Dan Blake, project manager for a California electronic medical records installation at Epic Systems, will leave his post and join the Wisconsin Technology Council as the director of its Wisconsin Angel Network in mid-March.
Blake will succeed Zach Brandon, who recently became president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.
Blake was previously a reporter and web producer at the Chicago Tribune, where he was part of a small team that launched the paper’s first Internet news desk, which grew Website visitors by 34 percent in one year.
A Madison native, Blake earned degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Denver’s Daniels School of Business, where he completed a master’s in business administration with an emphasis on finance and accounting.
During his stints in Chicago and Denver, Blake also worked with members of the region’s entrepreneurial and early stage investment communities. He is a member of Built-in Chicago, a networking community for that city’s startup and investment world. In addition to his background with health information technology and new media, Blake has worked on projects involving electronic recycling and the forest products industry.
“Dan Blake will work extremely well with Wisconsin’s investor community as well as its entrepreneurs, due in part to his ability to connect with and understand emerging markets that may interest those investors,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.
“I am excited to work with Wisconsin’s angel groups and early stage investors to help them find and connect with promising entrepreneurs, startups and emerging companies,” Blake said. “This sector is vital to Wisconsin’s continued growth.” The Wisconsin Angel Network was created in late 2004 as a program of the Tech Council, which is the non-profit, non-partisan science and technology advisory board to the governor and Legislature. With support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and investors, the WAN has grown from a handful of angel networks and funds to a network of more than two-dozen investor groups.
In 2007, total reported angel investments in Wisconsin stood at $11.7 million. By 2011, that total had grown to $61.1 million in investments statewide.