Stemina, Connecture, & Epic: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist
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developers, said his company will use the money for product development as it prepares to exit stealth mode. Before striking out on his own, Lynn worked at Trek, a bicycle manufacturer headquartered about 25 miles northeast of Madison in Waterloo.
—Ring CEO James Siminoff stopped by the Madison offices of Gener8tor, an accelerator for high-growth startups, where he discussed his Santa Monica, CA-based company’s origins, mission, and growth. Ring’s flagship product is a Wi-Fi enabled doorbell equipped with a video camera and sensors, allowing homeowners to see who or what is at their front doors. The history of Ring has some elements of the classic startup success tale; the company started in a garage and came close to bankruptcy multiple times before eventually hitting it big.
—Milwaukee Startup Week, a new yearly series of programming for entrepreneurs, investors, and others who work in and around the city, will hold its inaugural sessions in November, according to a report from BizTimes Media. Startup Milwaukee is organizing the conference. Matt Cordio, who co-founded that organization, said the plan is to release a tentative schedule in August. It could include “speed mentoring” and hackathon-type events, he said.
—Ethoplex, an Internet service provider based in Germantown, is now helping residential users connect to the Web. Up to this point, the company has mostly focused on business users, said founder and CEO Keefe John. Ethoplex and some of its competitors are providing Internet access by beaming signals between a network of antennas attached to buildings and towers. This approach, known as “fixed wireless,” essentially upends the traditional model, in which service comes in through underground copper or fiber cables.
—The Wisconsin State Journal published a Q&A with John Biondi, director of Discovery to Product. That’s a program associated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps students, faculty, and staff at the institution turn ideas into companies. Discovery to Product is one of several tenants at @1403, a building located in the middle of UW-Madison’s campus that has been repurposed as a center of gravity for startups.
—Last week, TierPoint publicly unveiled a 17,000-square-foot, $4.5 million addition to the Milwaukee data center it operates. St. Louis-based TierPoint acquired the facility in March as part of the company’s purchase of Cosentry, based in Omaha, NE. (Cosentry itself inherited the facility in 2014 when it bought Milwaukee-based Red Anvil.) Christopher Gigot, a regional vice president at TierPoint, provided details on the renovation, trends around the construction and use of data centers, and where TierPoint might go from here.