2016 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium


Tuesday, November 15

Dr. Eve Hall, president and chief executive officer of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, will speak Nov. 15 at the second annual Wisconsin W·O·M·E·N reception in Madison.

The reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at M3 Insurance, 828 John Nolen Drive. It precedes the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, which starts the following morning at Madison’s Monona Terrace Convention Center.

With a background in education, business, community action and government, Hall has expanded the membership of the Milwaukee-based AACC from 175 to more than 250 members since becoming president and CEO in 2012. Under her leadership, the AACC has created a revolving loan fund for small businesses, is working with partners to launch a food and beverage incubator, and is working with others to better leverage mass transit to connect people with jobs.

Hall, who holds degrees from Florida A&M University, UW-Milwaukee and Cardinal Stritch University, will discuss the work of the AACC and the challenges and opportunities facing women executives. Hall will also discuss her perceptions of the progress of women and minorities as business owners in Wisconsin, and what needs to happen in the state’s largest cities to provide opportunity for all.

Hall was appointed in 2004 to serve on the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. She also serves on the Governor’s Task Force on Minority Unemployment.  She was recognized by the Milwaukee Business Journal as a “Woman of Influence in 2014 and one of “16 Business Executives to Watch in 2016.”  In 2015, she was recognized as “Woman Executive of the Year” by Biz Times for her work in reviving the chamber.

In addition, Hall is co-founder of the African American Women’s Project Fund, created in 1999 to provide funding to organizations supporting the well-being of women and girls, and has raised more than $200,000.

Hosted by the Wisconsin Technology Council, the Wisconsin W·O·M·E·N reception highlights the role women are playing in the state’s entrepreneurial economy. The acronym stands for women, opportunity, mentors, entrepreneurs and networking. The event is open to men and women; for more information and to register visit http://www.cvent.com/d/5fqnpx/1Q

Wednesday, November 16allen-hoffman-lynn-110116

Lynn Allen-Hoffmann received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. She was a Damon-Runyon Walter-Winchell Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School where she studied human keratinocyte growth and differentiation.

She is a tenured, full professor in the Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Surgery at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Allen-Hoffman is internationally recognized for her innovative research and clinical development of human skin replacements including the world’s first genetically-enhanced human skin replacements. The NIKS cells, discovered in her laboratory, are a consistent source of genetically uniform, non-tumorigenic, pathogen free human keratinocytes amenable to genetic manipulation.

As a result of the discovery in her laboratory, she founded Stratatech Corporation to deliver cell-based therapies to patients with complex skin loss.  She is the first woman at the University of Wisconsin to start a biotechnology company. Stratatech Corporation was acquired by Mallinckrodt Specialty Pharmaceuticals on August 31, 2016.

Thursday, November 17eddy-jan-102616

Jan Eddy, an entrepreneur, investor and mentor who has helped scores of young companies gain their footing over time, will receive the 2016 “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award at the Nov. 16-17 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. Eddy will be honored Nov. 17 during the second day of the conference, which will be held at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison. Visit www.wisearlystage.com to register.The “Triple E” award, sponsored by Concordia University, was established by the Wisconsin Technology Council to highlight the importance of entrepreneurial education.

The selection of Eddy by the 2016 conference steering committee was based on:

  • Delivering outstanding quality in teaching entrepreneurship and/or mentoring entrepreneurs, in or out of the classroom
  • Stimulating innovative methods for teaching or mentoring entrepreneurs
  • Promoting entrepreneurial education and mentorship among scholars, policymakers, practitioners and others
  • Providing a significant contribution to the development of best practices in the field

Previous winners of the “Triple E” award were Tim Keane, an investor and entrepreneur who was one of the first college-level educators in Wisconsin to design courses around entrepreneurial studies; and Thomas “Rock” Mackie, a scientist, entrepreneur and educator who has been at the center of building an entrepreneurial culture on the UW-Madison campus.

Eddy, of Prairie du Sac, founded Office Solutions and Wingra Software. She volunteered to help scores of companies over time through many venues, including the Early Stage Symposium. She served on the first board of directors for the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship within the UW-Madison School of Business; was an early member of the Madison Entrepreneur Resource, Learning and Innovation Network (MERLIN); a co-founder of the Doyenne Group for women entrepreneurs; a board member at Edgewood College during the growth of the school’s entrepreneurship program; and a guest lecturer at many colleges and universities.

salzwedel-jack-092216Thursday, November 17

Jack Salzwedel, the chief executive officer and president of American Family Insurance, will describe how a 90-year-old Wisconsin success story is investing in the growth of the state, community and the company itself at the annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, to be held Nov. 16-17 at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

Salzwedel, who is also known for being one of the most prolific Fortune 500 CEOs on social media, will speak around 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, just before this year’s fast-paced Elevator Pitch Olympics and just after the Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education awards ceremony.

He’s expected to cover topics such as the creation of AmFam Ventures, which has invested in emerging companies that focus on connected technologies, data analytics and innovation in insurance; the company’s partnership role in Madison’s “Starting Block” project; and how a company founded in 1927 remains innovative in a mainstream industry.

“We’re excited to have ‘@AmFamJack,’ as he’s known on Twitter, speak to this year’s Early Stage Symposium,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Jack Salzwedel is one of the nation’s leading CEOs when it comes to understanding how the early stage economy intersects with all business sectors.”

Formed in 1927, American Family Insurance is the largest insurer of homes and automobiles in Wisconsin. American Family Ventures launched in 2010.

A native of DeForest, Salzwedel began his career with American Family in 1983 as a claim adjuster and became an agent two years later. He then took leadership roles in sales and product lines, leading up to his election as chairman and chief executive officer in late 2011. In his current role, he oversees American Family and its subsidiaries, Homesite and The General.