If you’ve started a company that has a new product to help thwart burglary, fire, water damage or identity theft, American Family Insurance just might invest in your business. 

It’s not necessary to be a Wisconsin company to win the interest of the Madison-based insurance giant, which invested in 10 emerging companies nationwide just this past year. But American Family’s chief business development officer Peter Gunder told entrepreneurs gathered Monday in Pewaukee, “I’m very bullish on Wisconsin — and I spend a lot of time in Silicon Valley.” 

About 50 start-up companies attended a “speed-dating” event at the General Electric Institute, where they had the chance to make a quick sales pitch of their products or services to representatives of major companies in hoping of building a collaborative “chemistry.”

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