Emerging companies may apply through Feb. 15 to meet with major firms and explore potential business relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the sixth annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

The day-long event will be held Monday, March 18, 2019 at our new location at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. More information, including an application form, can be found at wistechsummit.com. Repeat emerging companies are welcome to apply.

The Tech Summit will feature a series of brief meetings, or “speed dates,” to foster communication and partnership. It is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum.

Participating major firms thus far are: Accuray, AT&T, Aurora Research Institute, CGI, Dedicated Computing, Exact Sciences, GE Healthcare, Marshfield Clinic Health Systems, Northwestern Mutual, Promega, Rockwell Automation, UW Health, Versiti, WEA Trust and WIPFLi. Additional firms may be announced soon.

“In each of the summit’s first five years, at least 15 major companies took part in brief meetings with scores of emerging companies,” said Greg Lynch, chairman of the Tech Council and co-founder of Michael Best’s Venture Best group. “This is a way to enhance company-to-company connections in Wisconsin and beyond, with benefits to entrepreneurs and major companies alike.”

“Large and small companies travel in different orbits, even if they’re in the same business sectors, and those orbits rarely cross except by chance,” added Tom Still, president of the Tech Council and chairman of the WHBF. “This event aims to align those orbits where possible.”

Major firms will be able to hear from emerging companies with innovative products or services tied to areas such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, software and data analytics in sectors ranging from health care to information systems, and from power electronics to telecommunications.

Applications are welcome from early stage funds that may want to introduce portfolio companies and otherwise connect with major firms.

“The evolving tech needs of major companies may require strategic partnerships with innovative young companies,” Lynch said. “Potential business relationships might include contracting for research and development, becoming part of a larger supply chain, and pursuing investment or acquisition strategies.”

Emerging companies may apply by Feb. 15 at wistechsummit.com to take part. A selection process involving major companies and the Tech Council will follow. Selected companies may meet with multiple companies, depending on mutual interest.

A company registration fee is due at the time of application and are available online. Companies that are not selected to participate will receive a full refund.

Attendance at the event is limited to representatives of participating major companies, selected emerging firms or funds and event sponsors. Limited general admission may be opened prior to the event.

 The March 18 “speed date” meetings are 15 minutes each with five minutes between. Other features of the event are:

  • Optional tours on to the Lambeau Field apron through the Players Tunnel prior to the day-ending reception;
  • Educational seminars, which will be available to all participants during those times in which they are not scheduled for individual meetings;
  • An event overview and opening discussion to help set the stage for emerging companies by allowing major firms to talk generally about their goals, needs and emerging markets;
  • A continental breakfast, networking lunch and onsite reception.

Sponsors thus far include American Family Insurance, American Transmission Company, Axis Communications, Baird Capital, BDO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin/Versiti, Burish Group at UBS Financial Services, CGI, Concordia University, Cupertino Electric, Dedicated Computing, Flad Architects, GE Healthcare, Greater Green Bay Chamber, Green Bay Packers, Herzing University, IBM, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Northwestern Mutual, OneNeck IT Solutions, RSM US, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, UWM Research Foundation, von Briesen & Roper, WEA Trust, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

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