MADISON – Emerging companies can apply
through Feb. 24 to meet with major firms and explore likely business
relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the first
annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

The day-long event will be held Monday, April 7, 2014, at the GE
Healthcare Institute in Waukesha, Wis. More information, including an
application form, can be found at

The Tech Summit, produced by the
Wisconsin Technology Council and partners that include the Wisconsin Economic
Development Corp., is based on the assumption that large and small companies
travel in different “orbits,” even if they’re in the same business sectors, and
rarely collide except by chance. The summit will include a series of brief meetings, similar
to a “speed-dating” exercise,
that will foster communication and partnership.


“In some parts of the
country, there are well-established ways for larger companies and emerging
firms to connect,” said Toni Sikes, chief executive officer of CODAworx and
chair of the Tech Council. “This is a way to enhance that kind of connectivity
in Wisconsin and our region. There are benefits to entrepreneurs and major
companies alike.”


Major companies will be able to hear
from emerging firms with innovative products or services tied to areas such as
“big data,” connected devices and data analytics in sectors ranging from health
care to information systems, and from power electronics to telecommunications.


“The evolving information needs of
major companies may require strategic partnerships with innovative young
companies,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Potential
business relationships might include contracting for research and development,
becoming part of a larger supply chain, and pursuing investment or acquisition


Participating major companies thus far
are Rockwell Automation, GE Healthcare, American Family Insurance, HP Enterprise
Services, Aurora Healthcare, AT&T, IBM, Faith Technologies, JCI, Runzheimer International, Kraft Foods and TASC (Total
Administrative Services Corp). Others are being invited. 


Emerging companies can apply to
participate at The deadline is Monday, Feb. 24. A
selection process involving major companies and the Tech Council will follow.
Selected companies may meet with more than one company, depending on mutual interest.


There is no cost to apply. If
selected, a company registration fee will be charged; registration discounts
will be available at that time for Wisconsin Innovation Network corporate
members. Space is limited on April 7.

“speed dating” meetings on April 7 will run about 15 minutes each. Other
features of the event will include:

  • “Office
    Hours” meetings and presentations, which will be available to all
    participants during those times in which they are not scheduled for
    individual meetings.
  • Addresses
    by major speakers who will bring perspectives that will be helpful for
    major companies as well as emerging firms.
  • An
    opening panel discussion that will help set the stage by affording major
    companies an opportunity to talk generally about their goals, needs and
    emerging markets.

Sponsors thus far include American Family
Insurance, Baird Capital, BMO Harris Bank, GE Healthcare, Madison Gas &
Electric, Mortenson Construction, Rockwell Automation, UW-Madison Office of
Corporate Relations, UW-Milwaukee, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and
Wisconsin Health and Education Facilities Authority.

Visit for more information on the event, the application
process and sponsorship opportunities.

Read this story in the following publications:
–  BizTimes
–  Milwaukee Business Journal