Fiserv, Comply365, Open Data & More: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist
Stay current on news from Wisconsin’s innovation community with these recent headlines:
—Fiserv Forum: That’s the newly unveiled name of the arena the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks will play at when the league’s season begins in September. The arena’s namesake is Fiserv (NYSE: FISV), a company headquartered in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield that provides banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions with software for processing customer deposits and managing general ledgers, among other products.
Fiserv did not say how much it’s paying for the arena naming rights in a press release announcing the deal, but did say it’s a 25-year agreement. That’s significant because there has been speculation that Fiserv might relocate to Alpharetta, GA, or move large numbers of its employees there. The company has expanded its presence in Georgia in recent years.
The arena is scheduled to open on Aug. 26.
—Comply365, a Beloit-based startup that develops software designed to provide aviation industry workers with information they need about planes, flight routes, weather, and other things, said co-founder and CEO Kerry Frank has left the company. Comply365’s new CEO is Tom Samuel, who joined the startup in 2015 and was named its president last year.
Comply365’s other co-founder, Dude Frank, who is Kerry Frank’s husband, says in his LinkedIn profile that he also departed the company earlier this month.
—Health records software giant Epic Systems has hit pause on new building construction at its Verona headquarters. The company’s headcount more than tripled in the past decade, and Epic has been racing to erect office buildings on its corporate campus to accommodate the growing ranks of people who develop, test, implement, and support its software. Epic chief administrative officer Steve Dickmann said the company anticipates it will begin constructing another office building sometime in 2019.
—The city of Milwaukee has launched an “open data portal,” a new website containing data sets from municipal agencies like the police department, health department, and assessor’s office, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The data portal, which reportedly contains more than 60 data sets from 11 city departments, is aimed in part at making local government more transparent by allowing anyone with an Internet connection to dig through the data.
In 2015, your correspondent wrote a feature for Madison’s Isthmus newspaper about that city’s open data portal. The piece also explores the related practice of “civic hacking,” where people with experience writing software code volunteer their talents to improve city services.
—The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced the five startups that will give pitches in front of investors and other audience members on Aug. 16 as part of the organization’s Pressure Chamber contest. The quintet includes two companies we profiled in 2017: Breathe for Change and DataChat. The winner of Pressure Chamber will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco in October to meet with Silicon Valley investment firms. Last year’s winner was Madison-based DotCom Therapy, a telehealth startup.
—Moonrise, a startup spun out by Madison-based American Family Insurance, provided an update on a pilot it’s conducting of technology that allows people who want to make extra money to sign up for shifts at businesses near where they live. The pilot is taking place in Chicago, where Moonrise is based. About 200 people have used the service to pick up more than 1,000 shifts as part of the pilot, American Family said. Moonrise is currently only available in Illinois, but the company reportedly plans to introduce the service in additional states later this year.
—Milwaukee-based Wantable, which ships customers curated boxes of goods each month containing clothing and fashion accessories, leased 70,000 square feet of distribution center space near the city’s airport, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported. The fast-growing company previously said it was going to move into a new headquarters about 1.5 miles west of its current digs in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, but scrapped those plans last year.
—We profiled Moonshot Insights, a Madison-based startup developing software to evaluate job candidates and predict how well they’ll perform in a particular position. Later this summer, Moonshot will pitch to investors at Dorm Room Fund, an arm of the California venture capital firm First Round Capital that focuses on supporting student entrepreneurs. Moonshot is the first startup headquartered in Wisconsin to be selected to pitch to Dorm Room’s investment committee, said Kyle Treige, co-founder and CEO of Moonshot.