Innovation inspires businesses forward

Posted on Aug 31, 2020 :: Editor
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

We don’t normally do themed issues of Insight, but if this month’s magazine had one, it would definitely be innovation. From our cover story to our new Home Made feature, tales of innovation are weaved in throughout the magazine, including our special section on the 2020 Insight Innovation Awards.

As you can guess from its name and the image on the front of the magazine, MToxins Venom Lab works with snakes. What you probably do not know is that MToxins is one of only nine venom labs in the world. Opened in 2012 by Oshkosh native Nathaniel Frank, the lab is infused with innovation as employees collect venom and freeze dry it so it can be shipped to researchers or antivenom manufacturers who then use it to save people suffering from a poisonous animal bite. To learn about MToxins and its recently expanded focus on education, turn to my cover story on page 24.

For startups looking to scale quickly to get their innovation to market, capital is a must. Whether it’s a venture fund such as TitletownTech or an investors group like the newly created Tundra Angels, entrepreneurs have several options to find funding to grow and scale their businesses. Another vital piece of the puzzle is the NEW Launch Alliance, which connects entrepreneurs to the information and services they need. To read more, turn to our New North feature on page 16.

In the days and weeks following Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order, the support for locally owned retailers and restaurants was the highest that I can remember. Consumers went out of their way to order food from local restaurants to eat at home or purchase products from local retailers as a way to help them stay afloat. That support for locally made products inspired the creation of our newest monthly feature, Home Made. The feature shines a light on a product made in the New North, providing consumers with another way to support local businesses. Turn to page 62 to read our first month’s feature on Kohler Co. WasteLAB’s line of designer tile. And if you know of a product made in the New North that you think few people know about, please send me those ideas at [email protected]

Finally, turn to the 2020 Insight Innovation Awards special section following page 34 to learn about the five organizations honored for their groundbreaking thinking. From designing a process to cut down on food waste to developing a new type of receipt paper that’s better for the environment, the 2020 winners’ innovations are truly impressive.

coming up

Manufacturing First

The 10th annual Manufacturing First Expo and Conference is a virtual event this year with activities spreading over three days beginning Oct. 20. The event starts each day at 10 a.m. with two hours of virtual networking and exhibition connection time followed by a keynote speaker or special presentation at noon. Three live webinars
and informational sessions will be held daily beginning at 1 p.m. Visit to learn more
and register.

An extra dose of Insight

Listen to Nathaniel Frank discuss how he started MToxins Venom Lab in Oshkosh and the role it plays in helping save the lives of people who are bitten by poisonous snakes.

Frank’s video is just one of many you will find online at