Wisconsin Roundup: Uber, Lyft, Epic, BioTechnique

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Here’s a quick rundown of recent news from Wisconsin’s technology and innovation community:

—A federal judge rejected a request by Milwaukee taxi groups to halt a new city law that lifts the cap on taxi permits and provides a pathway to legalization for ride-booking apps like Uber and Lyft, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. The city processed 328 applications for new public passenger vehicle licenses in the first week, the newspaper reported.

—Meanwhile, Lyft instituted a bonus program for new Milwaukee drivers to help defray the costs of city licensing fees, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported. Lyft previously raised concerns that such regulations could hamper its growth here, especially considering that many of its drivers work part-time.

—Epic Systems’ annual users’ group meeting is expected to draw 10,000 customers to the Madison area this week, generating $6.8 million in tourist spending, the Capital Times reported. That makes it Madison’s second-largest business event, trailing only the World Dairy Expo. Epic, a leading electronic health records software provider, employs 8,100 people, the newspaper said.

—BioTechnique, the Madison contract pharmaceutical manufacturing facility being opened by California-based PSC Biotech Corp., will receive a $1 million state loan for equipment purchases. Xconomy previously reported that BioTechnique will begin operations next year and will eventually employ more than 100 people. The company is investing $11.5 million in the venture, according to a press release from Gov. Scott Walker’s office.