Drugs and medical devices have long been the strengths of Wisconsin’s high-tech healthcare businesses, but the rising star during the past few years has been the Badger State’s emerging digital health sector.
Lisa Johnson recognizes that trend, and she made it a priority after she took over BioForward Wisconsin, the state’s flagship life sciences trade group, a year ago. She broadened the purview of her organization’s mission to support healthcare IT firms, who are driving much of Wisconsin’s growth in startups and venture funding—particularly in and around the state capital of Madison.
That was one of my takeaways from a conversation this week with Johnson about her first year on the job. Johnson took over BioForward during a time of leadership upheaval. She was the organization’s second new CEO appointed in a seven-month period. Johnson joined BioForward after spending more than four years as the vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Before that, she spent about 22 years in business development leadership roles at Madison-area life sciences companies.