Wisconsin Roundup: Kauffman Index, Startup Funding, Ward 4, & More

Here’s a collection of recent headlines in Wisconsin’s innovation and technology community:

—Wisconsin dropped to dead last in a closely watched national ranking of startup activity conducted annually by the Kauffman Foundation, with 170 out of every 100,000 adults in the state counted as entrepreneurs in any given month. Wisconsin was 45th in last year’s Kauffman Index.

—Middleton-based Intuitive Biosciences has raised more than $1.3 million from investors in a round that could total $2.8 million when completed, according to a new SEC filing. The company, founded in 2012, makes protein analysis tools for the life sciences industry.

Branch2, a Madison startup focused on software applications that aim to help address behavioral health issues, raised $361,000 from investors, according to an SEC filing. Read more about the company’s origins in this Xconomy profile.

—Whitewater-based Thermodata raised $311,000 in debt funding and other securities. The round could reach $500,000, an SEC filing shows. The company makes temperature monitoring products for customers in manufacturing, life sciences, and other sectors.

—BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation announced it invested $350,000 total in three graduates of the Gener8tor startup accelerator: Whitewater-based Pinpoint Software, Madison-based Beekeeper Labs, and Milwaukee-based GoHitList. BrightStar, a nonprofit that invests donations in Wisconsin startups that are creating jobs here, has pumped $2.4 million into 17 companies since launching the fund in February 2014, the group said in a press release.

—Milwaukee startup OnKol will relocate in July to the new Ward 4 co-working space from its current home in 96square, another Milwaukee co-working office. OnKol made the switch to take advantage of the “energy and the visibility of Ward 4” and to snag a larger office that gives it more room to accommodate new hires, founder and chief operating officer Marc Cayle said in an e-mail message. The company plans to grow from two full-time employees to at least five by the end of the year, he said.

Other early Ward 4 tenants include Gener8tor, Gener8tor grad Bright Cellars, The Firm LLC, law firm Quarles & Brady, and CSA Partners, the Milwaukee venture fund that launched Ward 4 and is overseeing its operations.

—Wisconsin Pharmacal has developed a compact device able to purify up to 20 liters of dirty water at a time and make it safe for drinking, according to an article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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