Chasing the New Angel Investors

Entrepreneurs Find They Need More Than a 'Great Idea' When Pitching to Potential Backers

By ANGUS LOTEN

Budding entrepreneur Eric Bolden had never met an angel investor until he tried pitching a business idea to a few of them.

Last week, the retired prison guard showed up at a midtown New York loft for an event that connects entrepreneurs with investors to see whether he might get, say, $50,000, from the angels—wealthy individuals who provide capital to start-ups with the potential for fast growth.‬

Mr. Bolden, dressed in a suit and tie, took to the microphone for a two-minute pitch, clutching his crumpled notes of the key selling points for his idea—a police handgun identification signal, complete with a flashing alert. The proposed device is meant to protect plain-clothes officers from friendly fire.‬

‪Angel funding has become increasingly available to entrepreneurs like Mr. Bolden, whose product ideas are in the earliest stages.‬

Full story.

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Madison tech company raises $20 million in venture capital

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

In what may be one of the biggest non-biotech venture capital fundings ever in Wisconsin, Networked Insights said Thursday it has raised $20 million.

The Madison company raised the money in a round led by funds affiliated with Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The round is the company's third, and brings to $30 million the total amount Networked Insights has raised.

The company was founded in 2006 and mines networks and blogs for real-time data that helps marketers make tactical decisions.

Full story.

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High-tech exports, including biotech products, continue to rise as share of total Wisconsin exports

WTN News

WASHINGTON – High-tech exports in Wisconsin, including medical and scientific instruments and biotechnology products, are rising at a rate faster than five Midwestern state neighbors and the United States as a whole.

The figures were reported in a study commissioned for the Wisconsin Technology Council by NorthStar Economics Inc., a Madison-based firm that serves as the official economic adviser to the Tech Council. The figures were released during the 2011 BIO International Convention in Washington, D.C.

Wisconsin ranked 13th nationally in high-tech exports and 15th nationally in tech export concentration, the study concluded. Wisconsin experienced the largest increase among Midwest states in tech exports as a percentage of total exports from 2003 to 2009, with tech exports growing by 41.7 percent. That compared to Illinois (up 35.8 percent), Michigan (16.9 percent), Indiana (15 percent) and Iowa (2.4 percent) during the same period. Tech exports in the United States grew by 13 percent during the same period.

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Shine Medical raises $11 million in venture funding

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

Middleton-based Shine Medical Technologies said Tuesday morning it has raised $11 million of venture capital funding.

Knox LLC -- the investment vehicle for Frederick J. Mancheski, former chairman and chief executive of automotive parts supplier Echlin - led the round and contributed $10 million of the funding.

Fourteen other individual investors participated, Greg Piefer, Shine's chief executive, said in a news release.

Shine, formerly known as Phoenix Nuclear, is using its unique nuclear fusion technology to make molybdenum-99. The substance produces an isotope that's critical for certain medical imaging tests that diagnose, monitor and treat some cancers, as well as heart and brain diseases.

Two nuclear reactors in Canada and the Netherlands that are operating well past their design life provide the majority of the isotope used by Shine. Frequent shut-downs have created a worldwide shortage of the material.

Shine's nuclear fusion technology offers a possible alternative.

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49 state biotech companies awarded $13 million in federal grants

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

Forty-nine Wisconsin companies were awarded more than $13 million in grants from the Internal Revenue Service as part of a federal program to spur small-company job growth and advance this country's life sciences competitiveness.

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Middleton biotech Lucigen receives R&D funds

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

Oct. 6, 2010 10:50 a.m.

Lucigen Corp. has received $301,272 in federal innovation grants to fund further research and development.

The Middleton company develops life science research products and technologies for gene cloning, genomics, and protein expression.

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Quintessence Biosciences receives $986,000 research grant

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

A Madison drug development company said Thursday it has received a $986,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Quintessence Biosciences Inc. will use the money to support development of more drugs based on its Evade Ribonuclease technology, the company said.

Ribonuclease is a protein that chews up RNA, the long strands of material that transmit messages for cells. The company's technology aims to kill cancer cells by destroying the link between their DNA and protein.

Full story.

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Minneapolis biotech firm moving to Wisconsin

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

Lured by the state's tax credits for investments in high-growth companies, a Minneapolis biotech start-up said Thursday it is moving to Wisconsin.

VitalMedix Inc. is developing a drug that could be used by first responders to potentially keep trauma victims alive longer. The drug, called Tamiasyn, has been tested in animals and could go into human trials as early as a year from now, said Jeffrey M. Williams, the company's president and chief executive officer.

"This sort of deal is better understood by investors in Wisconsin, and angel groups in Wisconsin are not only more aggressive, there are just a lot more of them," Williams said. The state has 22 organized angel investing groups, up from just a handful five years ago, according to the Wisconsin Angel Network.

Full story.

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Stimulus stiffs biotech start-ups

Mike Ivey  —  3/11/2009 7:10 am

With all the stimulus money getting tossed around these days, you'd figure biotechnology would be near the top of the wish list.

Instead, specific funding for early stage science companies was practically written out of the $780 billion package, claims the president of Madison-based Centrose LLC.

A line inserted into the massive spending bill says $10 billion in stimulus funds provided to the National Institutes of Health are exempt from a previous requirement that 2.5 percent of NIH research money go to private companies.

"This single line stole a potential $250 million from research being conducted at small businesses," says Centrose CEO and founder Jim Prudent. "That may seem fine to some people. But to the businesses who create most, if not all, of the new non-government jobs, it's an outrage."

Prudent says NIH officials explain they've had difficulty getting enough high-quality grant proposals to meet the small-business funding mandate. They also told Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., that having funding flexibility allows the agency to devote excess money to "pure science" vs. research on a specific product or application.

But Prudent says that approach is a big mistake, arguing that taxpayer dollars are better aimed at actual companies. Founded in 2007, Centrose has eight employees and a sugar-based technology that improves the uptake and potency of pharmaceuticals.

Full story.

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Medical tech boosts state

Wisconsin is No. 3 nationwide in sector employment

By JOHN SCHMID
jschmid@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 1, 2008

It delivers instant images inside the body or shrinks tumors with laser-like radiation. And according to the nation's largest and oldest technology trade group, medical technology plays a commanding role in keeping Wisconsin in the global technology race.

Wisconsin hosts the nation's third-largest cluster of medical-equipment manufacturers as measured by employment (5,800 jobs), behind No. 1 California (13,100) and No. 2 Minnesota (12,600), according to "Cyberstates 2008," an annual state-by-state overview by the American Electronics Association.

The organization, known as the AeA, focuses on electronics, telecommunications, software and information services. It excludes the proliferation of bioscience and stem-cell technology firms around Madison.

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Investigating New Developments in the Research Credit

Your company might decide to put extra cash into research and development to stay on the cutting edge. Good news: Besides maintaining a competitive advantage, your business might be able to claim the Research and Development Tax Credit. In the latest tax law, the credit was extended until December 31, 2007.

Full Article.

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OpGen raises millions in funds

Venture capitalists give to biotech firm

By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Sept. 11, 2007

A Madison company that is developing products that can rapidly identify bacteria and other organisms will announce today it has raised $23.6 million in a financing led by venture capitalist firms on both coasts.

OpGen Inc.'s third funding round was led by three firms: CHL Medical Partners, Stamford, Conn.; Highland Capital Partners, whose U.S. offices are in Lexington, Mass. and Menlo Park, Calif.; and Versant Ventures, Menlo Park.

"OpGen's technology has been applied successfully many times, the market opportunity is great, so we felt it was worthwhile trying to develop an instrument to take into the hospital microbiology market," said Ron Lennox, a partner at CHL Medical Partners who will become chairman of OpGen's board.

Full story.

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Biotech company planning stock sale

NimbleGen files for initial offering

By JOEL DRESANG
jdresang@journalsentinel.com
Posted: March 19, 2007

NimbleGen Systems Inc. has become the second Madison technology company in two months to file for an initial public stock offering through federal regulators.

The maker of chips used in genetic research has not yet determined the number of shares it will offer or the price range. NimbleGen has requested that its stock be listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol NMBL.

In its prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission, NimbleGen says its proprietary technologies and services are useful for analyzing genome variation, which it says has scientific and commercial applications in developing diagnostics, therapeutics and agricultural products.

Full story.

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State research tools firm earns angel financing

By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Jan. 8, 2007

After snagging a top prize in the Governor's Business Plan Contest in 2004, a Middleton company that makes tools for drug research has landed at least $715,000 in angel investor funding.

Milwaukee-based Silicon Pastures has invested $465,000 in BioSystem Development LLC, and Marshfield Investment Partners will put in at least $250,000 more, directors of those angel investment networks said last week.

"BioSystem has a very committed founder who is committed to making the company a success, has an incredible Rolodex and knows how to get his foot in the door at pharmaceutical companies. And he has a lot of credibility because he's worked in start-ups previously," said Teresa Esser, managing director of Silicon Pastures.

BioSystem is pursuing a significant, but concentrated, potential market of big companies that do drug development, said James Hanke, director of Marshfield Investment Partners.

Scott Fulton, BioSystem's founder and chief executive officer, has bachelor's degrees in physics and applied biology and has a master's in biomedical engineering. He has more than 25 years of experience at large and small biotech companies in the Boston area.

BioSystem uses cartridges packed with small polymer beads that give drug developers a much faster way of doing protein analysis, Fulton said. Protein analysis is critical to discovering new drugs. The system allows drug researchers to do in 15 minutes analysis that now takes as long as a day, Fulton said. It also is about five times more precise, and it is automated, he said.

Full story.

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Researchers seek share of seed money

Researchers seek share of seed money
220 apply for funds from UW institute
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: June 30, 2006

Researchers from a wide range of disciplines, universities, and companies such as 3M, Amgen and GE Healthcare have submitted 220 applications for $3 million in seed money from the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

The proposals include more than 1,225 potential collaborations between University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and their counterparts at other academic institutions and private industry, Andrew Cohn, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, known as WARF, said Thursday.

A committee led by Paul Peercy, dean of the UW-Madison engineering college, will evaluate the proposals by August, and invite successful applicants to submit full proposals by October 1, Cohn said.

WARF and other organizers of the planned $150 million Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery hope to create a center for interdisciplinary research, and to help commercialize discoveries.

The seed grant program is the first step toward the establishment of that center where researchers from across the UW-Madison campus can work with others from private industry and schools around the world to attack disease and other issues, and advance regenerative medicine using tools such as embryonic stem cells.

Full story.

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Affinity Introduces New Service

Affinity Introduces New Service that Improves Return on Investment on Technology Investment Dollars

Milwaukee, WI – March 31, 2006 – Affinity, Inc. announced today its launch of their Technology Adoption Solution. The offering provides a process driven approach to managing and implementing necessary changes, in order to increase the use of new technology. The results are greater returns on technology investments and enhanced business performance.

Adoption has been identified, as one of the largest issues in realizing optimal benefits in technology investments. The Affinity solution enables organizations to affect the rate at which users adopt new systems. Adoption also identifies issues related to training, systems and process, providing resolve recommendations and a method to measure success.

Continue reading "Affinity Introduces New Service" »

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Neoclone scores financing on 2nd try

Neoclone scores financing on 2nd try
Angels invest after seeing profit potential
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 6, 2006

A Milwaukee-based angel group has made a $390,000 investment in NeoClone LLC, after the custom antibody-maker convinced the group that it could turn a profit.

NeoClone first approached the angel group called Silicon Pastures in late 2002 about making an investment.

The group declined - essentially because its members couldn't figure out how NeoClone was going to make money.

Fast forward a little more than three years, and the story has changed dramatically.

Silicon Pastures, which has 13 members, on Monday closed on the $390,000 stake in NeoClone.

"They were a science story. They had licensed technology from WARF but they couldn't tell us about sales in such a way we could get to the predictable sales we wanted to see," said Pehr Anderson, managing director for Silicon Pastures.

Full story.

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Researchers praise NimbleGen's technology as good, efficient

Start-up makes pitch to scientists
Researchers praise NimbleGen's technology as good, efficient
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 28, 2005

When you've got a better test for genetic researchers, you don't sell it by putting an ad in a magazine.

NimbleGen Systems Inc., a 6-year-old company spun out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, developed a gene chip that is used to identify how genes work. Management and the company's investors say these gene chips have the potential to revolutionize genetic research.

They just need to convince everyone else.

That's where scientific collaboration comes in.

Full story.

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Lenders are starting to fill technology niche

Lenders are starting to fill technology niche
00:00 am 11/12/05
JASON STEIN jstein@madison.com

Pity Deven McGlenn when he goes to see bankers.

McGlenn is the chief executive officer of NeoClone, a promising Madison biotech company with a cheaper, faster way to produce proteins that can diagnose diseases and perhaps one day even treat them.

But before he can ask for a loan, McGlenn has a lot of explaining to do - such as, just what is a monoclonal antibody? And why should a bank take a risk on NeoClone, which expects to be losing money for at least another year?

So it's a surprising and promising sign for the local economy that some bankers are looking to lend to companies like NeoClone. From a Silicon Valley bank to a debt fund that loans out money from area banks, lenders are stepping up alongside traditional investors to fill tech companies' need for capital and help them create the jobs of the future in Madison.

Full story.

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Effort to Consolidate WI Tech Investing Efforts

She's banking on an angel
00:00 am 11/09/05
JASON STEIN jstein@madison.com

It's a vexing problem for Wisconsin's economy: Researchers at UW-Madison turn out top technology, in fields ranging from stem cells to electronics, but entrepreneurs often have trouble finding the money to take those innovations to market.

But a new effort to organize angels, wealthy investors in early-stage technology companies, is providing some answers to that conundrum, said Lorrie Keating Heinemann, the state's top banking and securities regulator.

Keating Heinemann, secretary of the state Department of Financial Institutions since 2003, has teamed her agency up with the state Department of Commerce and the Wisconsin Technology Council to form the Wisconsin Angel Network, which aims to connect scattered groups of investors from around the state.

"We would talk to some angel investors that had a large amount of deals and not enough capacity to fund all the deals, and we talked to other angel networks who were up and running for years and never really found any deals they wanted to invest in," she said.

So far, the network has brought together member groups representing more than 200 angel investors and created a confidential Web site, which came on line in June, where entrepreneurs have posted several dozen summaries of businesses seeking investment.

Full story.

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NIH, Biotech Firms Oppose Grant Rules

NIH, Biotech Firms Oppose Grant Rules
Letter to Small-Business Agency Says Venture Capital Shouldn't Be Capped

By Anjali Athavaley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 28, 2005; Page D05

Biotechnology firms lobbying for access to Small Business Administration funding have gained support from the National Institutes of Health.

In a letter written last month and released yesterday by a biotech organization, NIH director Elias A. Zerhouni asked SBA chief Hector V. Barreto to waive restrictions on awarding SBA research grants to firms owned by venture capital investors.

Full story.

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Third Wave continues 2nd phase

Third Wave continues 2nd phase
00:00 am 7/28/05
Judy Newman Wisconsin State Journal

Third Wave Technologies saw its losses grow in the March-June quarter, but the Madison biotechnology company said that's just what it expected as it continued to change its focus.

Third Wave reported a $5.5 million second-quarter loss, or 13 cents a diluted share, on revenue of $5.8 million. That's a drop from a $106,000 net loss, or 0 cents a diluted share, on $12.6 million revenue for the same period last year.

The decline reflects Third Wave's decision to target its products for clinical patient diagnosis instead of research labs. Research revenue fell by $8 million from the 2004 second quarter, while clinical diagnostic sales, at $4.3 million, were up from $3.4 million a year ago.

"While the long-anticipated decline in research revenue may cloud the company's top- line story in the short term, our second-quarter results show that the investments we have made and will continue to make in molecular diagnostic product development and distribution are beginning to pay off," John Puisis, president and chief executive officer, said in a written statement.

Full story.

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Doyle cuts $2 million from biotech proposal

Doyle cuts $2 million from biotech proposal
Alliance expects governor will help it find other funding
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: July 25, 2005

Milwaukee area business and higher education leaders said Monday that they were disappointed but remain optimistic about future funding after Gov. Jim Doyle used a veto to slash money for a southeastern Wisconsin research alliance.

The $2.5 million proposal, which was adopted by the Legislature with bipartisan support, was cut to $500,000 by the governor, who issued 139 vetoes and put his finishing touches on the state budget.

Supporters of the Biomedical Technology Alliance said they would continue their efforts to fund collaborative projects between five area colleges and universities.


Full story.

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QRG Bioscience to get $155,000 state loan

QRG Bioscience to get $155,000 state loan

QRG Bioscience L.L.C., a Richfield biotechnology research company, will receive a $155,000 low-interest loan from the state to aid its research on battling neurodegenerative diseases.


Full story.

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Your guide to finding an angel investor

Your guide to finding an angel investor
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Last Updated: July 3, 2005
Looking for funding?

Wondering where all the angel investors are?

NorthStar Economics Inc., a Madison economics and research consulting firm, is selling a publication that provides information about how to obtain risk capital in Wisconsin.

The NorthStar Guide to Growth and Venture Capital lists many of the angel investment networks, government grants and venture capital firms that might potentially provide funding. It also contains a detailed description of each type of financing.

Full story.

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Two local venture-capital funds find that investing in Wisconsin is good for their returns

Helping to grow little companies
Two local venture-capital funds find that investing in Wisconsin is good for their returns and also
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: June 26, 2005

Dan Broderick is a seasoned venture capitalist who headed the Mayo Clinic's technology commercialization office, prefers suburban life, and drives a truck.

Trevor D'Souza is a computer science expert with an MBA who ran a biotech software company, lives in the city and wears perfectly ironed shirts with well-chosen ties.

Together, they are part of the engine many are hoping will drive a knowledge-based economy that creates more high-paying jobs in Wisconsin.

Milwaukee-based Mason Wells hired Broderick and D'Souza five years ago as managing directors of its first venture capital fund, Biomedical Fund 1. Earlier this month, they told the fund's partners they intend this summer to start raising at least $100 million for a second such offering.

The average Wisconsin resident can't get into Mason Wells' venture capital funds - they're set up for deep-pocketed investments like endowments, pension funds and insurance companies. But down the road, that Wisconsin resident may well have people like Broderick and D'Souza to thank for making their state a better place to live.

Full story.

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Venture capital firm to start 2nd biomed fund

Venture capital firm to start 2nd biomed fund
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: June 15, 2005

Mason Wells will begin trying to raise at least $100 million for a second biomedical venture capital fund, the Milwaukee-based company said Wednesday.

Mason Wells, which already has about $225 million of capital in a buyout fund and a biomedical venture capital fund, expects to have about $500 million in assets under management within the next couple of years, said John Byrnes, the firm's executive managing director.

The Milwaukee venture capital firm's activities are particularly important in a competitive climate where Wisconsin is trying to develop high-technology industries.

Five of the seven companies in the firm's first biomedical fund are headquartered in Wisconsin, said Byrnes, who made his comments at the annual meeting of limited partners in Mason Wells Biomedical Fund 1 at the Milwaukee Athletic Club.

"We're determined to bring capital into this state even if we have to do it alone," Byrnes said in an interview after the meeting.

Full story.

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A labyrinth from lab to marketplace

A labyrinth from lab to marketplace
Rats engineered for drug testing
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: June 1, 2005
A good idea usually isn't enough.

When it comes to transferring technology - moving ideas out of the laboratory and making them commercially viable - protecting intellectual property, finding financing and targeting the right markets are all important.

PhysioGenix Inc. in Wauwatosa, one of five finalists for the Governor's Small Business Technology Transfer Award, says it has all those pieces in place and is on the path toward turning what observers agree is a really good idea into a viable, job-creating, Wisconsin-based company.

"Our focus is on generating profitable revenue today, and I'm confident we have the products and services that will be in high demand with the pharmaceutical industry," said John J. Seman, who took over as PhysioGenix president and chief executive officer late last year.

Full story.

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Biomass power firm gains seed funding

Biomass power firm gains seed funding

The Capital Times
June 1, 2005

Virent Energy Systems Inc. of Madison has received about $1.5 million in a round of seed funding led by Venture Investors of Madison.

Advantage Capital Partners also participated in the funding, which will be used for product development and commercialization.

Virent's "Aqueous-Phase Reforming" system offers a cost-effective method for producing hydrogen and fuel gas from renewable biomass such as corn stalks. The low-temperature, direct-conversion process can be used for distributed power systems and fuel stations and is a first step to addressing hydrogen storage and transport issues that have historically limited widespread adoption of hydrogen-based energy systems.

Full story.

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Scientists of tiny tech aim for big grants

Scientists of tiny tech aim for big grants
00:00 am 5/31/05
Jason Stein Wisconsin State Journal

A UW-Madison center focused on the science of the very small is going after big money.

Local professors are going to Washington, D.C., this week to compete for a federal grant for research into the emerging fields of nanotechnology, said Juan De Pablo, director of UW- Madison's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. The group is asking the National Science Foundation for $18 million over six years.

The university center is one of 25 finalists from around the country vying for a dozen or more federal grants, which are expected to be announced sometime this summer, De Pablo said.

In nanotechnology, scientists work with materials at the scale of mere atoms or molecules to make objects with new properties, such as fabrics that resist food and drink stains.

The UW-Madison center, which has already received two similar grants over the last decade, is working on projects that could lead to smaller and faster computer circuitry and sensors that could detect viruses or toxins from a bio-terrorist attack, De Pablo said. There are 33 faculty and 49 graduate students working with the center, he said.

Full story.

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State loan aids EraGen expansion

State loan aids EraGen expansion

The Capital Times
May 25, 2005

Madison-based EraGen BioSciences Inc. will receive a $250,000 state Technology Development Loan that will help it continue growing, state and company officials announced Tuesday.

The genetic technology firm, 918 Deming Way, will be spending $1 million to upgrade its manufacturing facility, with 75 jobs ultimately projected to be added to its current 31. The upgrade will enable it to produce its genetic screening test for Cystic Fibrosis under good manufacturing practices.

EraGen last week announced a licensing deal with Bayer under which the global giant will manufacture and market EraGen's Cystic Fibrosis test. The agreement also provides Bayer with additional rights enabling it to expand the deal to other genetic tests.

Full story.

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Neurognostics raises $1 million

Diagnostics firm raises $1 million
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: May 10, 2005

A 2-year-old Wauwatosa company spun out of the Medical College of Wisconsin said Tuesday it's raised more than $1 million in a third round of angel financing.

The company is one of four in the state to use tax credits the state began offering to investors in certain small businesses earlier this year.

Neurognostics Inc., which had its first product approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February, is using its expertise in functional magnetic resonance imaging to develop better ways for healthcare professionals to assess and manage neurological diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging measures subtle changes in the oxygen content of microscopic regions of the brain while a patient performs a cognitive memory test, for example, to show which parts of the brain are being used.

Neurognostics has a hardware and software product that attaches to an MRI machine so it produces functional magnetic resonance imaging visuals. The company also provides study design and implementation services to pharmaceutical companies, as well as data processing and analysis services to pharmaceutical companies and clinicians.

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Third Wave Reports First-Quarter Financial Results

MADISON, Wis., May 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Third Wave Technologies
Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTI) today reported financial results for the first quarter
ended March 31, 2005.

Third Wave reported total revenues of $7.1 million and a net loss of
$4.4 million, or ($0.11) per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31,
2005, compared to total revenues of $15.3 million and net income of $2.8
million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for the same period of 2004.

Full press release.

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Heartland Group participates in Medwave stock deal

Heartland Group participates in Medwave stock deal
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Medwave Inc., which makes a non-invasive blood-pressure monitoring system, has raised more than $5.2 million in a private stock deal. Among the investors are Heartland Group Inc. of Milwaukee.

Full story.

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Racine, Kenosha groups form 'angel' network

Racine, Kenosha groups form 'angel' network
Pennies From Heaven to invest in startups
Phill Trewyn
A new network of angel investors in the Racine and Kenosha county areas is being organized to stimulate investment in early-stage businesses around southeastern Wisconsin.

The network, which will be called Pennies From Heaven, has already attracted 18 investors from the Racine and Kenosha areas, said David Barnes, a real estate and business lawyer in the Racine office of Milwaukee-based Von Briesen & Roper S.C. who will be the group's chairman. He is also founder and chairman of the Bank of Kenosha.

"We will be available for many different people with reasonable business plans and reasonable chances for succeeding as a business," Barnes said.

Pennies From Heaven will focus most of its investments on companies in manufacturing technology, information technology and medical technology, Barnes said.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Intellectual property: A new form of collateral

Intellectual property: A new form of collateral
Claire Philpott and Susan Jahnke
Until recently, commercial lending was a resource only for companies that had significant tangible assets and historic accounts receivable. Borrowers traditionally pledged tangible assets and accounts receivable to secure bank loans, and intellectual property was a mere footnote in the lender's credit analysis.

However, more businesses are finding that their most valuable asset is their intellectual property portfolio, and they want to take advantage of these values in financing transactions.

Commercial lenders have responded to that demand with an increased willingness to include intellectual property assets as loan collateral. Lenders aided this shift by developing a better understanding and acceptance of the long-term value of intellectual property.

What follows is a description of common intellectual property collateral, procedures that enable a lender to "perfect" its security interest in order to make sure it has priority against other lienholders in the event of a foreclosure, and issues that commonly arise in loan transactions secured by intellectual property.

There are four main categories of intellectual property: copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

OpGen Closes $5 Million Series B Round

OpGen Closes $5 Million Series B Round
Monday January 24, 3:58 pm ET


MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 24, 2005--OpGen, Inc., today announced it raised new funds to conclude the Series B round for a total of $5 million. All previous investors participated, including Mason Wells Biomedical Fund, Stonehenge Capital, The State of Wisconsin Investment Board and The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). OpGen will use this capital to expand its marketing and sales infrastructure, conduct commercial service collaborations and contracts and accelerate its commercialization of Optical Mapping.

"OpGen represents a perfect example of WARF's vision of investing in innovative new companies that will change the future of drug development and infectious disease research," said Carl Gulbrandsen, Managing Director, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Getting started with an invention can be pricey

By Evan Pondel
Staff writer

Charles Gale has a knack for collecting the scraps on his workbench and finding ways to improve the flow of life around his house.
"I've always been mechanically inclined, waking my wife up in the middle of the night because I just thought of a new way to do something better," said Gale, 60, who recently retired from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. "I suppose I have the habits of an inventor."

And that's just what Gale has officially become. His latest invention — a stabilizing platform for a digital camcorder — received its first patent several months ago. To pursue the patent, he had to take a second mortgage and invest about $12,000. "Hopefully, I'll find a manufacturer or even a small business loan so I can get the product out there and start making some money."

From the first inkling of an idea to a fully formulated product, the invention business is as enticing as it is expensive. Though generally costing several thousand dollars, patent applications are on the rise.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Entrepreneurs still have time to enter state business plan contest

By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Jan. 10, 2005
Wisconsin entrepreneurs looking for their first infusion of seed capital have until the end of the month to enter a statewide business plan competition.

The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest seeks individuals and companies without previous angel or venture capital funding. It is being run by the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Innovation Network, with support from private-sector sponsors.

Judges will be looking for business plans that size up a market and provide a product or service to fill a need in it, said Tom Still, president of the technology council, a science and technology adviser.

More than 30 judges will decide the competition, including venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers, accountants and academics focused on technology or intellectual property, Still said. Entrants will have the chance to get advice from mentors during the contest, which will occur over several months through May. Winners in each of four categories - life sciences, business services, information technology and advanced manufacturing - will present their plans at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Technology council forms statewide angel investment network

The Wisconsin Technology Council has formed a new program designed to spur the growth of early-stage investing -- or "angel investing" -- in Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle said Tuesday.

The program, called the Wisconsin Angel Network, will help to link entrepreneurs with "angel investors" - individuals or groups who have an interest in early-stage companies.

The formation of the Wisconsin Angel Network through the independent, non-profit, Wisconsin Technology Council is part of Doyle's continuing effort through his "Grow Wisconsin" initiative, to grow the state's tech-based economy and create high-wage, knowledge-based jobs.


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Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Biotech venture shifts to expansion mode

Susan L. Thomas
With no money and no intellectual property to his name, Yoshinari Kumagai did what any good scientist would do: He started his own company.

The Emeryville resident figured out a way to make it without an angel investor, too. For eight years, he operated Acologix Inc. as a consulting company, using his knowledge gained from his product development work at the joint venture Kirin-Amgen to help other biotech and pharmaceutical firms develop drugs.

All the time, Kumagai was sponsoring research by university scientists across the country to discover compounds that could potentially treat kidney and bone diseases. In exchange, Kumagai would receive rights to the patents. In the eight years he ran his consulting business, Kumagai banked about $4 million.

"When we made money we invested this money in the research to identify the target compound in kidney disease area and bone disease area," Kumagai said. "Kidney disease is a big program all over the world. There is no way to treat this disease."

By 2000, Kumagai had intellectual property in his pocket and a little money in the bank. He changed the direction of the company to drug development - his longtime goal - and convinced venture capitalists to make their first investment, a $7.5 million round.

Today, Acologix is in expansion mode. Late in December, the company moved from Emeryville to a larger spot in Hayward's Mt. Eden Business Park. It closed a second nearly $40 million round of funding last spring and plans to a little more than double its 11-person work force in 2005. Acologix is using the money to conduct Phase II trials of its experimental treatment for osteoporosis.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Entrepreneurs' plans sought for contest

00:00 am 12/23/04
Judy Newman Wisconsin State Journal

Calling all would-be entrepreneurs: State officials and local business leaders are putting out an invitation to compete in the second annual Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest.

Last year - the first time the event was held - 330 entries came in from 101 communities around the state. Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council in Madison, said he expects about as many proposals to be submitted this year.

The contest's top prize is $50,000.

Last year, BioSystem Development of Middleton and NovaScan of Milwaukee tied for first place; each received $27,500.

Not only has the money helped but so has the publicity, said NovaScan chief executive officer Larry Wells. "It has provided us with some contacts . . . which will, hopefully, lead to a significant investment," he said.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Milwaukee biotech company secures venture capital

ZyStor Therapeutics Inc., a Milwaukee biotechnology company has secured $8.5 million in venture financing and plans to move into new offices in the Milwaukee County Research Park. The company's new laboratory and offices are under construction at the Technology Innovation Center in the park and are expected to be ready for occupancy in January. ZyStor develops innovative enzyme replacement therapies for the treatment of lysosomal storage diseases.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

State start-ups need help sooner

By JOHN TORINUS
Special to the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Dec. 11, 2004
It isn’t a shortage of venture capital that’s holding back Wisconsin business start-ups, it’s a flow of deals that comes in drips, not gushers.

In the hot deal areas of the country, venture capitalists have a steady flow of companies to screen in search of winners. But even in places such as Silicon Valley, Boston and San Diego, picking winners is still a risky business.

Put another way, the funnel through which deals flow is backward in Wisconsin, says Lane Brostrom, managing director of TechStar, an organization created to accelerate start-ups in the Milwaukee area. By putting too much emphasis on venture capital and not enough on the early stages of business creation, he believes, the state puts itself at a disadvantage.

The prototype in the venture world, he said, is 100 deals coming in the front end of the process, and two or three coming out the end that qualify for venture capital. Brostrom and TechStar (I serve on the board) have a bias for more activity on the front end and have been lobbying to create a seed and early-stage fund.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

WI start-ups may get more financial help

Investment board weighing increase in assistance
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 30, 2004
The State of Wisconsin Investment Board is evaluating whether it should invest more in new Wisconsin companies, the agency's top executive told a group of money managers in Milwaukee Tuesday.

Doing so could mean millions of dollars of cash for emerging companies, said David C. Mills, the board's executive director.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Making the grade, then making a profit

Making the grade, then making a profit

By JAN NORMAN

The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA, Calif. - When DayNa Decker created a patented line of artistic oil lamps and candles, she approached The Venture Alliance in Irvine, Calif., for funding.

TVA represents a nationwide group of professional investors, venture capital funds and consultants with more than $300 million to invest. But instead of asking for a copy of Decker's business plan, TVA had her answer 900 questions about her startup company, called Lumetique.

On the basis of those answers, TVA rated Lumetique's prospects and informed Decker that it scored 741 out of 1,200 points, or 62 percent. Its intellectual property and market opportunity were good, but Decker's experience and the management team were weak. In short, Lumetique needed a lot of work. So, no money for Decker - at least not in the spring of 2003.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Private Participation Key to Governor's New $750 Million Biotech Initiative

The Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association, which has a key role in promoting the life science industry in Wisconsin, is very encouraged by the opportunity for private investment in a new research facility at UW-Madison and by the refocused effort to make venture capital available to new biotechnology and health science businesses as outlined in the Governor's announcement today at the Biotechnology Center on the UW-Madison campus.

"We see a significant opportunity for investors to join with researchers at an earlier juncture in the process of creating new businesses in Wisconsin," says Jim Leonhart, Executive Vice President of the Association. "The result is a truly collaborative model which could have more impact on advancing discoveries and subsequently creating thousands more biotechnology and medical device jobs than any California initiative."

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

MCW requests $25Million for Biomedical Research and Technology Incubator Facility

State of Wisconsin
Higher Education Subcommittee Hearing

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
10:30 a.m.
Room 201 South East
State Capitol
. . .

10. Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) – Request
release of $25,000,000 General Fund Supported
Borrowing to assist in the development and
construction of a Biomedical Research and
Technology Incubator Facility at a total estimated
project cost of $132,000,000.
Commitment for the state funds will be in the form of
a construction grant.
The grant was enumerated in 2001 Wisconsin Act 16.

Full document.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Is Your Lawyer Yours or Your Investors'?

Inc. Magazine's December issue includes an article entitled How to Manage Your Lawyer.  An interesting sub-story warns of the dangers of dealing with some large intellectual property law firms, especially when large amounts of venture capital are at play.

Download which_side_is_your_lawyer_on.pdf

The article is not currently available on-line from Inc.com.

Inc. on-line.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Many Companies Don't Know What Their Intellectual Property Is Worth

by Nick Huber

Tuesday 9 November 2004

Companies do not know the market value of their intellectual property

European companies could be missing out on billions of pounds of additional revenue because they do not know the value of their intellectual property, a survey has warned.

Of the 300 organisations surveyed by law firm DLA, less than 40% knew the value of their intellectual property or their software and only 52% said they had a documented policy.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.