March 20, 2023 - Lambeau Field in Green Bay

What is the Wisconsin Tech Summit?

TitletownTech: Pete Romenesko

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, entering its sixth year, helps bring those orbits into alignment.

The Tech Summit is built around a series of brief company-to-company meetings, much like 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. and the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum.

“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.”

Who takes part in the Tech Summit?

In past years, between 15 to 20 major companies took part in the “speed dating” portion of the summit each year.

Examples of those companies include Advocate Aurora Health, AT&T, Marshfield Clinic, Johnson Controls, Rockwell Automation, Dedicated Computing, CGI, Associated Bank, Microsoft, WEA Trust, WIPFLi, American Family, Foxconn, Exact Sciences, TASC, Promega and more.

Those companies meet with a mix of about 60 emerging firms from Wisconsin, which apply through the Tech Council and the Healthcare Business Forum. Those firms are vetted first by our team. Applications are then presented to the major companies for possible scheduling during the day. Having those detailed applications on hand helps major companies prepare for those brief meetings.

WEA Trust’s Tim Bartholow on a speed-date with TCARE’s Ali Ahmadi

How long are the meetings?

Each “speed date” is 15 minutes with a 5-minute buffer between each. That’s enough time for the major companies to ask questions, emerging companies to present and next steps – if any – to be discussed. Major firms can schedule a maximum of 15 meetings during the day.

Each major company can bring up to four team members to take part in each speed date, which will be held in visually private meeting spaces on the fourth floor of Lambeau Field.

What have major companies experienced in terms of results?

According to surveys of major companies that took part in past summits, the results have been strong. In 2018, for example, 63 percent of participants said their meetings were “very productive” and 37 percent “moderately productive.” Tangible results have ranged from investments to R&D partnerships, to supply chain relationships and contracts for services.

When and where will the 2023 Tech Summit take place?

Monday, March 20, beginning with registration at 9 a.m., opening session at 9:30 a.m. and ending with a day-closing reception, all of which will take place at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Accelity Marketing: Jenny Weeden + Jackie Hermes

What happens when people are not engaged in speed dates?

The Tech Summit begins with a moderated presentation by major companies and emerging companies that have taken part in the past. The goal is to explore what to expect and what NOT to expect, the latter being equally important in a setting that is intended to provide only the starting point for a conversation, not a consummated deal.

There will be informational sessions throughout the day called “Office Hours” and a lunch presentation. The day ends with optional, half-hour tours of Lambeau and a reception.