Unique mix of AI, data science, business to be featured at Early Stage Symposium

An industry-backed partnership that will lift startup companies tied to two highly ranked UW-Madison disciplines will be featured Tuesday, Nov. 10 during the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. The conference is in a virtual format with registration open by clicking here.

With support from the Toronto-based Creative Destruction Lab and Madison-based American Family Insurance, the UW-Madison School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences and the School of Business are launching a risk management “stream” in the Creative Destruction Lab’s science- and tech-based portfolio.

The Wisconsin project is only the second U.S. initiative for the Creative Destruction Lab, which has sites in five Canadian cities; Paris, France; Oxford, England; and Atlanta, Ga., in addition to the new Wisconsin site.

General registration is now open by clicking here!

The CDL-Wisconsin effort will lever some of Wisconsin’s core and emerging competencies. It will work with startups focused on risk management across society by tapping academic expertise and knowledge in the risk and insurance program at the School of Business and technical prowess in the recently formed School of Computing, Data and Information Sciences at UW-Madison. Presenters at the conference will include:

Tom Erickson, founding director for the School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences and a veteran software developer and manager with international ties. In his operating career, Erickson twice drove software companies to the top two on Deloitte’s prestigious “Tech Fast 500” list. His career in computing carried him from Austin to Australia, and from the Silicon Valley to Boston, with 10 software companies and startups dotted along the route.

Jignesh Patel, an entrepreneurial-minded professor in the Department of Computer Sciences since 2008. He is the co-founder of DataChat, formed in 2017. He previously co-founded Locomatix, which developed a platform to power mobile data-driven services and applications. He served as its chief executive officer for three years until August 2013, when the company became part of Twitter.

“The importance of UW-Madison supporting entrepreneurship in tech has never been greater,” Erickson said. “We are excited to partner with CDL and American Family to take advantage of our existing strengths including expertise in artificial intelligence and data science. This is an incredible opportunity for not just our students and faculty but the whole region.”

The Early Stage Symposium is a leading forum for young companies that want to pitch to investors. “It’s also a place for entrepreneurs and investors to learn about trends that may define the next generation of young companies,” Tech Council President Tom Still said. “This is one such trend.”

Here are investor groups so far participating in the Early Stage Symposium: 4490 Ventures, Atlene, Baird Capital, Bascom Ventures, Bold Coast Capital, Brightstar WI Foundation, Capital Innovators, Chippewa Valley Angel Investment Network, CMFG Ventures, Cream City Venture Capital, Dundee VC, Golden Angels Investors, Great North Labs, HealthX Ventures, Hyde Park Ventures, Idea Fund of La Crosse, Inventure Capital, Iron Forge, Lancaster Investments, Lewis & Clark Ventures, Lightbank, Lightship Capital, M25 Capital, Madison Development Corporation, MaSa Partners, Matchstick Ventures, Midwest Wealth Ventures, N29 Capital, NVNG Investment Advisors, Northwestern Mutual, Oshkosh Corp., Plymouth Growth Partners, Rock River Capital Partners, Sandalphon Capital, Silicon Pastures, Stateline Angels, TASC Ventures, The Ardent Group, Tundra Angels, Venture Investors, Winnebago Capital Partners, Winnow Fund, Wisconn Valley Ventures, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Wisconsin Investment Partners, WISC Partners and Ziegler.

The conference will also feature:

  • A variety of insightful keynote speakers, including recently announced entrepreneur and viral influencer Jon Jacques and targeted panel discussions featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech and investor sectors.
  • The 7th annual “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation
  • Virtual sponsor exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 innovative Wisconsin companies.

The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: Aberdean, Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baker Tilly, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, C.D. Smith Construction, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University Wisconsin, CUNA Mutual, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, DeWitt, Exact Sciences, Findorff, First Business Bank, Fluno Center, Godfrey & Kahn, GoogleHealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, Idea Fund of La Crosse, Kimberly-Clark, KW2, M3 Insurance, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ Hey Communications, Michael Best, Mobile 22, Morgridge Institute, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, One City Schools, Oshkosh Corp., Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, RSM US, Signature Bank, Skyward, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Summit Credit Union, board member Susan Healy, TASC, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Computer Sciences, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, Venture Investors, Versiti, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing Productivity, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi and Ziegler.