Zach Halmstad, a music major who built one of Wisconsin’s premier software companies in his home town of Eau Claire, will receive the 14th annual Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” award at the 2017 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison.

The award, which celebrates entrepreneurial leaders who have been crucial to Wisconsin’s economic growth, is named in honor of the late Ken Hendricks, a Beloit businessman and 2006 “Seize the Day” award winner who died in an accident in late 2007.

Jamf co-founder Halmstad will accept the award and speak at noon Tuesday, June 6, during the 2017 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison. To register for the luncheon or the full two-day conference at Union South on the UW-Madison campus, visit

Eau Claire native Halmstad studied as a pianist and earned a degree in music at UW-Eau Claire, but it was his work in the campus information technology department that fueled his interest in streamlining IT platforms. The tools he created to efficiently set up and maintain campus computers later became the foundation to launch JAMF Software (now Jamf), which created the “Casper Suite” to manage Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TV.

Fifteen years later the company has eight offices, more than 600 employees and 10,000 customers worldwide. The company reported $110 million in billings for 2016, a 38 percent increase. Its employee retention rate exceeds 90 percent and its customer list includes eight of the world’s top 10 tech companies, eight of the top 10 global universities, nine of the top 10 U.S. banks and 19 of the world’s 25 most valuable brands.

Halmstad also launched Pablo Properties, which built a permanent home for Jamf, owns the renovated Lismore hotel and is an investor in The Oxbow hotel – three major contributors to the rebirth of Eau Claire’s downtown. He has also been a supporting force behind Eau Claire’s Confluence Center, which is under construction.

Halmstad and Jamf co-CEO Chip Pearson were named the 2014 Ernst & Young “Entrepreneurs of the Year” for the Upper Midwest.

“The story of Jamf is one of innovation, hard work, bootstrapping and, of course, a bit of fun in the process,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Along with Pearson, Halmstad took the Jamf idea on the road and focused early on sales … winning a lot of customers along the way. When people told Halmstad he couldn’t build a company like this in Eau Claire, he proved them wrong.”

Produced by the Tech Council, the Entrepreneurs’ Conference is one of the largest events for entrepreneurs and early stage investors in the Upper Midwest. More than 500 people are expected for the two-day conference, to be held June 6-7 at the Union South on the UW-Madison campus. Other highlights will include:

  • A keynote speaker and plenary panel to be announced soon
  • 15 panel tracks for emerging companies on how to “Launch, Grow and Succeed”
  • Diligent Dozen: Top 12 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest square off on June 6th
  • Governor’s Business Plan Contest awards ceremony on June 7th
  • Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits from more than 40 Wisconsin companies
  • A presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin YES! youth business plan contest, and;
  • Plenty of chances to network with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments including a June 6th

Sponsors so far are: Aberdean Consulting, Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, BMO Harris Bank, Boardman & Clark, Bunker Labs – Wisconsin, Carroll University, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, Dedicated Computing, DeWitt Ross & Stevens, DXC Technology, Exact Sciences, Findorff, First Business Bank, Godfrey & Kahn, Google, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, Madison College, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY!, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, Murphy Desmond, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Noble Applications, Quarles & Brady, Red Arrow Productions, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, River Valley Bank, Rockwell Automation, Uber, University Research Park, UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation, UW-Madison Discovery to Product (D2P), UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, UW-Madison University Relations, Venture Investors, Veritas Technologies, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WERCBench Labs, Wisconsin Health & Educational Facilities Authority, WIPFLI, Wisconsin Technical College System, WTN Media, and Yahara Software.