Wisconsin Roundup: Steve Case’s ‘Rise of the Rest,’ CDI, ZBB, & More

9/2/14Follow @XconomyWI

Here are a few recent notable announcements from Wisconsin’s tech and innovation community:

—Investor and AOL co-founder Steve Case will bring the “Rise of the Rest” bus tour to Madison on Oct. 6, part of a series of stops highlighting budding startup communities in America’s heartland. The first such road trip, held earlier this summer, stopped in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Nashville. This time around, the tour will visit Madison, Minneapolis, Des Moines, IA, Kansas City, MO, and St. Louis.

Once again, each event will include a pitch contest where Case will award $100,000 to a local startup. Rise of the Rest is sponsored by Case’s Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Revolution, UP Global, Google for Entrepreneurs, Engine Advocacy, and Startup Grind.

For more info on the Madison event, click here.

—Milwaukee-based ZBB Energy (NYSE MKT: ZBB) netted $13.5 million in a public stock offering. The startup develops and manufactures advanced energy storage and power electronics systems.

—Madison-based Cellular Dynamics (NASDAQ: ICEL) announced it was awarded a patent for the automated production of human pluripotent stem cells. The company says the move strengthens its position as a leading manufacturer of human cells in mass quantities, which can then be used for research, drug development, stem cell banking, and more. Cellular Dynamics has been beefing up its patent portfolio lately, which it says includes more than 800 issued and pending patents.

—California-based PSC Biotech Corp. has acquired a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Madison from the Morgridge Institute for Research, a University of Wisconsin-Madison affiliate. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. The 37,000-square-foot facility, located in the University Research Park, was built in 2008 by Mentor Biologics and later taken over by Morgridge, according to a press release.

PSC is calling the new operation BioTechnique and will provide filling services for sterile injectable drugs. BioTechnique will begin operating there next year and will eventually employ more than 100 people, PSC said.

—The “Ideadvance” seed fund announced another round of $25,000 grants to 11 startups formed on University of Wisconsin campuses outside of Madison. The $2 million seed fund was launched in February by the UW System and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. So far, 23 startups have been awarded grants, mentorship, and lean startup training through the program.

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

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