— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Nick Myers, co-founder and CEO of Madison-based RedFox AI.
After previously appearing on the show in 2020, Myers provides an update on his startup company. The company recently pivoted from implementing various artificial intelligence voice assistant applications for businesses to focus on a product for the medical field called the RedFox Digital Guide.
“Growth hopefully will be, you know, accelerating pretty good here in the next several weeks and the coming months,” he said. “We’re still very much in startup mode; we’ve been bootstrapped to this point.”
Myers is currently working on agreements with several potential customers for this conversational AI program, which helps patients with administering at-home medical treatments or using medical devices.
“Now we’re having all these discussions, which we’ve wanted for a long time … our goal of course is hopefully we can lock in a few customers and show traction, and really demonstrate that product-market fit and that we’re solving what we set out to solve,” he said.
He aims to launch a round of fundraising sometime this year, setting up the company for “accelerating and scaling the way we want to.”
See a full list of WisBusiness.com podcasts: https://www.wisbusiness.com/category/podcast/
See a recent story on Myers’ company: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2022/ai-program-designed-to-assist-with-at-home-medical-care/
— The state’s unemployment rate in February fell to 2.9 percent, tying the lowest rate on record — last seen in March 2020.
That’s according to the latest preliminary federal figures released by the state Department of Workforce Development. They show Wisconsin’s unemployment rate declined slightly over the month from January’s rate of 3 percent.
“We are down at record lows on unemployment rate again, and this bodes well for the economy, bodes a little less well perhaps for companies looking for workers,” DWD Chief Economist Dennis Winters said yesterday in a media briefing.
He noted employment numbers in the state continue to increase, “getting up near where we were pre-pandemic.”
Added Winters: “We’re within about 73,000 jobs of where we were before the dip.”
The state added 20,700 private-sector jobs over the month, driven in part by increases in manufacturing and leisure and hospitality employment, a release shows.
In the DWD release, Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek warns that “job number fluctuations could be more common in the coming months as companies navigate changing supply lines and continued economic uncertainties.”
The state’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 3.8 percent, the release shows.
— The state Department of Financial Institutions says investment adviser representatives will be required to complete annual continuing education when an administrative rule takes effect in 2023.
According to the DFI’s Division of Securities, these individuals have not been subject to continuing education requirements, unlike other financial service professionals. The agency says the administrative rule “addresses this professional development gap” in order to protect investors in the state.
“This continuing education requirement will help promote heightened regulatory compliance while also helping investment adviser representatives better serve their clients by ensuring they remain knowledgeable of current regulatory requirements and best practices,” DFI Secretary-designee Cheryll Olson-Collins said in the release.
Under the rule, these individuals will be required to complete 12 continuing education credits each year to maintain their professional registration status. That includes six credits of courses on products and practices and six credits of ethics and professional responsibility courses.
— Gov. Tony Evers and several state agencies have announced $9.4 million in Harbor Assistance Program grants for six projects around the state.
“These investments in our harbors build on the advantage we already have by bolstering our harbors to strengthen our supply chain and open new opportunities for business growth in our state,” Evers said in the release.
Recipients include: Port Milwaukee, with a nearly $1.2 million grant; Port of Green Bay, $1.1 million; Hanke Terminals in La Crosse, $2 million; DeLong Co. Inc. in Milwaukee, $3.4 million; City of Kewaunee, $249,000; and City of Superior and C. Reiss Coal, $1.5 million.
See more details on funded projects here: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2022/gov-evers-approves-9-4-million-in-wisdot-harbor-grants/
— The state Public Service Commission has received 194 applications requesting more than $495 million through the Broadband Expansion Grant Program.
The 2021-23 biennial budget provided $129 million over the biennium for expanding high-speed broadband internet, and the PSC is expected to award up to $100 million in grants this summer in the first round of funding.
“Broadband is a necessity that students and workers, business owners, families, and communities need to be successful, and nobody should have to drive to the end of their driveway or travel into town to sit in a library parking lot just to send an email,” Evers said in a release.
— Marquette University says a recent $2 million donation will help improve dental care for patients with special needs.
The university announced the donation from the Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation to the university’s School of Dentistry, supporting the creation of the Delta Dental Advanced Care Clinic. Once it’s up and running, the clinic is expected to serve more than 1,200 patients per year.
The clinic will be used to “enhance focused training” for dentistry students, the release shows. And funds from the donation will help support technology upgrades for other School of Dentistry operations such as the pediatrics clinic and specialty clinics in oral surgery, orthodontics and more.
“This is a big step forward in enhancing dental education, while enabling us to fulfill our mission in treating all residents in need of care,” University President Michael Lovell said in the release.
Construction on the School of Dentistry project will be done during the summer months so the clinics can continue operating, the release says. Upgrades are expected to be completed by 2026.
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— Correction: An item in Wednesday’s news summary should have said PACE Equity had $9 million in revenue last year. The company revised figures provided to WisBusiness.com.
# As Moderna requests FDA authorization for its ages 6 and under COVID-19 vaccine, Wisconsin parents are hopeful
# WI real estate value increases at fastest rate in 15 years
# On path to EV market, Milwaukee’s COnovate raises nearly $1 million, adds Clarios executive as board chair
– Nominations open for Produce Safety Advisory Council
– Wisconsin needs to spend nearly $10B to go carbon-neutral by 2050, report finds
– New federal funding supports Center for Black Excellence, Centro Hispano
– UW-Oshkosh to heat campus building using food waste
– Madison School Board approves $850K for virtual program expansion
– Black Arts Matter Festival brings performing arts, slam poetry to UW-Madison
– College-focused Milwaukee high school working to get students career ready too
– Devastated by disease, federal officials propose listing northern long-eared bat as endangered
– Wisconsin added 20,700 private sector jobs in February
– AT&T looking to fill 100 job openings in Milwaukee area
– Former ManpowerGroup CEO, EVP of global strategy join Like|Minded board
– Milwaukee nonprofits included among MacKenzie Scott’s $3.8 billion in donations
# REAL ESTATE
– State’s real estate value increases at fastest rate in 15 years
– Buying a house in Wisconsin has been getting more expensive. Inflation isn’t likely to help.
– Real estate firm Transwestern moving Milwaukee office to Westown
– Illinois developer purchases 132 acres in Kenosha County
– February home sales down, but realtors say winter still a success
– The Buzz: Home décor shop closing in downtown Appleton
– Packers’ TitletownTech adds expertise to development of NFL virtual reality game
– $9.4M going toward 6 harbor projects
# PRESS RELEASES
<i>See these and other press releases: