#ESSWI - 2017 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium

Nov. 15 Opening un-keynote speaker

Entrepreneur, investor and author Tamara Kleinberg, founder of Denver-based GoToLaunchStreet.com, will open the 2017 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

Through her speeches, consulting with companies of all sizes, books, videos and blogs, TED Talk veteran Kleinberg inspires audience to embrace innovation and create a culture of adaptability in themselves and their organizations.

As the creator of the Innovation Quotient Edge Assessment, Kleinberg has developed a system able to measure people’s natural innovation strengths and deliver insights and tools for performing at their peak, bringing more innovative ideas to the table, and being a high-value team member.

At 27, she was the youngest person ever named to leadership in a leading global advertising agency. As you walk the aisles of major retail stores, you will push your cart past products and brands that have benefited from Kleinberg’s innovative approach – from Cheerios and Johnsonville Sausage, and from Procter & Gamble to Clorox. She has been featured in the New York Times, the Today Show, the Huffington Post and other media outlets.

“Tamara knows what it takes to drive growth and innovation daily in an ever-changing market-place,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “When companies such as Disney, General Mills and RICOH want to improve their innovation quotient, they call her. She has run multi-million dollar businesses and launched a few of her own, learning from her successes and, most importantly, her failures.”

Unkeynote sponsored by:


Nov. 16 Afternoon speaker

Dan Rashke, owner and chief executive officer of Madison-based TASC, the nation’s largest privately held third-party administrator, will talk about innovation inside a mature company on the second day of the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.

Rashke, who has invested in early stage companies through TASC and other vehicles, will speak over lunch on Thursday, Nov. 16, the second day of the two-day conference at Madison’s Monona Terrace Convention Center.

With nearly 900 employees nationwide, TASC was founded in 1975 with roots in Wisconsin’s agri-business sector. Today, TASC is one of the top five national third-party administrators of employee benefit plans, with annual revenues exceeding $100 million, 21 service offerings and clients in all 50 states.

“Dan Rashke has helped keep TASC on the cutting edge in a traditional marketplace by innovating through technology, corporate investments and more,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “His award-winning approach to corporate culture and community building is an example for others in Wisconsin.”

Rashke will speak after the announcement of the fourth annual Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education award and before the popular Elevator Pitch Olympics.