are two separate
presentation levels at the Early Stage Symposium: the Wisconsin Angel Network Investors’ Track and the Elevator Pitch Olympics. The deadline for company applications has passed; more
than 60 companies applied.
Announced previously: Kevin Conroy and Maneesh
Arora of Exact Sciences will tell the story of the company’s successful move
from Boston to Madison. That will take place the morning of Nov. 12. Other
speakers and highlights will be announced in coming weeks. The conference will
– A dozen panel discussions or plenary sessions featuring leading
entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector.
– “Office Hours,” offering the opportunity to meet with subject experts
on a variety of topics in small discussion groups or one-on-one.
– SBIR/STTR awards luncheon to recognize grant recipients from the past
– The inaugural “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award
– The annual “First Look” forum featuring selected campus-based
– Exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 Wisconsin companies.
– A first-night reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other
networking opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.
The Tech Council produces the
conference. Sponsors so far include: Aberdean; American Family Insurance;
American Transmission Co.; Ascendancy Advisors; AT&T; Baird Capital; Baker
Tilly; BDO; BloodCenter of Wisconsin; BMO Harris Bank; Boardman & Clark; Center
for Technology Commercialization; ConfPlus; Cresa Madison; Dane County Regional
Airport; Findorff; First Business Bank; Foley & Lardner; Godfrey &
Kahn; Group Health Cooperative; HP Enterprise Services; Insperity; K&L
Gates; Madison Gas & Electric; Makin’ HEY Communications; Marquette
University; Marshfield Clinic; Michael Best & Friedrich; Murphy Desmond; Neider
& Boucher; Nelson Schmidt; Nordic Consulting; PowerBuy4You; Quarles &
Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; Ruedebusch Development & Construction;
Settlers Bank; Skyward; Smith & Gesteland; State of Wisconsin Investment
Board; Tweedee Productions; UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation; Venture
Investors; Virent Energy; Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; Wisconsin Alumni Research
Foundation; Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.; Wisconsin Manufacturing
Extension Partnership; Wisconsin Technical College System; and WTN Media.