Emerging companies may apply through Feb. 11 to meet with major firms and explore potential business relationships around technology needs and innovation as part of the ninth annual Wisconsin Tech Summit, which will take place in-person at Lambeau Field.

The day-long event will be held in-person Monday, March 14, 2022. More information, including the online application form, can be found at wistechsummit.com. Past emerging companies are encouraged to apply.

The Tech Summit will feature a series of brief meetings, or “speed dates,” to foster communication and partnership. It is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum.

Participating major firms thus far: Advocate Aurora Research InstituteAmerican Family InsuranceExact SciencesFindorffJ.P. MorganKimberly-ClarkMarshfield Clinic Health System, Rockwell AutomationSchreiber FoodsShive-Hattery and TitletownTech. Others will be announced soon.

“There are many reasons why major firms would want to meet with emerging companies, and vice versa,” said Greg Lynch, chairman of the Tech Council and co-founder of Michael Best’s Venture Best group. “This is a way to enhance company-to-company connections in Wisconsin and beyond, with benefits to entrepreneurs and major firms alike.”

“Large and small companies travel in different orbits, even if they’re in the same business sectors, and those orbits rarely cross except by chance,” added Tom Still, president of the Tech Council and chairman of the WHBF. “This event aims to align those orbits where possible.”

“Not all speed dates blossom into a serious relationship, of course, but surveys of past major company participants show that 40 percent of their meetings have led to continued contacts,” Still added.

Major firms will be able to hear from emerging companies with innovative products or services tied to areas such as digital health innovation, artificial intelligence, fin-tech and insure-tech, the internet of things, health diagnostics and delivery, software and data analytics in sectors ranging from health care to information systems, and from power electronics to telecommunications.

Applications are welcome from early stage funds that may want to introduce portfolio companies and otherwise connect with major firms.

“The evolving tech needs of major firms may require strategic partnerships with innovative young companies,” Lynch said. “Potential business relationships might include contracting for research and development, becoming part of a larger supply chain, and pursuing investment or acquisition strategies.”

Emerging companies may apply by Feb.11 at wistechsummit.com to take part. A selection process involving major companies and the Tech Council will follow. Selected emerging companies may meet with multiple major firms, depending on mutual interest.

A company registration fee is due at the time of application; forms for which are available online. Companies that are not selected to participate will receive a full refund.

The March 14 “speed date” meetings are 15 minutes each with five minutes between. Other features of the event are:

  • Educational “Office Hours” seminars, which will be available to all participants during those times in which they are not scheduled for individual meetings;
  • An event overview and opening discussion to help set the stage for emerging companies by allowing major firms to talk generally about their goals, needs and emerging markets, and;
  • A keynote presentation and plenary panel.

Sponsors thus far include; AT&TAVI SystemsBaird CapitalBDOFindorffFlad ArchitectsGoogleMarshfield Clinic Health SystemPDSRockwell AutomationRuder WareShive-HatteryTuroUniversity Research ParkUW-Madison Office of Business EngagementUWM Research FoundationVersitiWEA TrustWisconsin Economic Development CorpWHEFA and Zendesk.

Visit wistechsummit.com for more information on the event, the application process, registration and sponsorship opportunities.

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