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WELCO M E

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I N N O VAT E M wisconsin

erriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines innovation as, “The introduction of something new; a new idea, method or device.” Wisconsinites are leading the nation in innovative research, products, solutions and services. Startups, entrepreneurs and longstanding historic corporations that call Wisconsin home are thriving thanks to a commitment to innovative thinking. BizTimes Media showcases these stories of innovation in the pages of

“ INNOVATION

IS THE AR T & SCIENCE of C R E AT I N G something NEW and

I M PACTF U L.” — Matt Cordio, co-founder and president of Skills Pipeline, Startup Milwaukee and Wisconsin Startup Week.

Innovate Wisconsin, our newest statewide publication dedicated to today’s innovators and the technology thrusting Wisconsin’s economy forward. Innovation is driving new research, new products and new business for the state. It is omnipresent; it permeates every industry. In the pages that follow, Wisconsin leaders have shared with us what innovation means for them. We invite you to define innovation for yourself. Think about what it means for you, your organization, your community, and really gain an understanding, through the pages of Innovate Wisconsin, of what innovation means for the state. v

INNOVATEWI.COM / 1


TABLEOFCONTENTS

W I S C O N S I N 2 0 1 8 ECONOM IC DEVEL OPM EN T S PONS OR

A S U PPL EME N T OF

Welcome to Innovate Wisconsin.............1 Letter from the publisher........................4 Letter from the governor........................6 A word from our sponsors. . .....................8

Epic Systems: Medical records innovator......................43 Wauwatosa pharmacogenetics company forms international par tnership..............48

What is innovation?.................................9

Preparing Wisconsin’s future computer science professionals.. ............49

TRENDS IN INNOVATION

Businesses take advantage of new oppor tunities with vir tual reality............50

10 innovative Wisconsin star tups............18 Beloit is booming....................................20 The innovators.. .......................................23 Microsof t teams with Packers on Titletown Tech. . ..................................24

PROFILES IN INNOVATION Driverless vehicles take hold in Wisconsin............................................25 Foxconn is driving grow th statewide......30 Blockchain poised to disrupt more than just the financial industr y......34 American Family sustains culture of innovation...............................36 Former Agro Biosciences bolsters industr y-leading research.......................38 Technology drives ef ficiency and conser vation ef for ts for Wisconsin agriculture...............................................40 2 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Three Square Market microchips employees............................52 Green Bay solids recover y facility first of its kind.........................................53

RESOURCES Wisconsin educational institutions.........54 Forbes 30 under 30.................................55 For tune 50 0 and 10 0 0 companies in Wisconsin................................................56 Inc. 50 0 0 companies in Wisconsin..........57 Resources for early-stage businesses.....58

INNOVATE WISCONSIN 2018

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Dan Meyer dan.meyer@biztimes.com DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

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MANAGING EDITOR

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Arthur Thomas arthur.thomas@biztimes.com REPORTER

Economic development organizations. . ..62

ADMINISTRATION

Economic development regions and contac ts . . ..........................................62

Sue Herzog sue.herzog@biztimes.com

Wisconsin venture capital investments. . .64

DIRECTOR OF SALES

EDITORIAL

Angel investors & venture capital firms...............................60

Wisconsin patents...................................63

SALES & MARKETING

Maredithe Meyer maredithe.meyer@biztimes.com

Maggie Pinnt maggie.pinnt@biztimes.com Christie Ubl christie.ubl@biztimes.com Amanda Bruening amanda.bruening@biztimes.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Alex Schneider alex.schneider@biztimes.com ART DIRECTOR

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Meredith Jensen meredith.m.jensen@gmail.com

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FROMTHEPUBLISHER

Photo courtesy of SGA Architects

IT IS MY PLEASURE to introduce you to the inaugural edition of Innovate Wisconsin. For 23 years, BizTimes has placed significant value on the concept of innovation. We have grown and changed to adapt to the changing needs of our readers and our community, and the introduction of Innovate Wisconsin is the latest culmination of those efforts. Here at BizTimes, we recognize that longstanding companies like Oshkosh Corp., Harley-Davidson Inc., Epic Systems Corp., American Family Insurance and many others have been driving Wisconsin’s innovative economy for decades.

In the pages that follow and at innovatewi. com, we offer you a snapshot of innovation in Wisconsin−examples of how companies and individuals are changing their processes, procedures and products to better meet the needs of their consumers globally. This is just the beginning. There is so much happening throughout the state, and Innovate Wisconsin will be there to tell the stories of Wisconsin innovation−those companies and individuals fostering business growth and daring us to dream bigger, reach farther and work harder for the betterment of Wisconsin’s future. Read on, and enjoy.

These companies, as well as startup companies, entrepreneurs, researchers and visionaries in the health care, pharmaceutical, advanced manufacturing, finance and agricultural industries in the state, are thriving thanks to a commitment to innovation. Innovate Wisconsin highlights these stories and others.

4 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Dan Meyer Founder and publisher, BizTimes Media


ACCESS. RESEARCH. DISCOVERY. INNOVATION. These are the pillars of the University of WisconsinMilwaukee. Every thriving economic region in the nation is inextricably tied to a strong research university like UWM. As Wisconsin and the nation contend with societal issues and an urgent need to intensify innovation, UWM scientists, researchers and students are creating solutions through research, discovery and entrepreneurial new products. We are reshaping the region through innovative research and partnerships, forming new industries, strengthening industrial processes, maximizing energy and improving the health and well-being of our citizens. UW-Milwaukee researchers are developing new possibilities for wind turbines, batteries and biofuel – all to improve the use and storage of energy. Our Lubar Entrepreneurship Center is increasingly serving as a pillar of the region’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. UWM is partnering with Rockwell Automation, Microsoft, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and other leading private and public partners to create a new Connected Systems

Institute. This is one of the nation’s leading initiatives related to the growing industrial internet of things. Our researchers are exploring beneficial strategies for children and adults while advancing the fights against cancer and opioid abuse. UWM is taking the lead with the M7 Higher Education Job-Ready Talent Team with higher education institutions across the region to develop and expand an educated, innovative, nimble talent pipeline to meet 21st Century workforce needs. These are the kinds of discoveries and partnerships for which we are known. And they are among the many reasons why UWM has been recognized as one of America’s top 115 research universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone Chancellor

TOP RESEARCH TOP TALENT

RIGHT HERE IN MILWAUKEE Recognized as one of the nation’s top research universities, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is proud of its world-class faculty. Our scientists and researchers partner with businesses to develop new products and services. And, with more than 5,000 students graduating from UWM every year, we provide top talent to keep your business competitive. uwm.edu/uwmresearch


A LETTER FROM

THE GOVERNOR

2017 WAS A RECORD YEAR for economic development in our state, as 59 companies from Wisconsin and around the world announced plans to locate or expand here. These projects are expected to create or retain 30,000 jobs and result in more than $11 billion in capital investment. Global companies, like Foxconn and Haribo, have decided to establish operations in the state, while existing Wisconsin companies like Kwik Trip, Generac and Johnsonville launched major expansion plans. That good news is just part of the economic turnaround Wisconsin has experienced over the past seven years – thanks in large part to the pro-business reforms we’ve put into place. Our unemployment rate is at one of the lowest levels in Wisconsin’s history. In 2017, Wisconsin’s year-over-year decline in the unemployment rate ranked in the top five in the nation, as did Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate. We have also saved taxpayers more than $4.7 billion since 2011, and Wisconsin’s state and local tax burden is the lowest it has been in 40 years. We expect those tax savings to grow to $8 billion by 2019.

G OV. S C OT T WA L K E R

At the same time, we have invested more than $213 million over the past four years in workforce development to help better prepare workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The current budget adds $148.1 million in state funding for programs such as Fast Forward training grants and youth apprenticeship programs that support workforce development. As a result of these reforms and many others, Wisconsin is – for the first time – ranked in the top 10 in Chief Executive magazine’s 2017 “Best States to Do Business.” That’s a dramatic turnaround from 2010, when we were ranked 41st. We have made great strides in creating jobs, cutting taxes, making government more efficient and investing in our schools, but we’re not finished yet. There is more to be done to make sure the economic growth and the gains we’ve made in the past seven years continue. In particular, we must continue to develop our workforce to meet the needs of the ever-changing economy – especially since more people are working now than ever before. That’s why I have unveiled our Ambitious Agenda for 2018, which calls for investments in our rural communities through our Rural Economic Development Fund, which will spur the creation and expansion of small businesses in rural areas, and the creation of the Wisconsin Career Creator program that will expand dual-enrollment programs and provide training and education scholarships for the Wisconsin Technical College System. Those types of state initiatives, coupled with the efforts of Wisconsin’s business, academic and community leaders, will ensure that the economic progress we have experienced in the past seven years will continue to move Wisconsin forward. Sincerely,

Gov. Scott Walker 6 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018


Partnering for Growth Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren proudly salutes the innovative businesses and leaders who are making a positive impact on the great state of Wisconsin and the nation as a whole. The rapid evolution of Wisconsin’s economy offers both unprecedented opportunities and ever-present challenges for today’s companies. Globalization, a next-generation workforce and advanced technology have made conducting business more competitive and fast-paced than ever before. At Reinhart, we know that it is essential for companies to have a legal partner that understands the wide range of complex issues they face. That is why our experienced attorneys serve as strategic advisers to clients worldwide, working with them to capitalize on opportunities and navigate obstacles. With a proven record of helping companies succeed in evolving business environments, we deliver a combination of legal advice, business acumen and superior service perfectly matched to each client’s unique situation. Jerry Janzer, CEO

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FROMOURSPONSOR

WISCONSIN’S LEGACY

OF INNOVATION CONTINUES

WHAT DO ICONIC Wisconsin companies like Kohler, Mercury Marine, Oshkosh Corp. and SC Johnson have in common? They were founded generations ago by innovators who developed products that forever changed the world. That same spirit of innovation lives on today throughout our great state – in the classrooms and laboratories at our colleges and universities, in the R&D departments of companies of all sizes and industries and, yes, in the garages and basements of entrepreneurs who are working tirelessly to develop the next game-changing product. Wisconsin has a long history of curiosity, discovery and invention. We also take great pride in our work and in the exceptional quality of life that fuels our social, cultural and recreational passions.

M A R K H O GA N

Celebrating the unique attributes of our state underpins the work the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. performs on behalf of the people, communities and businesses we serve. As the state’s lead economic development organization, WEDC works closely with its more than 600 partners to make sure Wisconsin’s innovators and entrepreneurs have the resources and support they need to succeed. That is why WEDC is proud to collaborate with BizTimes Media on its new print and online publishing initiative – Innovate Wisconsin – that focuses on innovation as a driver of statewide economic development and business growth. In this publication, you will be introduced to some of the state’s most innovative businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers. You also will learn more about the resources available to help startups and existing businesses in Wisconsin grow, and to assist all businesses in meeting the challenge of attracting and keeping the brightest talent. I hope you will find inspiration in the stories of those who are leading the way for innovation and whose accomplishments are celebrated in this issue. Likewise, I hope you will utilize Innovate Wisconsin as a resource to help your business succeed – whether you are running a startup with a handful of employees or are part of a Fortune 500 company. On behalf of the dedicated team at WEDC, we applaud the thousands of individuals and businesses throughout the state that have contributed to the state’s ongoing economic success.

Mark R. Hogan Secretary and CEO Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

8 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018


WHAT IS

INNOVATION?

State leaders share what innovation means for their organizations “The only thing moving faster than technology is consumer expectations… purposeful innovation is key to meeting those expectations, and foundational to our business. Fintech is simpler and more complex than most of us understand. The very nature of the term conveys what it is: Solutions at the intersection of financial services and technology. But it’s not that simple. Innovation in each step – process, people and technology – is needed to sustain and build competitive advantage. We have a legacy of more than 30 years of experience in financial services technology, which forms a foundation of insight and knowledge about where the world is going…Our people are passionate about innovation – not for innovation’s sake, but for that of our clients... We are informed by the way people live today, and inspired by the way they will tomorrow.” — Jeffery Yabuki, president and chief executive officer, Fiserv Inc. “Innovation is when curiosity and passion for improving intersects with collaboration of bright minds sharing knowledge to make a healthier world. The organizations that have the greatest success in innovating to create knowledge to change lives and improve health in game-changing ways, have people, programs and practices that execute on this innovation in a consistent, coordinated and continuous fashion. These organizations generally have research and development and education as core missions and also bi-directional community input and receptivity. Ultimately, innovation in medicine will create knowledge that improves health and changes lives within our community and beyond.” — Dr. Joseph Kerschner, dean of the School of Medicine, provost, executive vice president, Medical College of Wisconsin.

“Innovation at Kohl’s is centered around creating a pipeline for new ideas, taking a test-and-learn approach and fostering a continuous feedback loop with our customers and our associates. Building a culture of innovation is not just about investing in today's technologies, but also investing in our people. We champion certain behaviors, like keeping the focus on our customers, working with speed and agility and silo-busting, to work more collaboratively across teams. When you can think both vertically and horizontally, you may find serendipitous solutions that you wouldn't otherwise clearly see. It's with this lens that we continue to innovate and iterate at our Kohl's corporate offices coast-to-coast and our stores nationwide.” — Sona Chawla, chief operating officer, Kohl’s Corp.

“Innovation can be an invention, but not if someone fails to bring it to market. Innovation can be a product, but not if it fails to move the market. Innovation can be an idea, but not if there is a failure to execute. Innovation can be an attitude, but not if there is failure to follow through. Innovation can reside in failure, but not if the innovator fails to learn from mistakes.” — Tom Still, president, Wisconsin Technology Council.

“Innovation turns gaps into opportunities. Innovation translates ideas into possibilities. Innovation creates new solutions to challenges by looking at the world from a different perspective. What makes an idea innovative is not necessarily the scale of its impact, but rather the value it delivers to those affected by it. Some revolutionary discoveries create entirely new industries, while others simply make existing technology work better. In all cases, innovation is an expression of human curiosity and the desire to create something new.” — Aaron Hagar, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

“At Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network, innovation is at the core of academic medicine and has been a part of our DNA from the beginning. We define innovation as “the delivery of new customer value.” Today, with the rapid digitization of our industry, there are more ways to innovate than ever before. But innovation isn’t about chasing shiny objects. It’s about organizational transformation measured by delivering on customers’ needs where they are. The tools are changing, but the goal is clear.” — Mike Anderes, chief innovation and digital officer, Froedtert Health; president, Inception Health. INNOVATEWI.COM / 9


InWisconsin.com

Wesley Escondo and his family relocated from Chicago to Eau Claire, where they are making the most of the balanced life they now enjoy.

WISCONSIN:

WHERE PASSION and OPPORTUNITY MEET Wisconsin is well known for the strong work ethic and productivity of its people. To maintain and grow Wisconsin’s talented workforce in the face of an aging population and shifting demographics, retaining young people to fill available jobs is critically important—but it isn’t enough. In a study entitled, “Labor Market Trends in Wisconsin: Potential Worker Shortage and Changing InWisconsin.com demonstrates Skill Demand,” University Wisconsin’s strong cultural, recreational of Wisconsin researchers and community assets through spectacular photography, engaging Tessa Conroy, Matt Kures videos and enthusiastic testimonials. and Steven Deller argue, “Simply put, the flow of people moving to Wisconsin is too low.” The question then becomes, how can we best create and promote opportunities for young people that motivate them to pursue their passions here? Answering that question requires us to consider the driving forces behind young people’s decisions regarding where to live. While the availability of jobs is a factor, millennials today place a premium on the wrap-around amenities a location offers. With a historically low unemployment rate nationwide, young people can find a job almost anywhere. It’s not so much about making a living as it is making a life, which is why communities throughout Wisconsin are focusing their energies on maximizing their appeal to the next generation of workers. “Our state’s workforce challenge is being addressed collaboratively by businesses, schools and young professional

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organizations that, driven by the changing expectations of the 21st century workforce, are cultivating the valued social interactions and meaningful work experiences necessary to attract and retain young talent.” says Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and UW-System Talent Initiatives Director Rebecca Deschane. The following pages highlight the successes communities throughout Wisconsin are achieving in creating networks and delivering programs that engage young people in conversations and activities that chart the area’s future. Adding fuel to these local and regional initiatives is a concerted state-level marketing program designed to shine a light on the opportunities available throughout Wisconsin for career and personal success. Target audiences for this broad-based marketing campaign include millennials throughout the Midwest who are seeking to maximize their career opportunities while maintaining a healthy work-life balance; alumni of Wisconsin colleges and universities who left the state or after graduation; and veterans and their families transitioning from active duty to a civilian lifestyle that aligns with their career and personal goals. BRAKE PEDAL

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The choice is yours. In Wisconsin, the average commute is less than 22 minutes, so you can spend less time traversing Michigan Ave and more time exploring our 15,000 lakes. Wisconsin. It’s more you.

THINK • MAKE • HAPPEN IN WISCONSIN

InWisconsin.com

Social media and out-of-home advertising in Chicago promotes Wisconsin’s low cost of living, short commute times and outstanding quality of life.

HAPPEN IN WISCONSIN

More than ever before, we are proving that if you THINK big and MAKE your mark, anything can HAPPEN in Wisconsin.


More than 10,000 people race in the American Birkebeiner, the largest cross-country ski race in North America, every year.

Wisconsin’s economic development partners are spreading the word that small cities like Eau Claire offer the best of both the urban and rural worlds.

The Umbrella Art Over Third Street installation in Wausau is one example of the city’s efforts to create a lively downtown area. The “North of What You Expect” campaign promotes the benefits of living in northeast Wisconsin—jobs, education, housing, recreation, and more.

Companies like Filament Games are contributing to Madison’s rising status as a hub for game development.

The annual YPWeek event serves as a catalyst for groups of young professionals to come together across the state.


InWisconsin.com

DIVERSE COMMUNITIES with ONE COMMON GOAL Wisconsin’s regions have realized that an approach of collaboration, rather than competition, among communities will better help each region, and the state as a whole, attract the skilled and talented workers that are needed to ensure the continued strength of Wisconsin’s economy.

SHOWCASING REGIONAL STRENGTHS WEDC’s regional economic development partners act to coordinate, and provide direction for, this collaboration. With its “North of What You Expect” campaign, the New North economic development organization provides videos that companies and communities can share with prospective employees or use in a trade show booth to demonstrate the appeal of their location and the surrounding region. The campaign showcases the appeal of the 18 counties of northeast Wisconsin, highlighting opportunities for recreation and outdoor adventure, dining, arts and entertainment, including assets such as Lambeau Field and the Great Lakes shoreline. With the “Someplace Better” campaign, Sheboygan County highlights the county’s assets, including arts, sports, nature, high-quality education systems, and available jobs in more than dozen communities. In western Wisconsin, the Momentum West regional economic development organization is embarking on a similar initiative, preparing to develop a marketing campaign with communications and outreach components. In addition to expanding the talent pool, the initiative will focus on improving labor market efficiency, with efforts to provide career planning, support and learning opportunities that align with industry needs.

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And in Madison, as the city has started to gain national recognition as an emerging hub for technology companies, partners including the Madison Region Economic Partnership and the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce are working to further raise the area’s profile as a hotbed of science and technology research and enterprise, based on the existing concentration of companies as well as world-class research assets at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Specific industry capabilities including health innovation, software publishing and game development are being highlighted as part of the effort, which also references the combined strengths of the Madison and Milwaukee metro areas.

A HOSPITABLE STATE FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS Now in its seventh year, YPWeek has expanded from a Milwaukee-focused week of events for young professionals to a coordinated statewide initiative with events in 28 communities across Wisconsin. Created by NEWaukee in 2012 the initiative has grown, with the support of WEDC, beyond a single week in April, into a peer network with engagement throughout the year. The annual YPWeek event has become a national model replicated in other places, and in 2016 was recognized with a Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council. In a new element added this year, excursions were added outside of YPWeek to encourage young people to discover other communities around the state, in addition to active participation in events within their own communities during YPWeek itself.

HAPPEN IN WISCONSIN


InWisconsin.com

Jamf, a software company in Eau Claire, is always looking for new ways to provide for their employees by continuously adding to and improving their benefit offerings.

STORIES OF SUCCESS from WISCONSIN EMPLOYERS ATTRACTING AND RETAINING TALENT What are young professionals looking for in today’s workplace? When it comes to encouraging young people and others looking for professional and personal fulfillment to pursue their passions in Wisconsin, we know they are looking for more than traditional compensation and benefits packages. Employees today are seeking workplaces that offer opportunities for advancement, employee and community engagement, and a chance to make a difference. Recognizing this, business leaders across the state are working to create work environments with multiple pathways for professional and personal development that come through meaningful work experiences, social interactions and the satisfaction of being part of a successful team.

RECOGNIZING THE SHINING STARS Every year, NEWaukee, a social architecture firm in Milwaukee, hosts the Bubbler Awards: Best Workplaces for Young Professionals in Wisconsin. The Bubbler Awards shine a light on Wisconsin companies that are leaders in adapting to the interests and needs of next-generation workers and highlight the innovative approaches businesses are taking to attract and retain talent. “Wisconsin-based companies realize how important it is to keep our young talent here and encourage them to grow and become the next generation of leaders across all industries,” said Angela Damiani, CEO of NEWaukee. The Bubbler Awards winners have made it a priority to create an environment that allows not only young

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professionals, but all their employees, to connect to both their workplaces and their communities in meaningful ways.

LEADING BY EXAMPLE Marketing firm GMR, headquartered in New Berlin, is an innovative global sponsorship and experiential leader, connecting brands and their consumers through shared passions. GMR creates a special atmosphere for its employees by offering maternity and paternity leave as well as a culture that prioritizes fun with office features such as a barcade (mix of bar and arcade) and events such as Breakfast with the Boss and Hackathons. A state of learning, growing and evolving is part of the culture at Greenheck, a Wausau-based worldwide leader in manufacturing and distributing air movement, conditioning and control equipment. The Leadership & Innovation Academy provides continuing education opportunities, including college reimbursement and scholarships for employees’ children, and the “Pit Stop” allows employees from both the shop and office to evaluate, reformulate and implement new ideas and processes to positively impact the whole company. Sargento Foods is not just a purveyor of great cheese; it is a community of “Real Cheese People” working together. Sargento’s philosophy is to hire good people and treat them like family. The company offers unique perks such as summer hours, tuition reimbursement, and “off the clock” time to allow employees to enjoy time outside of work and in their communities. For more information on the Bubbler Awards, visit ypweek.com/bubblerawards.

HAPPEN IN WISCONSIN


Comply365, a software solutions provider in Beloit, is another example of a Wisconsin company that continues to build a world-class, dynamic and innovative environment for their employees.

Angela Damiani, CEO of NEWaukee (right) and Tricia Braun, WEDC deputy secretary and chief operating officer (left) presenting a 2017 Bubbler Award to Sargento Foods CEO Louie Gentine (center).

Granular, leader in Paid Search Marketing located in Milwaukee, was a 2017 Bubbler Award winner for their great employee perks including flexible scheduling, Bublr Bike passes, Summerfest tickets and more.


Wisconsin’s network of fabrications laboratories—like this one at the University of Wisconsin-Stout— helps provide students with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.

STATE RESOURCES

to

Recruiting, developing and retaining talented employees is a challenge facing almost every employer today, particularly with the state’s unemployment rate at a near-record low and the number of people employed in Wisconsin higher than ever before. And with the demand for workers expected to outpace the state’s population growth between now and 2030, it’s more important than ever to pursue proven strategies that attract, train and retain Wisconsin talent now and in the years to come. Fortunately, Wisconsin is a national model in advancing talent development solutions that support companies of all sizes and industries in their attraction and retention efforts.

INSPIRING THE WORKERS OF TOMORROW A successful attraction strategy should include engaging with students before they graduate to increase their awareness of your company and the opportunities it has to offer. WEDC, in partnership with its regional economic development organizations throughout the state, has developed a new platform, Inspire, that connects local employers to area high school students. The Inspire platform enables businesses to engage with their future talent pool through online profiles, virtual career coaches, and career-based learning activities. The platform also includes interactive messaging with local professionals, as well as information sharing on topics such as job shadowing, interviewing opportunities and internships. For more information on Inspire, visit wedc.org/redos to find contact information for your regional economic development organization.

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InWisconsin.com

ELEVATE YOUR GROWTH WORK-BASED LEARNING AND TRAINING One of the keys to addressing the skills gap is for companies to establish work-based learning and training initiatives, such as apprenticeships, mentorships and in-house training programs. Apprentices work and train from day one, which helps employers address two problems at once: the current shortage of skilled workers and the ongoing and future need for a highly skilled workforce. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) offers two types of apprenticeship programs: youth apprenticeships, which are coordinated with local school districts and combine technical instruction in the classroom with on-the-job training, and registered apprenticeships, an industry-driven model that can be customized to meet the needs of any business. For more information on apprenticeships, visit dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship. DWD also oversees the Wisconsin Fast Forward program, which assists employers in addressing the skills gap through customized skills training grants. The grants are available to support employer-led worker training initiatives for companies that need a particular skill set in their new or existing workers. The program today is a nationally recognized, businessdriven talent development initiative that has helped hundreds of Wisconsin employers train and retrain thousands of highly skilled workers. For details on Wisconsin Fast Forward, visit wisconsinfastforward.com.

HAPPEN IN WISCONSIN


INNOVATIONTRENDS

F

rom ideas born in the research lab to entrepreneurs who saw a need and developed a solution, innovation drives startup businesses throughout Wisconsin. Here is a look at 10 innovative startups to watch across the state:

Lanehub Inc. Green Bay lanehub.com

INNOVATIVE

WISCONSIN STARTUPS TO WATCH By MaryBeth Matzek

Green Bay-based Lanehub Inc. wants to change the trucking and logistics industry through its collaborative online network designed to eliminate empty return trips and find loads more easily. Founded by Mark Hackl, who worked most recently at Schreiber Foods and is a former board member for the Food Shippers of America, Lanehub allows trucking companies, independent drivers and shippers to go online and search for cargo, available drivers and empty trucks. The goal is to improve efficiencies by matching a driver with an empty trailer with a company looking to send cargo in that area. Last November, Lanehub won $100,000 in a Wisconsin-wide Rise of the Rest pitch contest. Hackl is looking to raise $750,000 to take the company to the next level and make more drivers and businesses in the $600 billion trucking industry aware of Lanehub and how it works.

HaloVino Whitefish Bay halovino.com Customers ordering wine at sporting events or at performing arts centers have typically sacrificed taste for convenience by drinking it out of a regular plastic cup. Wine lover Jessica Bell, a sommelier and former investment banker, knew that was a big mistake, so she began developing an anti-spill plastic cup shaped like a traditional wine glass. Launched in 2016, HaloVino is a shatterproof, stackable, stemless wine glass. The cups are available for sale on Amazon and can be found at large venues, including Miller Park, the BMO Harris Bradley Center and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. HaloVino sold 100,000 glasses in 2017 and Bell hopes to double that in 2018. Sussex IM currently manufactures the HaloVino cups. 18 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Ab E Discovery Madison abediscovery.com A newly signed agreement with Elanco Animal Health has the potential to raise Ab E Discovery’s profile in the animal feed industry. In 2011, Dr. Jordan Sand and the late Dr. Mark Cook of the University of Wisconsin created Cosabody, an all-natural feed ingredient that nutritionally supports gut health. Four years later, the scientists launched Ab E Discovery to commercialize their discovery. The global in-licensing agreement with Elanco allows Ab E Discovery to further develop and bring to market an egg antibody focused on supporting an animal’s gut health and promote its growth and overall health, said Lauren Yang, a communications and strategic partnerships consultant with the company. Ab E Discovery also serves as a full-service commercialization resource for scientists and entrepreneurs and is constructing a new facility in Waterloo for its commercial production division, Ab E Manufacturing.

Pyxsee Oshkosh pyxsee.com Dayne Rusch was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh when he came up with the idea for Pyxsee – an app to help users better manage their social media networks. After working with two developers, Rusch launched Pyxsee last year. Dayne Rusch The free app already has more than 11,000 active users, he said. “You can post to multiple social media pages at once,” Rusch said. But it also tells the user how much time is spent on different sites. “I hope this helps people realize how much time they are on social media and that they may step away and get out to experience life,” Rusch added. Pyxsee also provides a service that allows parents to limit their children’s time on social media and their access to specific social media outlets. The feature costs $2.99 per month per child or $50 a year, unlimited.


Top Note Tonics Milwaukee topnotetonic.com There are specialty spirits, craft beers, and now specialty tonic water. Top Note Tonics, a brand of Milwaukee-based La Pavia Beverage Inc., makes a line of ready-to-drink, non-alcoholic craft tonics and premium tonics, including Indian Tonic Water, Bitter Lemon and Ginger Beer.

Top Note Tonics owners Noah Swanson and Mary Pellettieri

Located in Milwaukee’s Lincoln Warehouse, Top Note Tonics products are available in select specialty liquor stores, bars and restaurants nationwide. The tonic water concentrates are made with only natural ingredients and are aimed at highend cocktail-makers, said president Mary Pellettieri. She’s a former brewing industry professional who owns Top Note Tonics with her husband, Noah Swanson.

Jaystreet Technologies Manitowoc jaystreettech.com In 2013, Tom Dewane was working at a busy medical practice. He became frustrated with how cancelled appointments were handled. He developed an idea to use technology to automate the process of filling cancelled appointments. Jaystreet Technologies offers customers two programs – Avenue and Boulevard. Avenue is a web-based program, while Boulevard is integrated into a practice’s scheduling system. When schedulers get a cancellation, Avenue can be used in a web browser to input information about the new opening. Avenue then texts patients on the waiting list, one at a time, to offer the new appointment time. Due to its integration, Boulevard can automatically contact patients on the waiting list via text message and updates the schedule accordingly.

According to Dewane, both programs can also send appointment reminders and free up staff so they can focus on other functions.

Mysa Custer mysa.io Businesses and freelancers in Wisconsin have a new way to connect: Mysa. Mysa is a platform designed to connect local, vetted freelancers with businesses that need their help. The platform helps companies run more smoothly, while also helping freelancers earn fair, local wages. Founded by six entrepreneurs from central and northeast Wisconsin, Mysa’s beta site launched in the fall of 2017. Eventually, the goal is to take it nationwide, said Mysa founding member Jeff Rice. “We anticipate that this platform could really do a lot to help businesses in small- and medium-sized communities get the kind of quality assistance that they need to run better,” he said.

solution to her problem: a caregiver app to support children and adults with autism and other disabilities. The result is Stimmi, which allows parents to create a secure, customized online care center. Launched in 2017, Stimmi uses video, audio and text to allow parents to easily send updates about their child to everyone involved in his or her care. Previously, information was passed along on paper and parents would notify everyone separately about any changes. With the app, one update is sent to everyone with just one click. “Stimmi is a life plan to help those who are unable to care for themselves,” Thompson said. Stimmi was a finalist at the 2017 Wisconsin Innovation Awards.

Torq Labs Madison torqlabs.com An idea hatched by six University of Wisconsin-Madison students in 2015 has captured in-

GenoPalate Brookfield genopalate.com Sherry Zhang, a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, came up with the idea for GenoPalate after dealing with her own food-related issues. She did a DNA test on herself and her son and discovered both were lactose intolerant. Realizing other individuals might benefit from that type of information, she developed a test kit consumers can do at home. GenoPalate works similarly to other DNA mail order kits. Consumers order a kit and then send back their saliva in a vial. The DNA is analyzed and the consumers receive a report about their individual nutrition needs, including tolerance issues with caffeine, alcohol, sugar, carb and other substances. Along with the report, they receive a personalized supplements table, a personal nutrition label, body composition and metabolic health goals.

Stimmi LLC Madison www.stimmi.org Like many entrepreneurs, Deb Thompson had a need that wasn’t fulfilled in the marketplace. She teamed up with Laura Berkner to create a

Sensors in Torq Labs leggings can help identify possible points of strain and provide information about coordination and balance.

ternational attention. Torq Labs makes athletic leggings with sensors that can be tucked into the pockets along the leg above and below the knees, and on the lower back. The sensors send data to an app on the athlete’s phone, which looks for telltale signs associated with lower body injuries. The information can also help the runner improve his or her coordination and balance. Last fall, Torq Labs won first prize in a startup competition in Paris, which led to it earning a booth at the Avantex Paris fashion-tech show in February. The leggings have gone through extensive testing by athletes and the company is taking pre-orders for the product on its website. v INNOVATEWI.COM / 19


INNOVATIONTRENDS THE

REINVENTION

OF BELOIT

Hendricks companies lead change in the city By Alysha Schertz

T

he year is 1885; four former employees of Beloit-based Merrill & Houston Iron Works have just

purchased the company’s assets and renamed the company. Beloit Iron Works has 10 employees. In four years, the company will grow to 100 employees, and in 10 years, it will reinvent the industry and ship its first paper machines to Japan and China. For the next 115 years, Beloit Iron Works, later Beloit Corp., would be an integral part of the lifeblood of the city—the hero and innovator of the community. At its peak, the company employed more than 7,000 people. Beloit’s identity was made on the backs of the hard-working iron workers, and later papermakers, who called the city home. Yet Beloit Corp. could not be sustained. In 1999, the company would shut its doors, filing for bankruptcy and dealing a significant blow to the community’s Beloit ironworker, 1952 20 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

iron and manufacturing heritage.


and IronTek co-working. Hendricks also donated an 80,000-squarefoot building worth approximately $4 million at the south end of the complex to the Stateline Family YMCA, which renovated the space and relocated in 2017. While the space hasn’t quite neared the number of employees its former occupant reached; Ironworks currently has approximately 1,500 people employed in the space, and plans for continued growth, Gerbitz said. “It’s fun to think about what we can do with the space we have available,” Gerbitz said. “We’re not trying to do the same types of projects over and over again; we like to ask our tenants what they need and then deliver. We have to be creative.”

use development with retail and office space, and a 50,000-square-foot event center. Just across the Rock River from the Iron Works Campus is a new Ironworks Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel that calls attention to the city’s heritage, as well. Several other projects, including a historic building located at 419 Pleasant St. that was redeveloped into office space and the Phoenix Building apartments, were also completed downtown a few years ago. According to Gerbitz, the company will also open Hotel Goodwin at 500 Public Ave. in downtown Beloit this summer. The 34-guest room hotel is named after the 19th century Goodwin House that once served downtown Beloit, he said.

Hendricks Commercial Properties

The city’s next hero would come in the form of Diane Hendricks and her late husband, Ken. Together, and with help from others in the community, they would begin to reinvent what it means to be Beloit. Its new identity would Diane Hendricks not be iron, but tech. Innovation would still thrive, but it would come in the form of computer technology, innovative startups and a different breed of entrepreneur. Diane Hendricks founded what would become Beloit-based Hendricks Commercial Properties in 1974. She married Ken in 1975, and together they founded more than 40 companies, including Beloit-based ABC Supply, one of the community’s largest employers and the largest roofing and vinyl siding wholesale distributor in the United States. Diane and Ken purchased the 30-acre industrial campus formerly occupied by Beloit Corp., in 2001. From the beginning, they saw potential to give new life to the property. Tragically, in 2007, Ken passed away after falling on the job. Diane would press on and continue to fulfill the vision the two had for not just the property, but also Beloit. Today, the former Beloit Corp. campus, now known as the Ironworks, has been completely redeveloped as a multi-tenant space. “We changed the direction of this building in its entirety,” said Rob Gerbitz, president and chief executive officer of Hendricks Commercial Properties. “We knew if we didn’t think differently, this property would never reach its potential as the epicenter of business in downtown Beloit.” Most of the building was manufacturing space, complete with 50-foot ceilings, Gerbitz said. Instead of demolishing the building, Hendricks decided to leave the structure and redesign the property to add roads, more access doors and additional parking. They named it Ironworks. The company used the high ceilings to create more floors, loft spaces, and even a large slide for one of the companies located in the building. It is the headquarters for Hendricks Commercial Properties, but also innovative tech companies Ebates, Comply365, Ironworks Golf Lab, and most recently, Acculynx. Nearly 50 companies currently occupy or plan to occupy space in the building, along with organizations including the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce, Hendricks CareerTek

The IronTek co-working space.

BUILDING BELOIT Gerbitz joined Hendricks Commercial Properties in 2008. According to him, he was tasked by Diane Hendricks to “build Beloit.” The Iron Works property, situated on the banks of the Rock River Rob Gerbitz in the heart of downtown, would be just one of several flagship projects of Beloit’s revitalization, Gerbitz said. The Eclipse Center is located on the former property of the Beloit Mall. Hendricks Commercial Properties has rebranded the building as a mixed-

Around the corner are the Merrill & Houston's Steak Joint and Lucy’s #7 Burger Bar, also developed and managed by Hendricks subsidiary Geronimo Hospitality Group. The company will add Velvet Buffalo Cafe to its restaurant lineup this summer, as well. “Business in the community has been absolutely spectacular,” Gerbitz said. “We continue to see demand for economic development.” According to Gerbitz, the company is also working on the conversion of the former Kerry Ingredients building at 200 W. Grand Ave, into a 70-unit apartment building, and a pedestrian bridge across the Rock River. “Beloit’s transformation has been nothing short of amazing,” Gerbitz said. “The community as a whole has really been a partner for Diane, and for Ken, in the growth of their businesses. Through good times and bad, people in this community INNOVATEWI.COM / 21


COMPANY NAME

INDUSTRY

ABC SUPPLY CO. INC.

Construction

ACCULYNX

Technology

AEROTEK

Staffing & employment

AMERICAN BUILDERS & CONTRACTORS Construction SUPPLY CO. INC. AMSPIRIT BUSINESS CONNECTIONS

Professional development

BABCOCK & WILCOX UNIVERSAL INC.

Manufacturing

BELOIT REGIONAL HOSPICE

Health care

BRIAN THOMAS PHOTOGRAPHY

Arts & entertainment

BROWNFIELD ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING RESOURCES LLC

Environmental consulting

CHASE MOUNTAINS LLP

Design & marketing

COMPLY365

Aviation technology

DAVID H. BLAKE DWELL EBATES INC.

Retail technology

ENTRE COMPUTER SOLUTIONS

Technology

ERISA REVENUE SOLUTIONS LLC

Insurance

ETHOS FILMS LLC

Arts & entertainment

EWALD SERVICES INC.

Landscaping

EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT PROFESSIONALS

Staffing & employment

FIRST NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST CO.

Financial

FISHIDY INC.

Technology

GERONIMO HOSPITALITY GROUP LLC

Hospitality & entertainment

Hendricks Commercial Properties

IRONWORKS TENANTS

have worked together to constantly help it grow.” When Beloit Corp. went out of business and Fairbanks Morse, a diesel engine manufacturer, scaled back its operations, the community really suffered, Gerbitz said. “The jobs left, the ancillary businesses who Just across the Rock River from the Ironworks campus is the served those manufacnew Ironworks Hotel. turers left; it’s a devastating process to go through. What’s so impressive though is that this community gathered, realized they were headed in a not-so-great direction, and set the course to do something about it.” Back in 1987, a group of civic and business leaders formed an organization known today as Beloit 2020. Both Gerbitz and Hendricks sit on the board of the organization, which has been instrumental in the revitalization efforts of the community, Gerbitz said. “The conversations were happening long before I came to Beloit,” he said. “It hasn’t been easy and it didn’t happen overnight, but that’s where it had to start.” The reinvention of Beloit has worked, primarily because stakeholders in the community are committed to talking and working hard, and are passionate about bettering the community, Gerbitz said. Hendricks recently completed the redevelopment of the Phoenix Building apartments in downtown Beloit.

GREATER BELOIT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LTD.

Professional development

HENDRICKS CAREERTEK

Professional development

HENDRICKS COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES LLC

Commercial real estate

HENDRICKS HOLDING CO. INC.

Holding company

HUMMING ROOTS MEDIA

Social marketing

IRONWORKS GOLF LAB

Recreation

JBE GROUP INC.

Construction

JIM SPELMAN VISUALS INC.

Arts & entertainment

MANPOWER GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS

Staffing & employment

NORTH STAR SUPPLY CHAIN CONSULTANTS

Consulting & business development

OMNI GLOBAL INC.

Consulting & business development

PEER CANVAS

Arts & entertainment

PROAGTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Agricultural technology

RESERVE THE WORLD INC. RESONATE WEB MARKETING

Marketing technology

ROCK RIVER CAPITAL PARTNERS

Venture capital fund

SEIBERLING ASSOCIATES INC.

Engineer consultant

STATELINE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Charitable foundation

STEVEN NOONAN

Technology

TONY RICE

Technology

WELLNESS CORPORATE SOLUTIONS

Health care

22 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Hendricks Commercial Properties

GESTURE

Does a community need a Diane Hendricks? “It certainly doesn’t hurt, but it’s not just because of her money,” Gerbitz said. “Her money pales in comparison to her passion. Her passion for her community and (her passion) to get things done is paramount. If she didn’t have the passion, her money wouldn’t matter.” It’s definitely a collaborative effort, he said. “A strategy was put in place and then executed,” Gerbitz said. “It’s about making this community better, and how we get to where we, as a community, want to be. There’s so much potential in this community. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.” v


INNOVATIONTRENDS Market & Johnson Inc.

Other communities throughout the state suffered losses in the paper industry, and the state as a whole has had to deal with brain drain as Wisconsin graduates and young people leave for ‘greener pastures.’ “Traditions die hard, people are not always convinced that change needs to happen,” Still said. “Luckily for (Wisconsin), there are efforts all over the state that have been successful, and continue to succeed.” In Eau Claire, Zach Halmstad, co-founder of Jamf, has been instrumental in the city’s reinvention, Still said. Jamf provides Apple mobile device management software and support to companies all over the world. Last fall, a majority of the company was sold to Austin, Texas-based Vista Equity Partners, but Halmstad and the company remain committed to the city of Eau Claire. Halmstad, a music and computer science graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, formed Pablo Properties and its philanthropic arm The Pablo Foundation to build Jamf’s downtown Eau Claire office building and the Lismore Hotel, and partner in building the Oxbow Hotel in downtown Eau Claire. The Pablo Foundation also recently made a $5 million naming rights donation to Eau Claire’s Confluence Art Center Project, the flagship project of Eau Claire’s downtown revitalization. “He’s been instrumental in developing Eau Claire’s downtown into a place where today’s generation of workers wants to be,” Still said. “He’s giving back to his hometown, but also helping make Eau Claire a destination spot for talent in Wisconsin.” In La Crosse, Don Weber, chief executive Zach Halmstad officer and founder of Logistics Health Inc., and his family have invested more than $220 million in that city’s downtown, including several mixed-used development properties, restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings and the Weber Center for the Performing Arts. Similar efforts, according to Still, have been realized or are underway in Madison with people like Jerry Frautschi, Pleasant Rowland, and Epic Systems’ Judith Faulkner; in Beloit with Diane Hendricks and organizations like Beloit 2020; in Janesville; and in the Fox Cities. “In many cases, it starts with business leaders,” Still said. “But it’s also a matter of communicating with all stakeholders: government, public, schools and other educational institutions, development professionals, and community leaders. Nobody can bury their heads in the sand. If there’s an issue, communities need to come together and begin that slow, steady process of building consensus on what the future could and should look like.” Industries falter and leave, but innovation drives change, and Wisconsinites throughout the state have and will continue to embrace it. v

Construction on the Pablo Center at the Confluence, downtown Eau Claire’s flagship revitalization project, is underway.

THE INNOVATORS

WISCONSIN COMMUNITIES THRIVE THROUGH INNOVATION By Alysha Schertz

W

isconsin communities have a long history of reinvention. More than 30 years ago cities like Madison, Beloit and Milwaukee began an innovative approach to revitalization. The industrial rustbelt that previously dominated, if not defined, Wisconsin’s economy was changing and communities throughout the state needed to change with it. Today, more and more communities have tackled reinvention, sometimes as a result of individuals or companies with dollars to spend and dreams to realize and sometimes as a result of crisis and community organization. At the forefront of reinvention, though, is always innovation, a desire for a new identity, and a passion for the community as a whole. “I think (reinvention) is most often the product of a number of steady concerted efforts and communications that reach a lot of people who should be involved,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “It’s rarely a case of someone proclaiming, ‘We need to rebrand,’ it’s more about making the case in a measured, persistent way over time.” It’s a conversation that involves various elements, Still said. “Most often, though, there comes a time in most communities where they have to ask, ‘What does our community look like if we don’t do this?’” he added. In Beloit, the community’s largest employers either left or significantly downsized, Janesville lost General Motors. Madison lost Oscar Meyer. Tom Still

INNOVATEWI.COM / 23


INNOVATIONTRENDS

SGA Architects

Once complete, Titletown Tech will provide support and resources for both new and established innovative businesses in northeastern Wisconsin.

MICROSOFT, PACKERS TEAM UP TO

SUPPORT INNOVATION WITH TITLETOWN TECH By Elizabeth Clarke

“The latest digital tools, technology expertise and capital are critical to starting and running a successful business in the 21st century.” — Brad Smith, Microsoft President

24 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

I

n October 2017, in what some would consider an unlikely partnership, the Green Bay Packers and Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. officially announced plans for Titletown Tech, a tech incubator space designed to boost the economy in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley and beyond by bringing world-class digital innovations, connectivity and tech expertise to rural areas of the state. The new building will be located just west of Lambeau Field, and will include space for a startup accelerator, a venture capital fund and lab space and resources for businesses. The Packers expect to break ground on the project this spring, and the building is expected to be open by the fall. “The building plans are near completion, and although construction has not yet begun, the land located in the area just west of Lambeau Field was prepared so that we are able to break ground as soon as the design is finalized,” said Aaron Popkey, a spokesman for the Packers. Although both organizations are providing in-

put on each aspect of the Titletown Tech planning, Microsoft has taken the lead on programming. According to Microsoft, its team is already working on program development and securing partners, as well as investors. Details of those potential partnerships are not yet official, but Microsoft has indicated many organizations have already expressed interest in supporting the Titletown Tech effort. The Titletown Tech accelerator will help startups and early-stage companies reach the next stage of development over an 18-week period. TitletownTech Labs is also an 18-week program that will be open to employee teams from established businesses seeking to create new digital technology products and services in the manufacturing, paper, agriculture, sports, health care and insurance industries. Companies will also have access to launch capital from the TitletownTech Venture Capital Fund. The Packers and Microsoft have each committed $5 million over the next five years to the fund, but hope to attract additional investors, as well. In addition, Microsoft TechSpark Wisconsin will be based at TitletownTech and focused on northeastern Wisconsin. Microsoft TechSpark seeks to develop new digital initiatives in six U.S. communities outside major cities. “The latest digital tools, technology expertise and capital are critical to starting and running a successful business in the 21st century,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “By combining the Green Bay Packers’ deep engagement in this community and our expertise in helping businesses digitally transform, we believe TitletownTech will be a valuable resource for Wisconsin and a model for fostering economic development in other parts of the country.” TitletownTech is Phase II of the Titletown District’s overall development plan, along with the introduction of residential and additional office buildings. Phase I included a Bellin Health Sports Medicine & Orthopedics center, the Lodge Kohler hotel, Hinterland Brewery and a large public park featuring a football field, a snow tubing hill and an ice skating rink. “The community has really embraced the changes we are making to the area,” Popkey said. “They are just as excited as we are with the advancements that are being made in Titletown and are looking forward to what is still to come, including Titletown Tech.” v


UW-Madison TOPS Lab

PROFILESININNOVATION

DRIVERLESS VEHICLES TAKE

Autonomous vehicles range from interstate freight trucks to small people-carriers like this Navya Arma.

HOLD IN WISCONSIN UW-Madison, R&D collaborations advance the work By Elizabeth Clarke

A

utonomous vehicles are on their way. Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group is pushing for autonomous vehicle lanes in the Wisconsin highway budget and research is progressing in the state thanks to local support from across the stakeholder spectrum. A partnership that includes the University of Wisconsin-Madison was named one of 10 proving grounds for driverless cars and trucks by the U.S. Department of Transportation in January 2017. Other key partners involved in the project include American Family Insurance, Hyper Innovation, Trek Bicycle Corp. and Madison Gas and Electric Co. While the designation does not come with funding, there has been great value in it, said Peter Rafferty, a program manager at UW-Madison’s Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory. The attention has catalyzed several initiatives

and brought together numerous organizations to collaborate. Rafferty believes the Wisconsin proving ground sites were chosen because of the diverse backgrounds and range of testing environments they are able to provide. “Although we would not have been selected without partnering with the MGA Research facility near Burlington, the range of issues yet to be figured out with autonomous vehicles is very multidisciplinary,” he said. These issues include cybersecurity; insurance and liability; human factors; interactions with motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians; planning; and policy. In May 2017, Gov. Scott Walker issued an executive order to create the Governor’s Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment, which advises the governor on how to best advance AV testing and operation in Wisconsin. The order has brought attention to the transformative technologies that are developing, which Rafferty believes is critical. “(Autonomous vehicles) are already here to INNOVATEWI.COM / 25


PROFILESININNOVATION UW

Numerous autonomous vehicles were on display at an event in November 2017 on the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering campus.

-M

a di

s on

TO P

SL

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some extent, with more to come,” Rafferty said. “A challenging transition is upon us and regulatory issues have to be addressed. Gov. Walker’s executive order speaks of removing barriers, advancing safe and successful deployment, and identifying what impedes testing. Fortunately, there is not all that much to untangle here, and things are moving along well.”

As a partner, American Family Insurance brings considerations to the table when addressing a driverless future. There are the liability questions, but there are also the questions about how these new technologies will transform communities for which American Family offers insight. Madison-based Hyper Innovation is a collaborative innovation center that has been instrumental in bringing together other partners with shared corporate interests in autonomous vehicles. Waterloo-based Trek Bicycle is involved as well, bringing a heavy interest in bicycle safety applications with connected and automated vehicles. On the vehicle and sensor technology side,

“A challenging transition is upon us and regulatory issues have to be addressed." — Peter Rafferty, UW-Madison Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory

According to Rafferty, while some proving grounds are centered on bringing automakers to a private track, there are many different issues to tackle among the entire research and development community, which UW-Madison and partners have helped identify and begun to address. “We are able to offer a range of testing and evaluation environments, but we are currently focused on the simulation environment, urban mobility and equity,” he said. “This includes initiatives related to what some have heard regarding the Foxconn development and the collaboration with Southeast University in Nanjing.” Offering a virtual simulation environment, appropriate development laboratory settings, campuses, and the strong support of the City of Madison has been an asset to the AV research happening locally. The in-depth research requires collaborations from multiple sectors. Given the nature of new mobility developments, the private sector is especially prominent, Rafferty said. 26 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

two notable local partners are Fitchburg-based Mandli Communications Inc., an industry leader in specialized highway data collection and the integration of 3D pavement technology, and Roadview Inc., a leader in the collection, reduction and delivery of large-scale, geo-referenced transportation datasets. “I am most excited about addressing what we call first-mile/last-mile barriers to mobility,” Rafferty said. “This involves so many facets of transportation, while targeting the improvement of equity, energy use, air quality, mobility choices, urban congestion and economic opportunities. On the vehicle technology side, this brings together electric vehicles, connected vehicles, shared mobility and, of course, driverless vehicles.” In November, the proving grounds brought an electric driverless shuttle, Navya Arma, to Madison for a demonstration, Rafferty said. “This is a vehicle that doesn’t have a steering wheel or pedals,” he said. “It was very well received.” v


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hardly think we would be interested” and many other declinations. Instead of giving up, Mosling and Besserdich persevered and started their own company. Today, Oshkosh Corporation is powered by more than 15,000 team members around the world, dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives. Committed to engaging, developing and connecting team members, Oshkosh Corporation is a People First Company. The company is a leader in designing, manufacturing and servicing a broad range of access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency, military and specialty vehicles and vehicle bodies. Founded on innovation, Oshkosh Corporation is a Fortune 500 Company with manufacturing operations on four continents and its products are recognized around the world for quality, durability and innovation, and can be found in more than 150 countries around the globe.

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PROFILESININNOVATION

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou and Gov. Scott Walker hold up their signed agreement in July 2017.

FOXCONN BRINGS NEW INNOVATION TO WISCONSIN, UNITED STATES By Alysha Schertz

30 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Last year, Wisconsin officials signed a deal for Taiwan-based manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group to build a $10 billion manufacturing campus facility in the southeastern Wisconsin village of Mount Pleasant. Initially, Foxconn’s focus in Wisconsin will be on LCD manufacturing and the assembly of TVs, but the company has big plans to advance the 8K+5G ecosystem in the U.S. “We believe that the Wisconsin campus will be a flag-bearer for intelligent manufacturing in the Industry 4.0 era, and help position Wisconsin as a global leader in high-technology advanced manufacturing,” Foxconn executives said in a statement last year. “The Wisconsin campus will also provide a platform for the development of next-generation hardware and solutions as part of our 8K+5G ecosystem, and serve a catalytic role in cultivating a new class of vertical solution providers.” The 8K+5G ecosystem the company is referring to is the next generation of screen resolution and cell tower capabilities. According to industry professionals, an 8K screen displays a 33-megapixel image. By comparison, Full HD screen resolution, known as 1080p, produces just a 2-megapixel image. The introduction of 4K television screens, many of which have only recently become accessible to the mass consumer, provides just an 8-megapixel image – less than some smartphone images. Foxconn wants to make the Mount Pleas-

ant campus the first facility in the U.S. capable of producing 8K systems. Newer devices require faster, more connected wireless networks. Foxconn plans to be a driving force behind the continued rollout of the 5G (fifth generation) wireless network in the U.S. Major providers including Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have begun testing 5G capabilities in cities across the U.S., but widespread rollout is not expected until 2019 or 2020. The expansion of 5G is expected to bring more power to the “Internet of Things” movement and the overall consumer electronics experience. Foxconn officials believe the company can drive significant changes, not just in how

“We believe that the Wisconsin campus will be a flag-bearer for intelligent manufacturing." — Foxconn executives

people watch television, but also in industries like automotive, defense, medicine, education and advanced manufacturing. And they need partners in Wisconsin and beyond to make it happen. v


projects.511wi.gov

A map of the planned road construction projects around the Foxconn site.

goals outlined by M+W | Gilbane represent the first tangible numbers presented by Foxconn or its contractors. While Gilbane is headquartered in Rhode Island, Jelen emphasized the firm’s Milwaukee presence while talking to reporters and noted its role in the construction of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. tower in downtown Milwaukee. M+W Group, meanwhile, is based in Germany and specializes in construction of clean room environments. The company held a dozen contractor information sessions throughout the state in April, emphasizing the value of the project to firms all over the state, not just in southeastern Wisconsin.

FOXCONN TEAM

SETS TARGETS FOR WISCONSIN HIRING By Arthur Thomas

M+W | Gilbane, the construction management team Foxconn Technology Group selected for its $10 billion, 22 million-square-foot Mount Pleasant campus, has set goals to have 60 percent of the project completed by Wisconsin-based companies and 70 percent of the job hours worked by Wisconsin residents. Officials from M+W | Gilbane announced the targets during a contractor information session in Sturtevant in April. The joint venture between Gilbane Building Co. and M+W Group also set goals for the use of Racine County firms and the hiring of women, minorities and veterans on the project. “Our No. 1 objective is to build capacity both in workforce and in business in the State of Wisconsin, while building a world-class facility for our client,” said Adam Jelen, senior vice president at Gilbane. Building the Foxconn LCD panel campus is expected to generate up to 10,000 construction jobs over each of the next four years. While the work is projected to generate $3.6 billion in wages over the fouryear period, critics have questioned how much of the work will actually go to Wisconsin residents. Reports by Ernst & Young and Baker Tilly have sought to estimate the number of out-of-state workers, but the

An aerial view of the Foxconn site in Mount Pleasant.

The M+W | Gilbane plan calls for 10 percent of the subcontractors to be based in Racine County and for 10 percent to be woman-, minorityor veteran-owned businesses. The targets are not mutually exclusive, and the project will utilize union and non-union workers, officials said. “There’s no inside ballgame here, folks,” Matt Moroney, state Department of Administration strategic economic initiatives director, INNOVATEWI.COM / 31


wisupplychainmarketplace.com

PROFILESININNOVATION

told a crowd of nearly 500 people in Sturtevant. He said while the public sector elements of the project are required by law to select the lowest-priced competent bid, the state is strongly encouraging firms to consider inclusion in their proposals. “This is a rare opportunity to get more people into the trades,” Moroney said.

TI M E LI N E Contract work to improve road conditions and add frontage roads near the Foxconn property in Mount Pleasant is already underway and is expected to be complete by June. Firms from Waukesha, Black River Falls and Green Bay were awarded those contracts. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation expects additional road work related to the Foxconn campus to continue into the year 2021. Mass excavation, erosion control, storm water and soil testing projects have also been announced, and some construction work is scheduled to begin in May. Vertical building construction would likely start in the second half of the year or early next year. The design and building program for the Foxconn plant is still being refined, but Claude Lois, Mount Pleasant project director, said the company is still planning for an assembly operation to be the first facility. Lois acknowledged the timeline has been pushed back slightly from what was anticipated when Foxconn selected the Mount Pleasant location. M+W Group executives also discussed the possibility of setting up clean room pre-fabrication sites around the state as construction moves forward, although no specific locations were discussed. v 32 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

FOXCONN SUPPLY CHAIN

CREATES OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL WISCONSIN FIRMS By Arthur Thomas

Foxconn Technology Group plans to make approximately $1.4 billion in supply purchases in Wisconsin annually once its LCD panel campus is fully operational, a figure more than three times the combined in-state supply purchases made by Marinette Marine Corp., Quad/Graphics Inc. and Oshkosh Corp. Green Bay-based The New North Inc., northeastern Wisconsin’s regional economic development organization, has expanded its online supply chain tool to include information specifically for working with Foxconn. “We see the Supply Chain Marketplace as a destination where companies can go to take concrete steps to get in line for Foxconn,” said Jerry Murphy, executive director of New North. “We believe that the Supply Chain Marketplace will serve as a primary Wisconsin resource tool for Foxconn to use, now and in the future.” The free tool allows companies to create a profile detailing their capabilities, certifications and contacts. The information is then displayed in selected industry directories and business categories. The news of Foxconn’s planned purchases has prompted nearly 800 businesses to put their information on the Wisconsin Supply Chain Marketplace. According to Jela Trask, business and

investment attraction director at Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., opportunities to work with Foxconn will break down into three phases: construction, initial assembly work and fabrication of generation 10.5 LCD panels, which will come when Foxconn completes the buildout of its Mount Pleasant campus. The WEDC plans to work with Foxconn’s designated supply chain leader to leverage the information gathered in the Supply Chain Marketplace to make connections to Wisconsin companies. To submit your company profile to the marketplace, visit wisupplychainmarketplace. com.

“We see the Supply Chain Marketplace as a destination where companies can go to take concrete steps to get in line for Foxconn.” — Jerry Murphy, New North


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PROFILESININNOVATION Heather Sullivan, associate director of external relations for Marquette University’s College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management.

BLOCKCHAIN POISED TO DISRUPT

MORE THAN JUST THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY

WE’ VE ALL SEEN THE HE ADLINES. Over the past few months, Bitcoin has taken the investment world by storm, and fortunes have been made and lost by many in its wake. But what is Bitcoin? For starters, it’s not a coin. It’s a cryptocurrency, but on a deeper level, bitcoin is an application for a platform of technology known as blockchain. Heather Sullivan is the associate director of external relations for Marquette University’s College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management. She recently founded Marquette’s blockchain lab. The lab is a way to bring content around disruptive technologies to the classroom, building on experiential learning opportunities for students. According to Sullivan, blockchain is being built, tested and proven in a variety of applications poised to disrupt all industries. We sat down with Sullivan to learn more about blockchain and its impact on Wisconsin’s innovation economy.

What is blockchain technology, in the simplest terms? “Blockchain, one type of ‘distributed ledger technology,’ allows people all over the world to verify transactions with others via distributed, peer-to-peer networks. It removes middle men and central, controlling powers and creates ‘trustless’ ways to transact via math and cryptography. “These transactions could involve payments (e.g., Bitcoin), smart contracts, or any kind of messages conveyed from one person to another that require an element of trust. “There are certain benefits to using a ‘distributed ledger’ to manage transactions, including the way blockchains group transactions into blocks chained together using a hash function. This makes the information immutable (unchangeable) and transparent while allowing a degree of anonymity, as well. “The most important takeaway, I think, is trust. Distributed ledger technology removes the need for people to trust each other. Trust is being put into math, rather than people.”

34 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018


What are some examples of applications of blockchain technology that we might be familiar with today? “Bitcoin for a long time has been considered blockchain’s ‘killer app,’ but that is on the verge of changing as more applications are built, tested and proved. Most familiarity with blockchain at the moment is in the cryptocurrency space. There has been a bit of mania around this over the last few months, with people buying and selling different cryptocurrencies, but there are many exciting projects in development that will emerge in the next year or two. One example that made some headlines was Chronicled’s work to ensure designer sneaker authenticity using blockchain. (The tech startup hopes to use smart tags containing blockchain technology that will allow buyers and sellers to verify the authenticity of specific high-end sneakers). Some major corporations, including Walmart, are working on proofs-of-concept around blockchain as well. They have conducted some successful experiments using blockchain to track food contamination. This is just scratching the surface.”

As you see it, are there one or more industries today really advancing blockchain technology? “Blockchain was introduced during the global banking crisis and it has really taken hold in the financial world. Over the next few years, it will begin to disrupt supply chains, real estate, record-keeping, artistic rights and anything that involves trusted transactions. Any industry that stands to gain the most from the efficiencies blockchains present will likely drive its adoption.”

Do you think blockchain technology is applicable to all industries? “I think it will affect any industry that is involved with payments and trusted transactions of other types, but it isn’t a panacea for every problem that exists in every space. There are technologies available now that can solve industry problems better than blockchain.”

Are there organizations or companies in Wisconsin focused on research and development of blockchain applications? Can you give us some examples? “Yes! There are some major Fortune 500 companies that are involved in blockchain R&D all the way down to seed-stage startups. Two local startups that have spoken publicly about their work on blockchain platforms are Milwaukee-based DocLaunch, which partnered with Wipfli on a product, and Milwaukee-based SteamChain, a gener8tor company that utilizes blockchain technology specifically for manufacturers and OEMs. Fiserv’s chief technology officer, Marc West, spoke publicly at (Marquette’s) blockchain technology conference about their interest in blockchain. Many financial services companies like Fiserv are looking at blockchain. The insurance industry is also doing some R&D. It’s very exciting to see what will emerge.”

“Blockchain was introduced during the global banking crisis, and it has really taken hold in the financial world.” — Heather Sullivan

What, in your opinion, is the future of blockchain technology? Why do people need to be familiar with the technology? “I think people will need to understand decentralization and the way it will change their lives by removing the need to trust others, whether individuals or corporate entities. Do they need to understand cryptography and the technology behind blockchain? Not unless they are planning to go into blockchain careers. Who understands the technology behind email or the internet? Very few of us. But we use it every day to make our lives better and more efficient.”

What implications does the advancement of blockchain applications have on Wisconsin's innovative economy? “Blockchain is affecting the global innovation economy by introducing a technological advancement that could revolutionize the way people around the world transact. We don’t want to be left behind here in Wisconsin. Our innovators here are just as capable of harnessing this technology for the good of people in our own state, the region, the country and the world. We need to be leaders in embracing this and other disruptive technologies.” v

INNOVATEWI.COM / 35


PROFILESININNOVATION

AMERICAN FAMILY

SUSTAINS CULTURE OF

INNOVATION

WITH TECH-FOCUSED PARTNERSHIPS, ACQUISITIONS

In addition to the acquisition of Networked Insights, American Family acquired Asheville, North Carolina-based HomeGauge, a software company that produces smart home technology.

By Maredithe Meyer

I

nnovate or die – a reality that is all too familiar for today’s companies. As technology advances at a quickening pace, consumers demand experiences nothing short of the best. For Madison-based American Family Insurance, the expression has been adopted as somewhat of a mantra, serving as a driving force behind major decisions including its recent acquisitions of three software companies. The 90-year-old company offers property, casualty and auto insurance in 19 states, and has cultivated a culture of innovation that is demonstrated today by its presence within the digital world. Its partnerships with fast-moving tech companies, including Microsoft Corp. in 2014 and Google subsidiary Nest Labs in 2015, shows the industry’s future is one dominated by digital technology. When American Family converted in early 2017 from a mutual company to a mutual holding company, it broadened its investment and acquisition opportunities to non-insurance businesses, including its most recent acquisition, Chicago-based data analytics software company Networked Insights. In addition to the acquisition of Networked Insights, American Family acquired Asheville, North Carolina-based HomeGauge, a software company that produces smart home technology.

“The pace of change has never been faster. Customers expect way more than they expected in the past.” — Ryan Rist, American Family Insurance

36 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

“I think from the outside looking in, you’d think it doesn’t make sense,” Ryan Rist, director of innovation at American Family Insurance, said of the deal. “When we got to know what (Networked Insights) did and what they did really well, we realized that capability is an important side of our business.” The acquisition was completed in December. Before then, American Family had been a client of Networked Insights, and since 2013, had been a minority investor in the company. The company used data analytics to advise American Family on the best products to put on the market and to evaluate the impact of its brand on certain demographic groups, Rist said. “The pace of change has never been faster. Customers expect way more than they expected in the past,” Rist said. “And that expectation is now the last best experience they had, regardless of industry or product.” Rist has been with American Family for 15 years and has held his current position since 2014. He heads the company’s innovation department, which was formed in 2012 – originally to lead the company’s new-aged efforts and to educate the company on the importance of innovating to stay relevant. Six years later, that mission has spread throughout multiple areas of the organization, expanding the company’s footprint and contributing to what Rist calls American Family’s “ecosystem of innovation.” “We now have dozens and dozens of groups that are focused on everything from transforming our core business to looking further out into new markets across the board,” he said. According to Rist, the company applies lean startup and design thinking principles as part of its culture of innovation. The approach provides a framework for evidence-based project deci-


American Family Insurance

sion making: where and when to turn, when to persevere, and how Last year, American Family broke ground on The Spark, to make progress by running exa 158,000-square-foot, periments while continuously valeight-story innovation idating with customers, he said. facility in Madison. “At American Family, we use this approach to create something new where the customer, problem, solution or business model is unknown, and when improving a current process won’t achieve the desired business outcomes so process reinvention is required,” Rist added. Shortly after the company launched the innovation department, it set up American Family Ventures, the venture capital division that tracks and predicts future market trends and is credited for partnerships with tech-focused companies CoverHound, Ring and One Inc., among others. But the company’s mergers and acquisitions branch, which acquired Homesite Insurance in 2014 and The General in 2013, is the catalyst for last year’s innovative acquisition of Networked Insights, along with two home inspection software companies. As for the future of the industry at large, Rist sees a never-ending need for insurance, as the notion of risk will always exist. However, he believes technology is changing the way people think about risk. Cybersecurity threats, the in- reactive to proactive is just one example of how creased use of drones and ridesharing services we’re thinking about the future of insurance.” are all examples of high-tech factors that raise Through recent partnerships with Google’s new questions about risk. Nest and Ring (a home security tech company Consumers’ expectations for their insurance owned by Amazon) that focused on smart home experience have already changed. technology, American Family has explored dig“You’re going to see companies win in the itized methods of home safety that would premarket that are customer-centric, that use hu- vent accidents – a fire or a destroyed roof from man-centered design to make the experience wind or hail – before they happen. more value-added,” Rist said. “The switch from “If you really think about the guts of insur-

ance, it’s really about data and insight and pricing and predicting this uncertain future event,” Rist said. v

In 2015, American Family partnered with Nest. Through its partnership, American Family offers customers Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at no cost.

INNOVATEWI.COM / 37


PROFILESININNOVATION

FORMER AGRO BIOSCIENCES

BOLSTERS INDUSTRY-LEADING RESEARCH, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

By Maredithe Meyer

W

hen Agro Biosciences was purchased last May by Ewing, New Jersey-based Church & Dwight Co. Inc., it happened much earlier than Agro president Tom Rehberger expected. Rehberger founded the then-Wauwatosa-based microbiological animal products manufacturer in 2013 after selling his previous startup, Pewaukee-based Agtech Products Inc. In four years, Agro had grown from four employees to more than 36, and boasted $11 million in revenue. The $75 million-plus acquisition, the largest startup exit in Wisconsin since 2006, was spurred by Church & Dwight’s interest in using Agro’s innovative custom poultry, cattle and swine probiotic products to improve and diversify its Princeton, New Jersey-based Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition division, which produces nutritional feed ingredients for livestock. The acquisition allowed Arm & Hammer to enter the probiotic market space during a time when the food and agricultural industries are increasingly demanding bio-based products to 38 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

better support production and prevent illness in animals on antibiotic-free farms. “Anytime a small company grows and finds a niche for an emerging technology, like probiotics that are taking off in the poultry industry, it’s going to be a target for big companies that had never figured out how to innovate,” Rehberger said. “Innovation requires a lot of moving parts that have to all work together within a company. Sometimes, for big companies, that’s almost impossible.” Rehberger now oversees innovation and product development for Church & Dwight’s targeted microbial solutions – the term Church & Dwight has coined to more accurately describe Agro’s research, development and production of dietary supplements containing living microorganisms that balance bacteria in the digestive tract. Almost one year after the acquisition, the

company’s trajectory has evolved. The combined company, collectively made up of about 100 employees − 30 in Wisconsin and operating under the Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition name − has been able to reach new market segments it had barely penetrated before they joined forces. Agro brought to Arm & Hammer its poultry market expertise and in return, it gained resources and manpower for new products in the cattle market, an Agro Biosciences unfamiliar space. employees work to Agro also joined Arm develop bio-based & Hammer on new R&D custom poultry, cattle and swine efforts to study the inprobiotic products. teractions between live The team joined microbials and yeast in forces with Arm & livestock feed and, on the Hammer Animal human side, incorporatNutrition in 2017. ing probiotic strains into Church & Dwight’s adult multivitamin brand, Vitafusion. In May 2017, the company renovated an existing building and moved its Wisconsin operations to Waukesha. “This is really a collaboration,” Rehberger said. “It’s a way to look at which company fits best in different positions and do what’s right for the business. We are the right piece that actually fit within the Arm & Hammer nutrition team.” Rehberger believes the future of biotechnology in Wisconsin – especially in Madison and Milwaukee – holds great opportunity as consumer trends tilt toward clean labels and biological, rather than chemical, methods of preserving Tom Rehberger and processing food. Leading the charge is the state’s historic and well-established fermentation industry – its beer, cheese and sausage producers – and the growing number of microbial industry startups, including Agro Biosciences’ Wauwatosa-based spin off, Third Wave Bioactives, a producer of natural preservatives and flavors for food using antimicrobial bacteria. “Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin have a great opportunity to leverage those core competencies relative to fermentation and the health benefits of live microbial and yeast products,” he said. v


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LEADERS IN INNOVATION


Peninsula Pride Farms in northeastern Wisconsin held a field demonstration day to showcase new manure application equipment and processes, including low soil disturbance manure injection.

Peninsula Pride Farms

PROFILESININNOVATION

INNOVATION

ON THE FARM

Technology drives efficiency and conservation efforts for Wisconsin agriculture By MaryBeth Matzek

U

sing innovative technology, Majestic Crossing Dairy in Sheboygan Falls dramatically changed how it milks cows and handles manure. In recent years, the farm has added robotic milk machines and a digester that turns cow waste into water, biogas and a natural fertilizer for the fields. “We need to always be innovative in the dairy world when it comes to housing, feeding and caring for our cows and caring for the land,” said Dean Strauss, one of Majestic Crossing’s owners. Majestic Crossing is not alone. Agricultural innovation comes in many forms across Wisconsin.

40 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Individual farms are innovating with hightech, robotic milking parlors and fields planted with cover crops. Groups of farmers are working together and researchers are focused on discovering new products and procedures to improve production. Innovative thinkers are making changes big and small that not only reduce farming’s carbon footprint, but also allow farms to be more economically successful. The formation of Majestic Dairy in itself is unique. The dairy was created in 2011 when four area farm families pooled their resources to create a dairy that would not only support all four families, but also allow it to invest in improved sustainability initiatives and give back to the community. Three years ago, the farm installed the state-of-the-art manure digester and last year, it installed 13 new robotic milking machines. To make that a reality, the dairy’s free stall barns were redesigned to accommodate the new machines. The dairy’s employees had to work around several months of construction while always making sure the cows received the best


Peninsula Pride Farms

Robotic milking machines provide farmers with data on individual cows.

possible care, Strauss said. Improved technology has more farmers looking at robotic milking machines, which boost productivity on the farm. Milking cows is labor intensive and farmers struggle with attracting and retaining workers. The cows are trained using treats to approach the machine, where they are milked. The animals are equipped with a tag that is read by the machine so farmers can receive individualized information about the animals and how much milk they are producing. Wisconsin farmers have been leading the shift to robotic milking since the beginning. In 2011, the Knigge Farm in Omro, Wisconsin became the first dairy in the nation to use robotic milking machines for its dairy cows.

WORKING TOGETHER Innovation can be costly, especially with today’s low milk prices, which is why farmers in three parts of Wisconsin pulled together to create farmer-led conservation groups focused on making changes. Yahara Pride Farms in Dane County, Peninsula Pride Farms in Kewaunee and southern Door counties and Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance in Lafayette County encourage their members to make changes to improve soil health and water quality while maintaining or improving their output. The organizations provide informational sessions and demonstration days, sometimes along with cost-sharing programs to encourage trying new methods. In relation to soil health, farmers are being encouraged to look at no-till farming and planting cover crops. With no-till farming, farmers do not disturb the soil during the planting process. Farmers that use cover crops plant a grass or low-height plant such as radishes in fields without a cash or feed crop. Research has shown both

In 2011, THE KNIGGE FARM in Omro,

WISCONSIN became the first dairy

in the nation to use robotic milking machines

for its dairy cows. INNOVATEWI.COM / 41


RESEARCH As one of Wisconsin’s leading industries – agriculture contributes $88.3 billion annually to the state’s economy – researchers across the state study ways to improve animal health, crop production and milk quality. At the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the agriculture department teamed up with WinField to create the Winfield United Innovation Center, a center dedicated to researching different processes and tools to help farmers grow crops more sustainably. The new 55,000-square-foot facility opened last September and includes a spray application lab filled with state-of-the-art technology, including a wind tunnel, to evaluate the entire application process. “Before we bring products to a farmer’s fields, we make sure they work in our fields first,” said Mike Vande Logt, executive vice president and chief operating officer of WinField United. “All of our products are developed with farmers top-of-mind.” According to Vande Logt, testing in the lab and in both controlled and in-field environments will allow for more targeted applications of crop protection products, which benefit farmers and applicators. UW-Madison is home to the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute for Food and Agriculture Sustainable Dairy Project. The program examines how dairy production systems affect climate change and what changes can be made to reduce greenhouse gases. The program aligns well with the dairy industry’s goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Through its operation of measurement and monitoring sites, along with education programs, Becky Larson, UW-Extension team lead, said the project serves as a resource for farmers, providing information about how different practices affect the environment. v

Liz Schroeder, timelesstouchphotography.com

no-till farming and planting cover crops decrease erosion and add more organic matter to the soil, which improves soil health and water infiltration. “There are many farmers in Wisconsin who have demonstrated conservation practices can be successful,” said Barry Buboltz of the USDA National Resources Conservation Service, who works with farmers in northeastern Wisconsin. “It’s all about trying new things and then providing support to farmers. Going to no-till farming is not easy. It requires different equipment. We want to help farmers make the change where possible.” Finding new ways to manage manure is another way Wisconsin farmers embrace innovation. In addition to biodigesters, farmers are using alternative manure application methods. Yahara Pride Farms offers a cost-sharing program to encourage farmers to use low soil disturbance manure injection. This method injects liquid manure into the ground while only minimally disturbing the soil, which keeps the fertilizer in place and reduces runoff. Members of Peninsula Pride Farms worked with Kewaunee County officials on a low pressure-drip manure irrigation rule that allows farmers to spread manure on their fields more times during the year instead of just spring and fall. By adding manure throughout the growing season, farmers can better fertilize their crops while reducing the amount of stored manure.

42 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018


PROFILESININNOVATION

Epic Systems

Epic Systems employs about 9,400 people at its sprawling headquarters in Verona, just outside of Madison.

EPIC SYSTEMS:

“We’re a very bright,

MEDICAL RECORDS INNOVATOR By Lauren Sieben

very

creative group of people, but at the end of the day we do have a high standard of excellence and of performance.” — Carl Dvorak, Epic

I

n 1979, Epic Systems was just a handful of employees working out of a basement office in Madison. It has come a long way. Today, Epic is one of the biggest names in electronic medical records. Hospitals and clinics across the globe rely on Epic’s software to manage patient records, and approximately 66 percent of the U.S. population has a record in Epic, according to the company. Epic is also an economic force in Wisconsin. The company employs about 9,400 people at its sprawling headquarters in Verona, just outside of Madison. Staying on the cutting edge of the industry for nearly 40 years requires an ongoing commitment to innovation, according to Epic president Carl Dvorak. According to Dvorak, Epic was one of the first companies to address how clinicians interact with medical records, looking beyond recordkeeping for billing and accounting; Epic claims to be the first system of its kind built as a database rather than hard-coded; and Epic was a pioneer in providing patients with access to their own medical records starting in the 1990s. “We were a platform long before being a platform was cool,” Dvorak said. As Epic has grown, so, too, has its team. Fifteen years ago the company employed around 500 people, compared to nearly 10,000 today, making it an incubator for talent in the state. “One of the things that people master here at Epic is the ability to work hard,” Dvorak said. “We’re a very bright, very creative group of people,

INNOVATEWI.COM / 43


PROFILESININNOVATION

E P I C ’s roughly 10 0 0 - ACRE C AMPUS is an of the

EXTENSION company's personality –

"a little bit whimsical and

a little bit

INTERESTING ." 44 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Epic Systems Corp.’s 1,000-acre campus in Verona.

but at the end of the day we do have a high standard of excellence and of performance.” Former Epic employees have gone on to work in leadership roles at health care tech startups including HealthMyne Inc., healthfinch Inc. and HealthDecision Inc., all based in Madison, as well as statewide organizations such as the University of Wisconsin System and Aurora Health Care Inc. “We’d obviously prefer they stay here, but that’s not always in the cards for everyone,” Dvorak said. “I can tell you with all honestly that when I hear about an Epic person who’s gone on to do something wonderful in the world, I get that little internal beam of pride.” For current employees, Epic’s roughly 1,000acre campus is an extension of the company’s personality – “a little bit whimsical and a little bit interesting,” Dvorak said. Meetings take place in an oversized treehouse. Employees can grab lunch at Lou’s Soda Fountain, a ’50s-style diner with a checkered tile


Josh Kluge, Above All Else Photography, madisondronephotos.com

floor and jukebox. An entire wing of the campus – aptly named the Wizards Academy – is modeled after Hogwarts. Since Epic moved its headquarters from Madison to Verona in 2005, the campus has undergone five expansions, with a sixth still in the planning stages. Epic’s headquarters has become an attraction in its own right, and the company invites the public to drop in for self-guided tours. While Epic has often been celebrated for its eccentricity and its culture has helped recruit and retain employees, the company has also faced criticism from within the health technology community. Critics say Epic has sometimes stifled integration, particularly when it comes to sharing patient records. A widely publicized 2014 report from the Rand Corp. described Epic as a “closed platform,” denouncing the software’s limited interoperability with providers across different electronic medical record systems. Dvorak says he hears those concerns, but

he’s never heard “a concrete, sustainable suggestion for what to do differently.” “At the end of the day, we’re a software company. The only thing we have is intellectual property,” he said. “If we gave away everything we built for free, we wouldn’t be a company at all; we’d have disappeared long ago.” In 2017, Epic launched the App Orchard – a marketplace for Epic-approved external apps – and some viewed it as an opening up of Epic’s once-guarded system. The App Orchard gives startups and small tech companies direct support and access to Epic’s APIs, along with the ability to launch apps that integrate with Epic software. Epic’s customers can use apps from the App Orchard with confidence that they have been vetted by the Epic team, Dvorak said. He added that the App Orchard was not a response to criticism about being “closed.” The company maintains that it has been “open” all along by supporting outside partners through INNOVATEWI.COM / 45


PROFILESININNOVATION

Epic has often been celebrated for its eccentricity and its culture has helped recruit and retain successful, creative and innovative talent in Wisconsin.

46 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Open.epic, a portal that provides resources to third-party application developers. “The App Orchard is not a symbol of being more open,” he said. “It’s more about how to construct a marketplace that builds confidence and creates opportunity.” Since the creation of the App Orchard, 250 organizations have joined the platform and launched 50 new apps that are now available to Epic’s customers. HealthDecision is one of those organizations. HealthDecision facilitates shared decision-making between patients and clinicians. The app integrates directly with Epic’s software, allowing doctors to pull up relevant data that helps patients make important decisions and understand the risks associated with a particular medication or procedure. “I think (the App Orchard) is functionally making (Epic) more open, whether or not it was a specific response to that criticism,” said Jon Keevil, founder and chief executive officer of HealthDecision. “We were really impressed when we started working with them through this process.” John Runions, director of North American systems engineering and business development at Springfield, Illinois-based information technology firm Levi, Ray & Shoup Inc., says the App Orchard has been a boon to LRS’s app, which integrates with Epic’s software to streamline printing processes for large hospitals. “They’re certainly a very careful organization when it comes to doing things with third parties, but they seem fair about it,” Runions said. Beyond the App Orchard, Epic is looking to the rest of the world as it continues to grow. The company is expanding its customer base overseas, with offices in the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Finland. Epic is also putting its data to use to help U.S. communities handle the fallout of the opioid epidemic. The company has created dashboards to help its customers monitor the prescribing patterns of clinicians and identify hot spots where opioids are prescribed in high quantities. Looking forward, Dvorak says Epic will continue to adapt and innovate as e-visits, telemedicine, genomics and changes to the U.S. health care system impact the way Epic’s clients rely on electronic medical records. “We’ve got an amazing set of ingredients to rethink how health care is delivered in total,” Dvorak said. v


Quality Affordability

Accessibility Strategy

Rooted in Wisconsin. Truly Independent Healthcare Advice. Mueller QAAS (pronounced Miller-CAUSE) takes its name from its founder, Jim Mueller, and his cause in life: providing healthcare benefit solutions focused on Quality, Affordability, Accessibility, and Strategy. We help local employers identify benefit strategies that best serve their organizations, their employees, and their dependents.

262-696-3680 | MYQAAS.COM Compliance | Health Benefits Consulting | Health Provider Consulting


PROFILESININNOVATION

Maredithe Meyer

Amy Turner, director of test development, and Rachel Lorier, director of laboratory operations, work with RPRD’s eGel Imager.

WAUWATOSA PHARMACOGENETICS COMPANY

FORMS INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP By Alysha Schertz

I

n September, Wauwatosa-based RPRD Diagnostics LLC formed a unique strategic partnership with South Korean firm Orient Bio. The partnership will advance RPRD’s genetic research pertaining to testing on a commonly-used pediatric leukemia drug. “It is an interesting partnership, and unique for an early-stage company to move so quickly into international markets,” said Dr. Ulrich Broeckel, founder and chief executive officer of the company. RPRD, which stands for Right Patient Right Drug, specializes in pharmacogenetic testing, the branch of pharmacology concerned with the role genetic factors play in reactions to Ulrich Broeckel specific drugs. Founded in 2016 as a spinoff from the Medical College of Wisconsin, the company strives to provide health care organizations with low-cost 48 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

access to this type of testing for application in precision medicine and clinical decision-making. Ultimately, according to Broeckel, the company hopes to improve therapeutic outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and lower overall cost by eliminating a trial-and-error approach to treatment. The reason the partnership with Orient Bio is valuable pertains to research RPRD has conducted surrounding a commonly used chemotherapy drug, Broeckel said. “Our initial testing, which will continue, indicates that there may be a genetic variant among Asian and non-Caucasian patients which makes them more susceptible to toxic effects of the drug,” Broeckel said. The end result, according to Broeckel, is a need for an adjustment in dosing. There’s a significant opportunity in the U.S., as well as in the South Korean market, for health professionals to identify those variants ahead of time, he added. Orient Bio, founded in 1959, produces and supplies catalog products for the biotechnology industry, including animal models, laboratory

supplies and medical equipment. It also provides pre-clinical services for drug development, including genetic testing. Right now, the two companies are working collaboratively to determine the best channels to bring RPRD’s technology to market in South Korea’s single-payer system, Broeckel said. “For any test to be successful in a single-payer system, there has to be a path forward to reimbursement,” he said. “We’ve already had the necessary conversations with the appropriate players. Orient Bio is very interested in expanding this, and we’re working together to determine what that looks like, exactly.” Broeckel sees significant opportunity to expand the testing in South Korea, other Pacific regions, as well as throughout the United States. Health care providers are faced with an almost impossible challenge when selecting drugs and drug combinations from multiple classes of medications available for treatment, Broeckel said. “Even when certain genetic factors are known to influence drug efficacy, patient genotyping is very rarely used because of the high cost and narrow scope of traditional tests,” he said. RPRD provides a cost-effective comprehensive pharmacogenetic analysis that integrates with a system’s electronic medical records to aid in decision support. RPRD works with health care organizations to meet them where they are, Broeckel said. “Most are interested in the technology, but they don’t know where to start. We can work with them to discuss possible patient subgroups that would really benefit from the technology, cancer patients, cardiovascular patients, adults, pediatrics and even neurology,” he said. The company also consults with them on interpretation and complexity of the results, how to order and bill for specific tests, and even what kind of IT support is needed for integration into existing EMR systems. “We certainly work with each of our clients on their different interests and preferences and try to tailor our solutions to their specific needs,” Broeckel said. Broeckel admits that genetics is really just one piece of the puzzle when finding the right treatment combination for patients, but the technology touches all areas and reaches into all specialties. “There are applications for the technology in all aspects of treatment,” Broeckel said. “From a patient standpoint, we see incredible opportunity to tailor treatment ahead of time to not only avoid complications and adverse effects, but just to provide better treatment that could potentially work faster for any particular patient.” v


Veritas High School

Aaron Kohlbeck and Carly Anderson co-teach CS classes at Veritas High School as part of the TEALS program.

PREPARING WISCONSIN'S FUTURE COMPUTER SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS By Elizabeth Clarke

Veritas High School

M

icrosoft Corp. has continued its investment in Wisconsin with the introduction of its TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) program. The company has supported several initiatives in Wisconsin in recent years − financially, but also through support of Wisconsin small business growth and technology education and innovation. TEALS currently exists in 348 high schools throughout the U.S. to build and grow sustainable computer science programs. The program pairs computer science professionals from across the technology industry with teachers to team-teach computer science. The program’s success is dependent on industry volunteers and partner teachers who create a ripple effect, impacting the students they teach and inspiring many students to study com-

Aaron Kohlbeck teaches a CS course at Veritas High School.

puter science in the future. The program is supported financially by Microsoft Philanthropies. TEALS is currently offered at 13 Wisconsin schools. Veritas High School, one of the three

participating schools in Milwaukee, operates with a mission to “prepare students for post-secondary education success through completion of an academically challenging, values-based curriculum.” Before TEALS arrived in 2017, Veritas had no computer science courses. The course is currently offered as an elective to juniors and seniors at the school. “We participated in the Hour of Code program annually but that was all we could offer,” said Sherry Tolkan, principal of Veritas High School. “When I became aware of TEALS, I knew the program would be a great addition to our curriculum.” The Hour of Code event is a worldwide effort designed to be an introduction to computer science and coding. Carly Anderson, a Veritas math teacher, works with the TEALS volunteers. “TEALS is a perfect fit for us because this first year, the volunteers plan the lessons based on the TEALS curriculum and I put together the worksheets and offer teaching support,” she said. “While the volunteers lead the class each morning, I’m learning along with the students in preparation for the future when I can teach a computer science class on my own.” The response from students has been positive. “I really loved the (Hour of Code) when it was offered, so I was excited to participate in TEALS,” said Jannett Mora, one of the 24 current participants in the TEALS program. “Even though the work is challenging, seeing the end result is really satisfying.” “We’re so thankful for the dedication of the volunteers,” Anderson added. “There’s something to be said about bringing in experts from the field and the value they add to the classroom.” According to Caroline Hardin, the TEALS Wisconsin South regional manager, the next step is to focus on Madison-area schools to continue building the region and connect geographically close cohorts of teachers, schools and technology professionals. Goals for the near future also include adding two to three more schools in the Milwaukee area. Volunteers find the program valuable, as well. “I participate in TEALS to engage students and help close the gap between the people who use technology and those who understand it. Technology is all around us yet there are unfilled computer science jobs right now, and the need is just growing,” said Aaron Kohlbeck, Technical Team lead at Ascedia and a Veritas TEALS volunteer. v INNOVATEWI.COM / 49


PROFILESININNOVATION

GAMING

Businesses take advantage of virtual reality By Lauren Sieben

I

n the world of consumer electronics, virtual reality used to be considered the technology of gamers – not of government agencies or businesses. Across Wisconsin, however, virtual and augmented reality are changing the way we work in industries like health care, architecture, law enforcement and marketing. “A lot of times, people are trying to simulate fantasy environments with virtual reality. We’re really trying to simulate real-world spaces,” said Kevin Ponto, an assistant professor in the design studies department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ponto works with the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, an interdisciplinary research institute where students and faculty are at work on several virtual reality research projects. Ponto’s team at WID developed vizHOME, a tool that aims to improve home health care. The tool allows medical providers to virtually walk through the inside of a patient’s home from a virtual reality CAVE environment – a six-sided room with high-resolution screens connected to a headset worn by the provider. The goal is to help providers understand how health care will be performed in a patient’s home, and to identify factors that might hinder 50 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

HGA demonstrated the future Milwaukee County Zoo elephant exhibit to partygoers during Zoo Ball 2017.

project before it even breaks ground. “We’ve been doing 3D and visualization for decades, but virtual reality took it to the next level,” said Ken Seelow, director of information technology at Eppstein Uhen. “We were getting comments from clients saying they were really impressed with the ability to walk through their space.” HGA, another architecture firm, began using

virtual and augmented reality at its Milwaukee office in 2014. The firm has developed virtual reality experiences for clients in Wisconsin including the Harley-Davidson Museum, which used virtual reality to visualize design layouts and material options, and the Milwaukee County Zoo, where virtual reality helped create a virtual balloon-collecting scavenger hunt at a fundraising event. Milwaukee marketing agency CI Design Inc. also arrived early to the virtual and augmented reality scene, in 2013. The firm has created virtual reality-based work training, sales tools, prefabrication visualization for manufacturers, and entertainment experiences for trade show presentations. Now, it’s looking ahead to what comes next. Using an iPad, the user points the camera at a Rite-Hite target and a 3D scene of a loading dock appears. CI Design

BEYOND

HGA

Eppstein Uhen Architec

ts

Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects uses virtual reality that allows clients to effectively “walk through” a completed project before it even breaks ground.

home health care, like the interior layout or the placement of objects around the house. The technology has also led to innovations outside of health care. The FBI approached WID in 2014 to see if vizHOME could be used to create a detailed visualization for a crime scene investigation of a homicide in Mazomanie, Wisconsin. “The problem you have at a crime scene investigation is you have to choose which information you want to gather,” Ponto said. “They try to capture as much as they can because they don’t know what will be important later.” With the help of virtual reality, it’s possible to recreate an entire crime scene and save important details that otherwise might go unnoticed, like the height of a staircase or the position of a chair to the wall. In the business world, architects have been early adopters of virtual reality. Eppstein Uhen Architects Inc. in Milwaukee began using augmented reality several years ago to create building overlays. The overlays, which can be viewed from tablet devices, allow the firm’s clients to see how a building will look after renovations are complete. Today, the company uses virtual reality to create detailed, immersive visualizations so clients can effectively walk through a completed

“Markerless augmented reality for iPhone and Android will likely be big with our clients,” said Paul Duquesnoy, interactive designer at CI Design. “I'm excited to see what's next for (Microsoft) HoloLens; that technology shows a lot of promise.” Virtual reality is also making its way into the classroom. At WID, Ponto’s team partnered with the Field Day Lab in Madison to gamify physics learning with the help of a new virtual reality application. In some ways, he says, they’re creating a video game; students must hone a specific skill before they can move on to the next level. “The idea is embodied learning, so you’re learning through experience,” Ponto said. Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin are also in the process of developing a virtual reality education program for radiation oncology patients, with the help of Marquette University engineers. Ponto doesn’t think virtual reality will be a common household technology in the immediate future. But as virtual reality becomes more accessible and affordable with the launch of Google Cardboard and smartphones with builtin depth sensors, he thinks it’s a possibility that isn’t too far off. “This round of virtual reality might not be the round that goes into everyone’s home, but it opens up lots of opportunities for businesses,” Ponto said.” v


IN DEMAND CLASSROOM LEADERS Unlock your full potential as a teacher who guides children on a journey of discovery in a creative and collaborative learning environment. Alverno College and the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee are teaming up to launch a brand-new undergraduate program that will equip future teachers for success in any classroom, including those that use the model developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in Italy more than a century ago.

For more information on this innovative undergraduate program, visit:

alverno.edu/montessori

This fully integrated program — the only of its kind in the United States — allows you to pursue your bachelor’s degree in Education and prepares you for two Wisconsin teaching licenses: early childhood/

middle childhood (birth to age 11) and Montessori (ages 3 to 6 or ages 6 to 12). This dual licensure will open new doors for teachers to meet a growing demand for skilled educators around the state, including the ever-growing number of schools that are adopting the Montessori method. You’ll benefit from Alverno’s distinctive abilities-based education as well as the specialized expertise of the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee, an Association Montessori Internationale training center. Our schools’ deep roots in the Milwaukee area mean you’ll have plenty of opportunities for field experience and student teaching at a school that’s right for you. Best of all, you can complete the program in four years.


Three Square Market A licensed and trained piercer prepares an employee for chip implantation.

MICROCHIPS OPEN THE INNOVATION FLOODGATES

FOR THREE SQUARE MARKET By Lauren Sieben

R

iver Falls-based Three Square Market made national headlines last summer when the vending machine company began implanting tiny microchips into employees’ hands. The story generated buzz in outlets like The New York Times and USA Today, and Three Square Market was soon inundated with inquiries from other companies curious about how they could use microchip technology themselves. Just a few weeks after its first employees received microchips, Three Square Market launched Three Square Chip Cos. − a separate branch of the business devoted exclusively to helping other companies implement chip technology. Today, Three Square Chip Cos. is working with 17 clients around the U.S. and overseas. “People came to us saying, ‘Well, could you do this?’ and it’s turned into opening doors for whole new ways of thinking,” said Patrick McMullan, president of Three Square Chip. Three Square introduced employee microchips to help streamline day-to-day processes like accessing secure buildings, purchasing food from the cafeteria and logging on to computers. The company is now expanding the chips’ functionality to assist with sanitation. Employees will use their chips to switch on 52 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

a faucet and wash their hands before they can enter food packaging areas. For Three Square Chip’s clients, the uses for the technology extend well beyond building access. One of the company’s first clients was a hospital in need of a chip that could read patients’ vital signs. With the help of GPS tracking, Three Square is also working on a chip solution for tracking patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A few state and local law enforcement agencies have even signed on with Three Square Chip to begin using microchips to track probationers. At Three Square Market, the employees’ chips are powered by passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology − the chips don’t come with GPS tracking. But even without live tracking, some critics are concerned that the chip is a threat to employee privacy and may also contribute to data security concerns. “With technology like this there is always the concern that if the chips contain information like a person’s credit card or bank account, or even a person’s driver’s license number, that the information could be captured from the microchip, as well,” said Keith Kopplin, shareholder at employment law firm Ogletree Deakins in Milwaukee. “Everybody now has RFID chips in their deb-

it and credit card. You have more exposure (to risk) in your wallet than you do in your hand,” McMullan said. While Kopplin agrees there is no greater risk with the microchip, he worries users may believe it’s more secure simply because the device is embedded. “As the technology advances, it’s important for people to understand the risks, and not get lulled into a false sense of security simply because it’s embedded in their hand,” Kopplin said. “The technology exists to obtain that information from there as well.” McMullan stresses that the microchips implanted into employees’ hands at Three Square Market are completely voluntary. Employees can opt for a wearable ring or bracelet if they prefer not to have a chip medically implanted. The response from employees has been positive, with about 80 of the company’s 100 employees opting to have the chip implanted, McMullan said. Baskaran Ambalavanan, an HR technology consultant at California-based Hila Solutions and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management’s technology and HR management special expertise panel, says he doesn’t expect implantable microchips to catch on right away − the cost is about $300 per chip, which can add up quickly for large corporations − but he thinks Three Square offers a good model for how other businesses can responsibly deploy the technology in the future. “They’re a really transparent company. They have a good communication channel established between the employee and the employers,” Ambalavanan said. Ambalavanan says he sees an opportunity for implantable chip technology to expand into areas like mass transit or passports in the more distant future. Until then, Three Square Chip is exploring all the possibilities for microchips, McMullan said. The company is currently at work on a “smart city” project for the city of River Falls that will use chips to track fire hydrants, water meters and snow plows, eventually rolling out a citizen app that will allow residents to keep tabs on when their streets will be plowed. Three Square Chip is also working on a “smart stadium” project for NASCAR that could eventually introduce RFID wristbands to expedite access and cut down on lines and wait times for ticket holders. “The chip of today is like going to McDonald’s for ice cream – you get vanilla, chocolate or a twist cone,” McMullan said. “Where we’re headed and what we’re working on, it’s what I call the Baskin Robbins 31 flavors chip.” v


NEW Water

GREEN BAY

The R2E2 also expands the type of materials NEW Water can accept, including dairy, sugar and food processing waste. Currently, those materials are spread on nearby farm fields or put in the landfill. “These wastes can increase digester energy production and provide a consistent and environmentally-friendly disposal outlet,” Sigmund said. The facility is expected to reduce NEW Water’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated $169 million 22,000 metric tons per year, which is equivR2E2 Solids alent to removing 15,000 vehicles from the recovery system road, and bring more rate stability for NEW is expected to be Water’s customers. fully operational “We are going to save $1.2 million by June. each year by generating and using our own electricity and another $600,000 in natural gas,” said Sigmund, adding NEW Water will also make money selling the small white and gray pellets made during the recovery process to a fertilizer producer. “Our customers will see the benefit of the new facility in their bills with more stable rates, since we have the built-in savings,” he said. Additionally, the facility will be able to pull more phosphorus from materials coming in, which demand for more capacity, and the stricter federal means reducing the amount of phosphorus that air permit environmental standards. will enter area waterways. The R2E2 recovers waste in two ways. First, Construction began on the new facility in 2015 two anaerobic digesters break down biodegrad- after NEW Water worked with external stakeholdable material in the absence of oxygen, which ers for several years to analyze the solids handling reduces the amount of material to be processed processes used by other facilities. Together, they while creating methane gas that can be captured developed a plan using the latest technology to to produce electricity. Second, a nutrient recovery build a facility that was reliable, safe, cost-effective process removes struvite, a combination of mag- and environmentally-friendly. nesium, nitrogen and phosphorus naturally found “It was important to make this a collaborative in wastewater. The struvite is then collected and approach and have input from our stakeholders,” used in commercial fertilizer, Sigmund said. Sigmund said. v

SOLIDS RECOVERY FACILITY

By MaryBeth Matzek

T

en years ago, leaders with NEW Water, part of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, determined a new solids recovery facility was a necessity. In June, NEW Water’s innovative Resource Recovery and Electrical Energy (R2E2) generation system will be fully operational. The new system represents a shift in process and philosophy for wastewater and solid treatment. It allows NEW Water to view waste as a resource to recover rather than something to dispose of, said Thomas Sigmund, executive director of NEW Water, which services 15 municipalities in the greater Green Bay area and handles approximately 38 million gallons of wastewater daily. “As we got into the project, we saw an opportunity to go beyond just what we had to do and get more into resource recovery,” he said. “We saw the value in the materials coming in to us. They were not waste, but a resource that could be recovered.” The first-of-its-kind, $169 million solids recovery facility brings together multiple technologies in one location. “The different components, such as using a digester, are used elsewhere, but this is the first time they’ll all be in the same facility,” he added. The R2E2 only addresses the solid waste portion of what comes in to NEW Water. According to Sigmund, the utility needed to build R2E2 because of its aging infrastructure, the

NEW Water’s R2E2 generation system represents a shift to treating wastewater as a resource to be recovered rather than disposed.

NEW Water

FIRST OF ITS KIND

INNOVATEWI.COM / 53


INNOVATIONRESOURCES

WISCONSIN

SOURCE: Wisconsin Technical College System SUPERIOR

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

ASHLAND

N ICO L E T A RE A

WIS CO N S IN IN D IA N HE A D

SOURCE: UW System

PHILLIPS

MINOCQUA RHINELANDER

RICE LAKE

U W- SU P ER I OR NEW RICHMOND

MEDFORD

SPENCER

EAU CLAIRE

MARSHFIELD

UW - Barron County

UW - Marathon County

U W- R I V ER FA LLS

OSHKOSH MAUSTON

LA CROSSE

UW - Manitowoc

UW - Fond du Lac UW - Baraboo/ Sauk County

MORAINE WEST PARK BEND

MA D IS O N A RE A

UW- OSHKOSH

S O UT HWE ST WIS CO N S IN

UW - Sheboygan

MADISON WATERTOWN

FORT ATKINSON

FENNIMORE

UW - Washington County

JANESVILLE

BL AC KHAWK MONROE

UW- MA D I S O N

UW - Waukesha

U W- MILWAUK EE

UW- WAUKESH A U W- P L AT T EVI L L E UW - Rock County

U W- SYST E M A D M I NI ST RAT I O N • Division of Business and Entrepreneurship (DBE) • Broadcasting and Media Innovation (BAMI)

U W- PA R KSIDE

UW- EX T EN S I O N • Cooperative Extension (COOP) • UW - Extension Conference Centers

Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning (CEOEL) and UW Colleges Online will be aligned with the receiving four-year UW Institutions

In November 2017, the UW System board of regents passed a resolution approving the restructure of UW Colleges and UW Extension. The resolution allows UW System president Ray Cross to join the 13 two-year UW Colleges with the UW’s four-year comprehensive and research institutions. Divisions within UW Extension will be assigned to UW-Madison and UW System Administration. The goals of the plan are: to expand access to higher education by offering more courses at two-year campuses; to keep the two-year campuses as affordable options by maintaining current tuition levels for existing courses; to reduce barriers to transferring credits; to further regional administrative operations; and to take advantage of shared talent at the UW System’s institutions. These changes will go into effect beginning July 1, 2018. 2017-’18 ENROLLMENT 10,825 7,178 10,534 43,450 25,381 13,935 4,308 8,558 6,110 8,208 9,401 2,590 12,430 2017-’18 ENROLLMENT 461 512 563 1,286 334 779 289 541 273 908 560 730 1,740 2,632

UNDERGRADUATE 10,104 6,815 9,691 31,872 20,750 12,412 4,168 7,621 5,678 7,880 8,116 2,368 11,128

GRADUATE 721 363 843 11,578 4,630 1,523 140 937 432 328 1,285 222 1,302

SOURCE: UW System, Office of Policy Analysis and Research

TECHNICAL COLLEGES BLACKHAWK CHIPPEWA VALLEY FOX VALLEY GATEWAY LAKESHORE MADISON AREA MID-STATE MILWAUKEE AREA MORAINE PARK NICOLET AREA NORTHCENTRAL NORTHEAST WISCONSIN SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN WAUKESHA COUNTY WESTERN WISCONSIN INDIANHEAD PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES ALVERNO COLLEGE BELOIT COLLEGE

LAKESHORE

BEAVER DAM

PORTAGE

REEDSBURG

UW - Fox Valley

54 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

CLEVELAND FOND DU LAC

VIROQUA

UW- G REEN BAY

UW- ST EVEN S PO I N T

UW - Richland

APPLETON

SPARTA TOMAH

U W- E AU C L A I RE

U W- LA CROSS E

GREEN BAY

F OX VA LLEY

WE ST E RN

UW - Marshfield Wood County

PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES UW-EAU CLAIRE UW-GREEN BAY UW-LA CROSSE UW-MADISON UW-MILWAUKEE UW-OSHKOSH UW-PARKSIDE UW-PLATTEVILLE UW-RIVER FALLS UW-STEVENS POINT UW-STOUT UW-SUPERIOR UW-WHITEWATER UW - COLLEGES UW-BARABOO/SAUK COUNTY UW-BARRON UW-FOND DU LAC UW-FOX VALLEY UW-MANITOWOC UW-MARATHON COUNTY UW-MARINETTE UW-MARSHFIELD/WOOD CTY UW-RICHLAND UW-ROCK COUNTY UW-SHEBOYGAN UW-WASHINGTON COUNTY UW-WAUKESHA UWC ONLINE

STEVENS POINT

WISCONSIN RAPIDS

BLACK RIVER FALLS

UW - Marinette

STURGEON BAY

WITTENBERG

M ID - STAT E INDEPENDENCE

U W- STOU T

MARINETTE

WAUSAU

CHIPPEWA FALLS

MENOMONIE RIVER FALLS

N ORTHEAST WISCONSIN

ANTIGO

N O RT HCE N T RA L

CHIP P E WA VAL L E Y

PEWAUKEE

MEQUON MILWAUKEE WEST ALLIS

M ILWAUKEE AREA OAK CREEK

WAUKESHA ELKHORN

GATEWAY

RACINE

WAUKESHA COUNTY

KENOSHA

2015-’16 ENROLLMENT 7,437

% CHANGE FROM 2014-’15 -4.2%

16,336

8.2%

48,944 19,998 12,447 37,351 7,367 35,627 18,553 6,125 19,635 33,472 8,544 22,742 11,379 20,196 2016-’17 ENROLLMENT 2,238 1,509

8% -2.2% 9.6% 1.7% -6.1% -4.4% 2.8% -11.9% 5.4% -11.4% -1.3% -12.9% -1.5% -1.6% UNDERGRADUATE GRADUATE 1,530 708 1,509

CARDINAL STRITCH UNIVERSITY

3,169

1,830

1,339

CARROLL UNIVERSITY CARTHAGE COLLEGE CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY - WI EDGEWOOD COLLEGE LAKELAND UNIVERSITY LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY MARIAN UNIVERSITY MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY MILWAUKEE INSTITUTE OF ART & DESIGN MILWAUKEE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING MOUNT MARY UNIVERSITY NORTHLAND COLLEGE RIPON COLLEGE ST NORBERT COLLEGE SILVER LAKE COLLEGE VITERBO UNIVERSITY WISCONSIN LUTHERAN COLLEGE BELLIN COLLEGE OF NURSING COLUMBIA COLLEGE OF NURSING

3,721 3,100 8,943 3,160 4,329 1,545 2,950 11,967 633 3,070 1,585 626 813 2,291, 735 6,859 1,407 517 165

3,048 2,940 3,987 1,829 3,305 1,545 1,734 8,486 633 2,779 821 626 813 2,162 426 2,110 1,198 468 165

673 160 4,956 1,331 1,024

4,530

1,216 3,481 291 764

129 309 4,749 209 49

HERZING UNIVERSITY (WI)

5,156

MEDICAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN

1,347

1,347

NASHOTAH HOUSE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY WI SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY TRIBAL SCHOOLS COLLEGE OF MENOMINEE NATION LAC COURTE OREILLES OJIBWA COMM. COLLEGE

96 87

96 87

395

395

626


WISCONSIN RECOGNIZED ON

FORBES 30 UNDER 30

EatStreet co-founders Alex Wyler and Matt Howard.

EatStreet co-founders Matt Howard and Alex Wyler were named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list released in November. The 2018 list featured 600 honorees and ranged from top entrepreneurs and innovators to philanthropists and difference-makers. Howard and Wyler were recognized in the consumer technology category. The occasion marked the first time any Wisconsin tech startup leaders were chosen for the category. EatStreet is an intuitive online food-ordering and delivery platform that includes a website and apps. It has grown to service more than 250 cities, more than 15,000 restaurants and about 1.7 million users. The company has experienced consistent national sales growth and raised more than $38.5 million in venture capital funding. v

Nominations Now Open! Nomination deadline: June 1 Event date: October 3 Registration is now open!

The Wisconsin Innovation Awards (WIA) seek to celebrate and inspire innovation. The WIA highlights and honors the development of groundbreaking and innovative ideas. If it is a transformational idea we want to celebrate it. We hope to encourage an even greater environment of innovation by bringing innovators together from various business sectors (e.g. tech, food, healthcare, agriculture, nonprofits, education, government), and from throughout the state.

Nominate a product, service or idea at www.wisconsinsinnovationawards.com INNOVATEWI.COM / 55


INNOVATIONRESOURCES

WISCONSIN

FORTUNE 500

The Fortune 500, published by Fortune magazine, ranks 500 of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue

97. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Milwaukee 146. ManpowerGroup, Milwaukee 150. Kohl’s Corp., Menomonee Falls 315. American Family Insurance Group, Madison 368. WEC Energy Group, Milwaukee 425. Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh 435. Harley-Davidson Inc., Milwaukee 442. Rockwell Automation Inc., Milwaukee 471. Fiserv Inc., Brookfield

WISCONSIN

FORTUNE 1000

The Fortune 1000, published by Fortune magazine, ranks 1,000 of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue. 97. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Milwaukee 146. ManpowerGroup, Milwaukee 150. Kohl’s Corp., Menomonee Falls 315. American Family Insurance Group, Madison 368. WEC Energy Group, Milwaukee 425. Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh 435. Harley-Davidson Inc., Milwaukee 442. Rockwell Automation Inc., Milwaukee 471. Fiserv Inc., Brookfield 560. Quad/Graphics Inc., Sussex 587. Bemis Co. Inc., Neenah 618. Snap-On Inc., Kenosha 677. Alliant Energy Corp., Madison 683. CUNA Mutual Group, Madison 690. Regal Beloit Corp., Beloit 720. Sentry Insurance Group, Stevens Point 776. A.O. Smith Corp., Milwaukee 795. Plexus Corp., Neenah 843. Komatsu Mining Corp., Milwaukee 957. REV Group Inc., Milwaukee 958. Rexnord LLC, Milwaukee 997. Briggs & Stratton Corp., Wauwatosa 56 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018


WISCONSIN

INC. 5000

The Inc. 5000 is an expansion of the Inc. 500, introduced in 1982, which ranks the country's fastest-growing private companies according to percentage revenue growth over a threeyear period. v

RANK

COMPANY

% GROWTH OVER 3 YEARS

REVENUE

INDUSTRY

55

Clearview

5,778.9%

$8.4M

Software

184

Farwell

2,346.5%

$2.7M

Business products & services

223

Wantable

1,928.5%

$14.1M

Retail

442

Penrod

990.0%

$5.0M

Software

563

Intelligent Video Solutions

798.3%

$3.4M

Software

568

Vantage Point

793.0%

$45.1M

Computer hardware

569

Bluetree Network

792.8%

$45.9M

Health

633

Evoke Brand Strategies

714.1%

$3.2M

Advertising & marketing

691

Dynamic Solutions Worldwide

656.0%

$26.8M

Retail

747

Approyo

611.0%

$3.6M

IT services

790

Neumann Cos.

575.5%

$22.5M

Real estate

1147

Tundraland Home Improvements

365.9%

$29.1M

Construction Construction

1306

Midwest Restoration

313.6%

$2.0M

1895

Breckenridge Landscape Group

201.5%

$4.1M

Construction

2108

GSF Mortgage

174.6%

$25.3M

Financial services

2185

Delta Defense

167.0%

$37.5M

Media

2240

Chandra Technologies

162.9%

$7.5M

IT services

2615

Concero Search Partners

133.9%

$3.6M

Human resources

2760

Patina Solutions Group

124.0%

$32.4M

Human resources

2835

Nordic

120.2%

$179.3M

Health

2897

Aladtec

116.8%

$4.4M

Software

2941

Capri Senior Communities

114.3%

$50.9M

Health

2955

Allium IT

113.6%

$3.9M

IT services Manufacturing

2972

Warehouse-Lighting Com

112.6%

$9.4M

3106

Synergy Consortium Services

105.9%

$26.3M

IT services

3219

Bevara Building Services

100.4%

$8.1M

Real estate Environmental services

3259

ABT Water Treatment

98.6%

$2.2M

3288

RSP

97.3%

$8.6M

Manufacturing

3318

Americollect

96.0%

$21.7M

Business products & services

3328

Information Technology Professionals

95.8%

$5.8M

IT services

3345

Concurrency

95.2%

$20.3M

IT services

3429

OnCourse Learning

91.7%

$71.2M

Education

3588

Black-Haak Heating

85.5%

$4.8M

Construction

3689

Wonderbox Technologies

81.9%

$20.2M

Software

3831

State Collection Service

76.4%

$42.3M

Financial Services Manufacturing

4051

Midwest Prototyping

68.9%

$5.7M

4140

Drexel Building Supply

65.3%

$143.5M

Construction

4193

Ascedia

63.7%

$6.7M

Advertising & marketing

4275

Symmetry

61.3%

$29.2M

IT services

4302

Millennium

60.5%

$46.7M

Government services

4308

MacDonald & Owen Lumber Co.

60.4%

$64M

Manufacturing

4362

Nicolet Plastics

58.9%

$14M

Manufacturing

4390

Fox World Travel

58.2%

$28.4M

Travel & hospitality

4396

New Glarus Brewing Co.

57.9%

$58.4M

Food & beverage

4400

Universal Separators

57.9%

$2.9M

Manufacturing

4409

Singlewire Software

57.7%

$20M

IT services

4548

Midwest Insurance Group

53.8%

$2.5M

Insurance

4570

Boelter Cos.

53.1%

$356M

Advertising & marketing Manufacturing

4592

TAPCO

52.1%

$74.5M

4608

Tim O'Brien Homes

51.5%

$77.4M

Real estate

4653

FabriFast

50.3%

$4.8M

Manufacturing Financial services

4742

Kowal Investment Group

47.6%

$4M

4852

Superior Support Resources

44.9%

$10.2M

IT services

4975

Vehicle Security Innovators

41.1%

$10M

Logistics & transportation

INNOVATEWI.COM / 57


INNOVATIONRESOURCES

RESOURCES

FOR EARLY-STAGE BUSINESSES BizTimes Media has complied a list of resources by region for early-stage companies seeking incubator or accelerator space, innovation centers and co-working opportunities.

SOU THE A S T BizStarts

1555 N. RiverCenter Drive, Suite 210

Milwaukee

Brew Accelerator

247 W. Freshwater Way, Suite 500

CELEB Beloit

700 College St.

The Commons

313 N. Plankinton Ave., Suite 213

Milwaukee

FaBcap Accelerator

756 N. Milwaukee St., Suite 400

414-973-2334

bizstarts.com

Milwaukee

414-988-8751

thewatercouncil.com

Beloit

608-363-2500

beloit.edu/celeb thecommonswi.com

Milwaukee

414-287-4143

fabwisconsin.com

gBETA

Beloit, Madison, Milwaukee, Appleton

414 502-8880

gbetaaccelerator.com

gener8tor

Madison/Milwaukee

414-502-8881

gener8tor.com

Granville Business Development Center

7817 W. Brown Deer Road

Milwaukee

414-736-2891

Irontek

635 Third St.

Beloit

608-312 4333

www.irontek.co

Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce

6815 W. Capitol Drive, Suite 204

Milwaukee

414-645-8828

hmongchamber.org

Hudson Business Lounge

310 E. Buffalo St.

Milwaukee

414-220-9460

thehudson.org

Jefferson Area Business Center

222 Wisconsin Drive

Jefferson

608-674-9000

jeffersonabc.com

Launch Box Co-working

901 Pershing Park Drive

Racine

262-898-7404

gtc.edu

Multicultural Entrepreneurial Institute

2778 S. 35th St., Suite 203

Milwaukee

414-383-4633

multiculturalinstitute.com

Northwest Side Community Development Corp.

4201 N. 27th St.

Milwaukee

414-444-8200

nwscdc.org

SC Johnson Integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Center

2320 Renaissance Blvd.

Sturtevant

262-898-7524

gtc.edu

Scale Up Milwaukee

247 W. Freshwater Way

Milwaukee

414-905-0118

scaleupmilwaukee.org

Technology Innovation Center

10437 Innovation Drive

Wauwatosa

414-778-1400

mcrpc.org

UWM Innovation Campus

1225 Discovery Parkway

Wauwatosa

414-906-4685

uwm.edu/officeofresearch/uwm-accelerator-building

Startup Milwaukee

Milwaukee

startupmke.org

Ward4

333 N. Plankinton Ave.

Milwaukee

262-309-0737

ward4mke.com

Whitewater University Innovation Center

1221 Innovation Drive

Whitewater

262-472-5290

whitewatertechpark.org

Wisconsin African American Women’s Center

3020 W. Vliet St.

Milwaukee

414-933-1652

waawcenter.org

Milwaukee/Madison/ Kenosha/Appleton

414-263-5450

wwbic.com

Brookfield

262-955-7935

workspaces.us

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. Workspace at Bishop’s Woods

250 N. Sunnyslope Road, Suite 200

SOU TH CENTR AL 100State

316 W. Washington Ave., Suite 675

Madison

608-268-9384

100state.com

American Family Business Accelerator

6000 American Parkway

Madison

800-692-6326

dreamfearlessly.com

Central Wisconsin Community Action Council

1000 Highway 13, P.O. Box 430

Wisconsin Dells

608-254-8353

Center for Technology Commercialization

432 N. Lake St., Suite 435

Madison

608-263-0398

Common Wealth

1501 Williamson St.

gBeta Horizon Coworking

58 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Madison Beloit, Madison, Milwaukee, Appleton

7 N. Pinckney St., Suite 300

Madison

wisconsinsbir.org cwd.org

414-502-8880

gbetaaccelerator.com horizoncw.com


SOU TH CENTR A L

(CO N T I N U E D)

Janesville Innovation Center

2949 Venture Drive

Janesville

608-206-7121

janesvilleinnovation.com

Madworks Coworking

505 S. Rosa Road, Suite 225

Madison

608-305-4623

madworkscoworking.org

Matrix Coworking

6302 Odana Road

Madison

608-819-5319

matrixcoworking.com

MGE Innovation Center

510 Charmany Drive, Suite 250

Madison

608-441-8000

universityresearchpark.org/the-property/mge-innovation-center

Richland County Community Resource Development

1000 Highway 14 West

Richland Center

608-647-6148

prosperitysouthwest.com/richland-county

Sector 67

2100 Winnebago St.

Madison

608-241-4605

sector67.org

StartingBlock Madison

800 E. Washington Ave.

Madison

startingblockmadison.org

Synergy Coworking

5201 Old Middleton Road

Madison

608-709-5550

synergymadison.com

University Research Park, @1403

510 Charmany Drive, Suite 250

Madison

608-320-3243

universityresearchpark.org

UW-Extension Division for Business and Entrepreneurship

432 N. Lake St., Room 423

Madison

608-263-7794

uwex.edu

Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center

8520 University Green

Middleton

608-262-6900

cropinnovation.cals.wisc.edu

Wisconsin Small Business Development Center

432 N. Lake St., Room 423

Madison

608-263-0221

wisconsinsbdc.org

Advocap

19 W. First St., P.O. Box 1108

Fond du Lac

920-922-7760

advocap.org

AeroInnovate

625 Pearl Ave.

Oshkosh

920-424-2364

aeroinnovate.org

NOR THE A S T Appleton Coworking

120 N. Morrison St., Suite 101

Appleton

Bemis Innovation Center

One Neenah Center, 4th floor

Neenah

920-527-5000

appletoncoworking.org bemis.com

Business Success Center

625 Pearl Ave.

Oshkosh

920-424-0833

uwosh.edu/bsc

Door County Business Development Center

185 E. Walnut St.

Sturgeon Bay

920-743-3113

doorcountybusiness.com

Environmental Research and Innovation Center

800 Algoma Blvd.

gBeta

Oshkosh

920- 424-1234

eric.uwosh.edu

Beloit, Madison, Milwaukee, Appleton

414 502-8880

gbetaaccelerator.com

NE Wisconsin Technical College Entrepreneur Resource Center

2701 Larsen Road

Green Bay

920-498-7180

nwtc.edu/erc

NWTC Learning and Innovation Center

2438 S. Bay Shore Drive

Sister Bay

920-498-5444

nwtc.edu/about-nwtc/places/learning-andinnovation-center-in-sister-bay

Chippewa Valley Innovation Center

3132 Louis Ave.

Eau Claire

715-836-2842

chippewavalleyinnovationcenter.org

Coulee Region Business Center

1100 Kane St.

La Crosse

608-782-8022

crbc.biz

Couleecap

201 Melby St.

Westby

608-634-3104

couleecap.org

CVTC Applied Technology Center

620 W. Clairemont Ave.

Eau Claire

715-874-4655

cvtc.edu/atc

Kickapoo Culinary Center

16381 WI-131

Gays Mills

608-485-3413

kickapooculinary.org

Northwest Regional Planning Commission

1400 S. River St.

Spooner

715-635-2197

nwrpc.com

Platteville Business Incubator

52 Means Drive

Platteville

608-348-2758

pbii.org

WE S T

NOR THW E S T/NOR TH CENTR AL Ashland Area Enterprise Center

422 Third St. West, Suite 101

Ashland

715-682-8344

ashlandareadevelopment.com

The Development Association

205 Belknap St.

Superior

715-392-4749

wegrowbiz.org

Entrepreneurial and Education Center

100 N. 72nd Ave.

Wausau

715-261-6680

wausaudevelopment.com

Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation

801 N. Sales St., Suite 200

Merrill

715-539-1024

lincolnedc.org

St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center

1091 Sutherland Ave.

River Falls

715-425-3066

stcroixinnovation.org

Vilas County Economic Development Corp.

555 Enterprise Way

Eagle River

715-337-0061

vilascountyedc.org/vilas-business-incubators

INNOVATEWI.COM / 59


INNOVATIONRESOURCES A N G E L I N V E S T O R S & V E N T U R E C A P I TA L F I R M S C O M PAN Y

ADD RESS

CITY

P H ON E

4490 VENTURES

111 N. Fairchild St., Suite 240

Madison

608-501-0000

AMERICAN FAMILY VENTURES

111 N. Fairchild St., Suite 400

Madison

WEB SI TE 4490.ventures amfamventures.com

ANGELS ON THE WATER

43 E. Seventh Ave.

Oshkosh

920-232-8904

angelsonthewater.com

ARENBERG HOLDINGS LLC

234 W. Florida St., Suite 308

Milwaukee

920-889-9035

angi-krueger.squarespace.com bairdcapital.com

BAIRD CAPITAL

777 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee

888-224-7326

CALUMET VENTURE FUND

1245 E. Washington Ave.

Madison

608-310-3242

calumetvc.com

CAPITAL MIDWEST FUND

10556 N. Port Washington Road, Suite 201

Mequon

414-453-4488

capitalmidwest.com

715-878-9791

CHIPPEWA VALLEY ANGEL INVESTOR NETWORK

P.O. Box 3232

Eau Claire

CSA PARTNERS

333 N. Plankinton Ave., Suite 205

Milwaukee

cvain.com csapartnersllc.com

DANEVEST TECH FUND ADVISORS

P.O. Box 620037

Middleton

608-826-4000

danevestcapital.com

FOLEY VENTURES

777 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee

414-271-2400

foley.com/foleyventures

GARY COMER INC.

20875 Crossroads Circle, Suite 100

Waukesha

262.798.5080

gcionline.com

GOLDEN ANGELS NETWORK

250 N. Sunnyslope Road, Suite 245

Brookfield

262-439-4421

goldenangelsinvestors.com

HEALTHX VENTURES

316 W. Washington Ave., Suite 925

Madison

608-618-3863

healthxventures.com

INVENTURE CAPITAL

2820 Walton Commons West, Suite 125

Madison

608-468-6605

inventure-capital.com

608-205-0100

kegonsapartners.com

LAKESHORE ANGELS

705 Woodland Road

Kohler

920-918-9477

MARSHFIELD INVESTMENT PARTNERS

700 S. Central Ave., P.O. Box 868

Marshfield

715-384-3454

marshfieldchamber.com

N29 CAPITAL PARTNERS LLC

5256 US Hwy 51

Manitowish Waters

866-306-3690

n29capitalpartners.com

NEW CAPITAL FUND

2100 Freedom Road, Suite A

Little Chute

920-731-5777

newcapitalfund.com

NEW RICHMOND ANGEL INVESTMENT NETWORK

P.O. Box 362

New Richmond

715-246-8989

newrichmondareaedc.com

NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL FUTURE VENTURES

720 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee

866-244-2295

nmfutureventures.com

NORTHWOODS ANGELS

555 Enterprise Way

Eagle River

715-337-0061

vilascountyedc.org

PEAK RIDGE CAPITAL

44 E. Mifflin St., Suite 401

Madison

608-310-9520

peakridgecap.com

PHENOMENELLE ANGELS

501 Charmany Drive, Suite 175B

Madison

608-441-8315

phenomenelleangels.com

KEGONSA CAPITAL FUND

ROCK RIVER CAPITAL PARTNERS

Madison/Beloit

rockrivercapital.com

SILICON PASTURES

4201 N. 27th St., 7th floor

Milwaukee

414-347-7815

ST. CROIX VALLEY ANGEL NETWORK

410 S. Third St.

River Falls

715-425-3398

SYMPHONY ALPHA VENTURES

22 E. Mifflin St, #400

Madison

608-294-4090

THIRD COAST ANGELS

Jack@thirdcoastangels.com

siliconpastures.com

symphonyalpha.com thirdcoastangels.com

VENTURE INVESTORS/ 30VENTURES

505 S. Rosa Road, Suite 201

Madison

608-441-2700

VENTURE MANAGEMENT

401 Charmany Drive, Suite 320

Madison

608-819-8888

WISC PARTNERS

401 Charmany Drive, Suite 310

Madison

WISCONSIN ALUMNI RESEARCH FOUNDATION

614 Walnut St.

Madison

608-263-2500

warf.org

WISCONSIN INVESTMENT PARTNERS

P.O. Box 45919

Madison

608-692-7481

wisinvpartners.com

ventureinvestors.com vmllc.com wiscpartners.com

WISCONSIN RURAL ENTERPRISE FUND

1400 S. River St.

Spooner

715-635-2197

nwrpc.com

WISCONSIN SUPER ANGEL FUND

1101 N. Market St., Suite 200

Milwaukee

414-405-4848

wsafund.com

124 Meadow Lane, P.O. Box 506

DeForest

608-846-9477

608-339-6945

WISCONSIN VENTURE CAPITAL ASSOCIATION YAHARA ANGEL NETWORK

wisconsinvca.org

GRANTS/LOANS

ADAMS COUNTY RURAL & INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. BROWNFIELD GRANTS

P.O. Box 236

Friendship

101 S. Webster St.

Madison

888-936-7463

FIRST AMERICAN CAPITAL CORP.

10809 W. Lincoln Ave., Suite 102

West Allis

920-499-6444

aiccw-facc.org

FOCUS ON ENERGY BUSINESS PROGRAM

12075 Corporate Parkway, #100

Mequon

800-762-7077

focusonenergy.com/business#program-financing

dnr.wi.gov/topic/Brownfields

GREAT LAKES ASSET CORP.

200 S. Washington St., Suite 202

Green Bay

920-499-6444

greatlakesasset.com

IMPACT 7

147 Lake Almena Drive, 642 W. North Ave.

Almena, Milwaukee

414-828-6222

impactseven.org

MADISON DEVELOPMENT CORP.

550 W. Washington Ave.

Madison

608-356-2799

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER

mdcorp.org www.sba.gov

WAUKESHA COUNTY REVOLVING LOAN FUND

2717 N. Grandview Blvd., Suite 300

Waukesha

414-269-1440

WISCONSIN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FINANCE CORP.

4618 S. Biltmore Lane

Madison

608-819-0390

wbd.org

WISCONSIN BUSINESS INNOVATION CORP.

1400 S. River St.

Spooner

715-635-2197

nwrpc.com

WISCONSIN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. WISCONSIN HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY WISCONSIN WOMEN’S BUSINESS INITIATIVE CORP.

201 W. Washington Ave.

inwisconsin.com

medconline.com

Madison

855-469-4249

Madison/Milwaukee

608-266-7884/ 414-2274039

wheda.org

Milwaukee/Madison/Kenosha

414-263-5450

wwbic.com

NONPROFIT FUNDING BRIGHTSTAR WISCONSIN FOUNDATION

710 N. Plankinton Ave., Suite 340

Milwaukee

414-224-6000

brightstarwi.org

IDEADVANCE SEED FUND

432 Lake St., Suite 417

Madison

608-263-3315

uwideadvance.org

60 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018


W I S C O N S I N 2 0 1 9

WANT TO BE A PART OF NEXT YEAR’S ISSUE? Contact us by early 2019 to reserve your space. Wisconsin companies are leading the nation with innovation. Be a part of the conversation. Advanced Manufacturing BioScience FinTech Health Care Stem Agriculture DEADLINES: March 6 March 13 March 20 April 15

Ad space deadline Ad materials due Ad approval Publish date

CONTACT: Linda Crawford advertise@biztimes.com 414.336.7112

INNOVATEWI.COM / 61


INNOVATIONRESOURCES ECONOM IC DEVELO PMENT ORG A N I ZATI O N S RE GI O N

PHONE

WEBSITE

CO N TACT N A ME / E MA IL A D D RE SS

Grow North

715-360-6923

grownorth.org

Doris McAllister Executive director doris.mcallister@grownorth.org

7 Rivers Alliance

608-787-8777

Milwaukee 7

414-287-4112

Centergy

715-843-9563

New North

920-336-3860

Momentum West

715-874-4673

Madison Region Economic Partnership (formerly Thrive) Prosperity Southwest

Vilas

Sheldon Johnson Executive director sjohnson@nwrpc.com

nwrpc.com

7riversalliance.org

Burnett

Polk

Oneida

Forest Marinette

Rusk

Barron

Lincoln

Langlade

Taylor

Pat O'Brien President pobrien@mke7.com

St. Croix

Chippewa

Menominee

Marathon

Dunn Eau Claire

Pierce

Gordon Crow, Executive director director@centergy.net

thenewnorth.com

Jerry Murphy Executive director jmurphy@thenewnorth.com

Buffalo

Wood

608-571-0401

madisonregion.org

608-822-3501

prosperitysouthwest. com

Ron Brisbois President gcedc@grantcounty.org

Waupaca

Adams

Manitowoc

Winnebago

Calumet

Marquette

Monroe

Green Lake

Juneau Vernon

Kewaunee

Brown

Outagamie Waushara

Steve Jahn Executive director steve@momentumwest.org Paul Jadin President pjadin@madisonregion.org

Portage

Door

Jackson

La Crosse

Oconto

Shawano

Clark

Pepin

centergy.net

momentumwest.org

Florence

Sawyer Price

Chris Hardie, CEO chris@7riversalliance.org

mmac.org

Washburn

Sauk

Columbia

Dodge

Richland

Sheboygan

Fond du Lac

Washington

715-635-2197

Iron Ashland

Trempealeau

Visions Northwest

Bayfield

Douglas

Crawford

Ozaukee

Waukesha Milwaukee

Jefferson

Dane

Iowa

Grant

Racine Walworth

Rock

Green

Lafayette

Kenosha

REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTORS T ERRI TORY

CO N TACT

1

Heather Smith 608-210-6758 heather.smith@wedc.org

2

Marie Steenlage 608-210-6755 marie.steenlage@wedc.org

3

Jim Rosenberg 608-210-6855 jim.rosenberg@wedc.org

4

Tim Weber 608-210-6772 tim.weber@wedc.org

5

Jon Bartz 608-210-6846 jon.bartz@wedc.org

6

Naletta Burr 608-210-6830 naletta.burr@wedc.org

7

Neil White 608-210-6739 neil.white@wedc.org

TER R ITOR Y

CONTACT

7

Kathryn Berger 608-210-6822 kathryn.berger@wedc.org

7

Tina Chitwood 608-210-6733 tina.chitwood@wedc.org

8

Melissa Hunt 608-210-6780 melissa.hunt@wedc.org

8

Jason Scott 608-210-6790 jason.scott@wedc.org

9 10

Mark Tallman 608-210-6852 mark.tallman@wedc.org Jennifer Kuderer 608-210-6820 jennifer.kuderer@wedc.org

S TAT E W I D E C O N TA C T S Barb Lamue, vice president, business and community development 608-210-6760 | barb.lamue@wedc.org Mary Gage, senior economic development director 608-210-6750 | mary.gage@wedc.org Mary Perry, senior economic development director 608-210-6740 | mary.perry@wedc.org 62 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

Douglas

Bayfield

2

Iron Ashland Vilas

Washburn

Burnett

Sawyer

Florence

3

Oneida

Price

Forest Polk

Barron

Lincoln

1

St. Croix

Langlade

Taylor Chippewa

Menominee

Dunn Pierce

Marinette

Rusk

Oconto

Marathon Eau Claire

4

Clark

Pepin

Wood

Buffalo

Shawano

Door Kewaunee

Portage

Waupaca

6

Brown

Outagamie

Jackson Trempealeau

10

Winnebago

Waushara Adams

Monroe

La Crosse

Manitowoc

Juneau Marquette Green Lake

Calumet

5 Fond du Lac

Sheboygan

Vernon Columbia

Sauk

Richland

Dodge

8

Crawford

Washington

Dane

Grant

9

7

Jefferson

Iowa

Ozaukee

Waukesha

Racine Lafayette

Green

Rock

Walworth Kenosha

Milwaukee


WISCONSIN

PATENT INFORMATION

2015 MINNESOTA 4,852

The origin of a patent is determined by the residence of the first-named inventor and these numbers include utility patents (i.e., "patents for invention"), design patents, plant patents, reissue patents, statutory invention registrations and defensive publications granted in the given year by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

THE NUMBER OF U.S.PATENTS GRANTED TO WISCONSIN IN 2015

2015 MICHIGAN 6,184

(the most recent data)

2015 IOWA 1,078

2015 ILLINOIS 5,862

2015 CALIFORNIA 43,609

2015 TEX AS 10,561

Source: TAF database maintained by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office INNOVATEWI.COM / 63


INNOVATIONINFO

INVESTOR

DOLLARS & DEALS

S TAT E R A N K B Y V C D E A L S I N Q 4 2 0 17 S TAT E 1 CALIFORNIA 2 N E W YO R K 3 M A S S AC H U S E T T S 4 TEX AS 5 CO LO R A D O 6 ILLINOIS 7 WA S H I N G TO N 8 F LO R I DA 9 PEN N S Y LVA N I A 10 V I R G I N I A 11 U TA H 12 N O R T H C A R O L I N A 13 O H I O 14 M A R Y L A N D 15 G E O R G I A 16 O R E G O N 17 N E W J ER S E Y 18 WASHINGTON, D.C. 19 M I C H I G A N 20 INDIANA

$M

DEALS

8,982

470

2,829

167

2,050

97

256

42

268

40

388

34

301

32

599

24

150

23

643.1

23

188.8

18

102.7

16

22.2

16

401.7

15

574

14

149.4

14

70.7

12

214

10

150.6

9

55.6

8

S TAT E 21 CO N N E C T I C U T 2 2 M I N N E S OTA 2 3 N EB R A S K A 24 T EN N E S EE 2 5 W I S CO N S I N 2 6 D EL AWA R E 2 7 A R I ZO N A 28 K ANSAS 2 9 LO U I S I A N A 3 0 AL ABAMA 31 I O WA 32 MAINE 33 MISSOURI 3 4 M O N TA N A 3 5 N E VA DA 36 SOUTH CAROLINA 3 7 H AWA I I 3 8 I DA H O 39 RHODE ISL AND 4 0 V ER M O N T

$M

DEALS

33

7

107.5

7

31.7

7

37

6

18.3

6

13.5

4

5.33

3

34.6

3

13.7

3

0.47

2

2.5

2

5

2

2.9

2

5.5

2

4.5

2

3.6

2

5.5

1

0.5

1

1.8

1

1

1

Quarterly data not disclosed for AK, AR, KY, MS, ND, NH, NM, OK, WV, WY | Source: PwC CB Insights MoneyTree Report, Q4 2017

INVESTMENT

IN U.S. VC-BACKED COMPANIES WAS $71.9 BILLION IN 2017

+17% FUNDING UP 17 PERCENT FROM 2016

$

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

64 / INNOVATE WISCONSIN | 2018

-4% NUMBER OF DEALS FELL TO 5,052 4 PERCENT DECLINE SINCE 2016 AND THE LOWEST ANNUAL TOTAL SINCE 2012

Source: PwC/CB Insights MoneyTree Report Q4 2017


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Innovate Wisconsin 2018  

Welcome to Innovate Wisconsin | Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines innovation as, “The introduction of something new; a new idea, method o...

Innovate Wisconsin 2018  

Welcome to Innovate Wisconsin | Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines innovation as, “The introduction of something new; a new idea, method o...