Emerging companies may apply through Feb. 14 to meet with major firms and explore potential business relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the fifth annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

The day-long event will be held Monday, March 19, 2018 at the GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha, Wis. More information, including an application form, can be found at www.wistechsummit.com. Repeat emerging companies are welcome to apply.

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

“In each of the summit’s first four years, about 15 major companies took part in brief meetings with more than 50 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.”

Participating major firms thus far include Accuray, American Family Insurance, AT&T, Aurora Health Care, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Dedicated Computing, Direct Supply, DXC Technology, Exact Sciences, GE Healthcare, Johnson Controls, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Northwestern Mutual, Promega, Rockwell Automation, TASC and WEA Trust. Additional firms may be announced in the coming weeks. Attendees will also be able to hear from special guests to be announced.

Major firms will be able to hear from emerging companies with innovative products or services tied to areas such as 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 companies.

“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 strategies.”

Emerging companies may apply to participate at www.wistechsummit.com with a deadline of Feb. 14. The application is on the website or can be downloaded here. 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 “speed dating” meetings on March 19 will run about 15 minutes each. Other features of the event will include:

  • 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 companies an opportunity 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, AT&T, Baird Capital, BDO, Dedicated Computing, Enbridge, Flad Architects, GE Healthcare, IBM, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Northwestern Mutual, Omni Resources, River Valley Bank, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation, WEA Trust, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Wisconsin Hospital Association

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