University Economic Development Association


The Innovation Network was joined by Craig Dickman, Managing Director at TitletownTech. An inventor with multiple patents, Craig presented TitletownTech’s origins, current investments, and projects, including collaborating with the University of Wisconsin system.


TitletownTech is a venture capital firm that focuses on discovering early-stage, tech-enabled startups with significant growth potential in key industries, with a specific focus in Wisconsin and the Midwest. The firm was created as a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft to improve the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

TitletownTech has launched two rounds of funding since starting operations five years ago: the first fund was $25 million and led to investments in 23 companies, while the second round of funding was launched with $70 million and investments in 12 new companies. The goal is to invest in 12 new companies each year. Now, six new companies have relocated to Wisconsin since starting TitletownTech, showing the increasing interest in place and connecting to a growing ecosystem.

The Innovation Network discussed the active involvement of higher education in TitletownTech’s work, as the firm partners with the University of Wisconsin system and connects with the faculty, students, and company interests to increase collaborations to explore value creation. Craig shared the importance of higher education partners in building a thriving ecosystem based on his experience in Wisconsin.

Key lessons and takeaways from TitletownTech include:

  • It is important to have an intentional design for the purpose you are trying to achieve and the place you will be operating in.
  • More work needs to take place in creating catalysts for change. The engagement that is necessary to move people from passive to active is challenging, but vital.
  • In a post-COVID world, it is important to continue to reconsider what place is. Place is a draw, not a restriction.
  • It is always important to reinforce that without higher education, it is difficult to have a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.