Wisconsin Roundup: Epic, Crowdfunding, Milwaukee Water Biz Park

6/2/14Follow @XconomyWI

Here’s a smattering of recent news from Wisconsin’s innovation and tech community:

—Plans are starting to solidify for the first building in a planned Milwaukee business park for water tech companies. Construction could begin this fall on a four-story, 80,000-square-foot office and research complex in the Reed Street Yards, which is adjacent to the Global Water Center, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported. Local politicians and corporate leaders see the business park as a key piece of the region’s efforts to be a world hub for water research and technology. Click here to read my series on the local water tech startups that call the Global Water Center home.

Forbes came out with its list of the top cities for growth in information jobs, and Madison, WI, came in at number five. It was the smallest metro area on the list, the magazine noted. The city’s ranking likely surprised readers around the country, but not at home, where talk is growing louder about Madison’s potential as an IT hub. As Forbes pointed out, the presence of Epic Systems, a dominant electronic health records firm, and lower housing costs compared with crowded tech clusters like Silicon Valley could help Madison realize that vision.

—Speaking of Epic, the Verona, WI-based company raked in $1.75 billion in sales last year, making it the eighth-largest healthtech firm in the nation, according to the 2014 list from Healthcare Informatics. Epic ranked eighth in the previous year’s list, with $1.5 billion in revenue. Making the list for the first time this year was Madison-based Nordic Consulting, an Epic consultant, with $81.4 million in sales, ranking it 74th. Green Bay, WI-based IOD moved up five spots to 58th on this year’s list, with $126.6 million in revenue.

—Wisconsin’s equity crowdfunding law took effect on Sunday, opening the doors to state-level equity crowdfunding campaigns, while the startup world continues to wait for proposed national rules to go live. Equity crowdfunding allows the general public to dip their toes into startup investing by buying stock through online portals. Wisconsin is one of the early adopters, when last year lawmakers approved what is believed to be the first state statute permitting the practice.

Jeff Engel is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @XconomyWI

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