MILWAUKEE — The founder of a national cable network, a prominent futurist and author and other trailblazing entrepreneurs are among speakers at the June 7-8 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 333 W. Kilbourn.
The third annual Entrepreneurs’ Conference will expose innovators to the best business practices and the brightest ideas. It will also feature winners of the second Governor’s Business Plan Contest, the second “Seize the Day” award and the first Governor’s Technology Transfer award.
To register or see a full agenda, go to http://www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/events/ent_conf/
Milwaukee native Kay Koplovitz, who founded USA Networks and co-founded Springboard Enterprises, will speak during Tuesday’s (June 7) luncheon. Koplovitz was an icon in the cable television industry, having founded USA Network and later serving as chairman and CEO of USA Networks, which included the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Networks International.
Koplovitz is a former chairwoman of the National Woman’s Business Council, a bi-partisan commission to advance opportunities for women entrepreneurs. She is the co-founder of Springboard Enterprises, a national organization that has raised nearly $2 billion in equity for women-led firms. She also co-founded Boldcap Ventures, a venture capital fund based in New York. Koplovitz co-authored her first book, Bold Women, Big Ideas, to inform and inspire women entrepreneurs.
Author and futurist Joel Kotkin, who recently praised Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial economy in an article written for Inc. magazine, will speak during Tuesday’s (June 8) luncheon. Kotkin is the author of the May 1, 2005, article in Inc. magazine on “The Best Places For Doing Business in America 2005,” which examined 274 population centers and ranked their economies.Wisconsin placed three metro areas in the Top 40, more than the rest of the Midwest combined.
An internationally recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, Kotkin is the author of the newly published The City: A Global History from Modern Library. He is also author of the widely acclaimed, best-selling book, The New Geography: How the Digital Revolution is Reshaping the American Landscape. Kotkin is an Irvine Fellow at the New America Foundation.
Marketing and communications expert Grace Bulger is the author of “The Enlightened Entrepreneur,” a book that is now used to instruct and inspire students. She will speak during Tuesday’s breakfast (June 7).
Jorian Clarke is founder and CEO of Milwaukee-based SpectraCom, will speak during breakfast on Wednesday (June 8). SpectraCom’s clients include Pfizer, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, Harley-Davidson, Roche Diagnostics, Siemens, and Kohler.
Richard Kerndt is a member of the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. He is president of the Richmark Group, a marketing firm with offices in Chicago, London, and Houston. Over the years, Kerndt has advised IBM, 3M, FedEx, ExxonMobil and Xerox, among other Fortune 400 clients. He will speak during the Entrepreneurs’ Boot Camp on Tuesday morning (June 8).
There are 20 panel discussions and seminars set for the conference, which will also include an invitation-only “Power of Angels” seminar for prospective angel investors. It will be led by John May, founder of New Vantage Group, a Virginia-based firm that creates innovative channels to direct private equity into early-stage companies. May is vice chairman of the national Angel Capital Association. A few seats are available; contact Joe Kremer at 608-442-7557.
More than 20 winners in the second Governor’s Business Plan Contest will be announced, with $200,000 in prizes at stake. Announcements for the BPC awards and the Tech Transfer awards are scheduled for Tuesday’s (June 7) dinner.
The second “Seize the Day” award, which goes to a Wisconsin entrepreneur who has overcome obstacles to build a successful business, will be announced during Tuesday’s luncheon.
Conference attendees will receive a 60-page program as well as a copy of the 2005 “Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit” CD, a project of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the Wisconsin Technology Council.
The conference is co-produced by the Tech Council, the Wisconsin Innovation Network-Milwaukee chapter, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network and the Wisconsin Angel Network, a public-private initiative rooted in Gov. Jim Doyle’s “Grow Wisconsin” plan.
Platinum sponsors are (in alphabetical order): American Transmission Co., The Business Journal, Foley & Lardner, Frazier Technology Ventures, Godfrey & Kahn, Grant Thornton, Mason Wells Private Equity, Michael, Best & Friedrich, the Small Business Times and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.