Wisconsin Technology Council: Emerging companies can apply to meet with major firms at March 23 Tech Summit

Emerging companies can apply through Wednesday, Feb. 18 to meet with major firms and explore likely business relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the second annual Wisconsin Tech Summit.

The day-long event will be held Monday, March 23 at the GE Healthcare Institute in Waukesha, Wis. More information, including an application form, can be found at http://www.wistechsummit.com.

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

“In some parts of the country, there are well-established ways for larger companies and emerging firms to connect,” said Toni Sikes, chief executive officer of CODAworx and chair of the Tech Council. “This is a way to enhance that kind of connectivity in Wisconsin and our region. There are benefits to entrepreneurs and major companies alike.”

Major companies will be able to hear from emerging firms with innovative products or services tied to areas such as “big data,” connected devices and data analytics in sectors ranging from health care to information systems, and from power electronics to telecommunications.

“The evolving information needs of major companies may require strategic partnerships with innovative young companies,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Potential business relationships might include contracting for research and development, becoming part of a larger supply chain, and pursuing investment or acquisition strategies.”

Participating major companies thus far are American Family Insurance, Aurora Health Care, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Dedicated Computing, Direct Supply, Faith Technologies, GE Healthcare, HP Enterprise Services, Intel, Johnson Controls Inc., Kraft Foods/Oscar Mayer Information Systems, Marshfield Clinic, Rockwell Automation and TASC (Total Administrative Services Corp). Others are being invited.

Emerging companies can apply to participate at http://www.wistechsummit.com. The deadline is Monday, Feb. 16. A selection process involving major companies and the Tech Council will follow. Selected companies may meet with more than one company, depending on mutual interest.

There is no cost to apply. If selected, a company registration fee will be charged; registration discounts will be available at that time for Wisconsin Innovation Network corporate members.

Attendance at the event is limited to representatives of participating major companies, selected emerging companies and event sponsors.

The “speed dating” meetings on March 23 will run about 15 minutes each. Other features of the event will include:

* An opening panel discussion to help set the stage for emerging companies by allowing major companies an opportunity to talk generally about their goals, needs and emerging markets;

* “Office Hours” meetings and presentations, which will be available to all participants during those times in which they are not scheduled for individual meetings;

* Closing keynote speaker who will bring perspectives that will be helpful for major companies as well as emerging firms;

* A continental breakfast, networking lunch and onsite reception.

Sponsors thus far include American Family Insurance; AT&T; BDO; BloodCenter of Wisconsin; Center for Technology Commercialization; GE Healthcare; Madison Gas & Electric; Milwaukee Institute; Rockwell Automation; UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; UW-Milwaukee; Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Wisconsin Health and Education Facilities Authority.

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