— A startup called SpayVac-for-Wildlife plans to submit an animal birth control vaccine product to the EPA before the end of the year, and founders aim to hit the ground running once approval is secured.
CEO Tom D’Orazio says he expects the EPA to approve the product within 10 months, but he’s not wasting any time developing connections and strategies for entering the animal control market.
He says company leaders are hashing out the details of a USDA deal in which the Fitchburg company could generate some new shared intellectual property. And he sees an opportunity to work with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to help reduce the number of wild horses on public lands used for cattle grazing.
Current methods for controlling wildlife populations including surgical spaying as well as killing the animals outright, both of which can be costly and difficult processes, D’Orazio said.
“A vaccine is very cheap and efficient compared to that,” he said at a recent Wisconsin Technology Council luncheon in Madison. “Not only is it innovative, but it’s a human solution to a big and expensive problem.”
He says over one billion “overabundant” mammals are causing damage to ecosystems and economies all over the world. That includes horses, deer, seals, monkeys and even elephants, as well as hundreds of millions of cats and dogs.
“We really struggle with how to control these burgeoning populations,” he said. “Our solution has always been to kill them. It’s never worked, and they always continue to grow.”
D’Orazio explains that when a portion of an animal population is killed, that population can often rebound quickly, because “you just leave more resources and less competition for breeding animals to bounce back.”
— ThedaCare is offering a new heart valve repair procedure in the Appleton area that’s less invasive than traditional open-heart surgery.
According to a release, ThedaCare is the first provider in northeast and central Wisconsin to have the MitraClip procedure available. It’s meant for patients who have a condition called mitral regurgitation for whom surgery would be especially risky.
Mitral regurgitation is characterized by failing mitral valves in the heart, which can become “leaky” overtime and allow blood to abnormally move backwards through the valve as the heart beats. If left untreated, MR can lead to heart failure.
The MitraClip device clips together parts of the mitral valve to reduce improper blood flow and improves the heart’s ability to deliver blood throughout the body.
ThedaCare says mitral regurgitation is the most common heart valve disease, affecting 10 percent of adults over age 75. MitraClip doesn’t require opening up the chest or stopping the heart, which means patients recover faster, according to Dr. Abdelkader Almanfi, director of the ThedaCare Structural Heart Program.
“Patients usually recover within one to two days,” he said.
— Prominent backers of UW-Madison have formed a group to educate the public about the economic value of the university.
Amber Schroeder, executive director of Badgers United, said business leaders saw a need to explain what the university means to communities around the state, and inform people about its economic impact, estimated to be about $15 billion.
“I think it’s important to know that UW-Madison, for every dollar that comes in, $24 come out, and bounces across the entire state. It’s not just a Madison thing. It’s a statewide thing,” Schroeder said in an interview that aired Sunday on “UpFront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
The board of Badgers United includes Major League Baseball Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig, former UW System President Katharine Lyall, and philanthropists John and Tashia Morgridge, who have donated millions to UW.
Badgers United also will advocate for lifting the tuition freeze, Schroeder said.
“High-achieving students don’t want cheap education. They want quality education,” she said.
She said UW-Madison should “be at market rate for resident tuition” compared to other Big 10 schools.
— In another segment, Matt Cordio, president of Skills Pipeline and the founder of Startup Milwaukee, said Wisconsin’s growing technology industry seriously needs workers.
“There’s a massive shortage of tech talent here in Wisconsin, and we need to really work and take every available opportunity to build and develop new tech talent,” Cordio said.
One thing that could help get more tech talent in the pipeline, Cordio said, are income-share agreements, a new type of financial arrangement that is an alternative to traditional student loans. Instead of borrowing money at a certain interest rate, students agree to have a percentage of their future earnings withheld to cover the cost of their education.
See more from the show:
— A Madison startup called LUM, or Live Undiscovered Music, has officially launched its app on the Apple store and is planning a launch party for early July.
“This generation of artists and fans are more than just the sum of their streams,” said Max Fergus, CEO and co-founder of LUM. “We want artists to use their fans and communities as a catalyst for their growth, and LUM is really the first platform to provide that connection.”
This comes after the early-stage company recently closed a $1.2 million seed funding round and announced a partnership with Frank Productions, a major national concert promoter.
LUM is hosting a launch party July 11 at the Majestic Theatre in Madison.
Listen to an earlier podcast with one of the founders of LUM: http://www.wisbusiness.com/2018/wisbusiness-the-podcast-with-derek-zenger-co-founder-for-live-undiscovered-music/
— The Alliance for the American Dream competition has awarded $1.5 million to two UW-Madison community partnerships in Dane County.
According to a release, the national group is supporting “innovative ideas to move more families into the middle class.”
LIFT Dane, which shared first place in the competition, is receiving $1.1 million. This program aims to help families struggling with “fixable civil legal problems,” including suspended driver’s licenses, childcare debt, consumer debit and criminal records. It’s a partnership between the UW Law School, Legal Action of Wisconsin, and the Employment and Training Association of Dane County.
We Care for Dane Kids, which shared second place, is getting $400,000 in funding from the competition. This program aims to supplement income for early childhood workers, reduce operating costs for childcare facilities and create a child care benefit program. It’s being undertaken by a number of partners, including the UW Schools of Social Work and Education and about six others groups.
Funding for these two programs makes up about half of the funding being distributed across Arizona, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin.
See more on the programs: http://www.wisbusiness.com/2019/uw-madison-partnerships-win-american-dream-contest/
— Silgan Containers plans to lay off 70 workers at its manufacturing location in Waupun, according to a release from the state Department of Workforce Development.
DWD has been notified the layoffs are expected to occur by Nov. 8, when the company plans to permanently close the facility. The notice sent to the state shows most of the affected workers are mechanics or machine operators.
As with all officials layoffs of this nature, DWD’s Dislocated Worker Program will step in with job transition assistance, including job search workshops and related information.
# Economic impact of crisis being felt by ag and dairy lenders
# SHINE Medical raising $30 million Series C round
# Madison consulting firm with close ties to Epic Systems to be acquired by major health system
# Widow of truck driver sues over Wisconsin interstate crash
– Four students awarded $10,000 Lutsey-Waseda scholarships
– Madison teams win major funding competition with ideas to raise net incomes of Dane County families
– Carroll University’s founding business school dean departs
– UW-Extension to hold beef grazing workshop
– Survey finds no Asian carp in Chicago-area waterways
# FOOD AND BEVERAGE
– Waterlin Coffee Bar & Bistro to open next month in Menomonee Falls hotel
# FOXCONN REPORTS
– Foxconn says in rare interview that it remains committed to massive Wisconsin factory
# HEALTH CARE
– ProHealth Care buys Pewaukee building for future HQ
– Tennessee-based insurance agency Reliance Partners opens Franklin office
– Racine investor selling off portfolio sees boost thanks to Foxconn
– Suit against Spancrete argues employee bonuses weren’t counted in overtime tally
– Pioneer Power Solutions to sell transformer business for $65.5 million
# REAL ESTATE
– Branding agency moves offices from Waukesha to downtown Milwaukee
– West Bend considers offer to acquire 153 acres for new business park
– Like Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Vikings owners jumping into esports
– House passes $5M for Great Lakes Hyperloop that slots Milwaukee for Phase 2
– Jessie Opoien: ABC for Health has been valuable advocate for the underserved
– Dr. Dipesh Navsaria: For some children, borders run right through our communities
# PRESS RELEASES
<i>See these and other press releases: