Angel investing pioneer Jeff Rusinow and tech creator, designer and author John Zeratsky will set the tone for the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, which will take place June 4-5 in Milwaukee.

The conference, to be held at Venue42 in Milwaukee’s revitalized Brewery District, is returning the Cream City to celebrate the region’s rise as a startup and scale-up hub. Registration is now open at or linked here.

Click here to read Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s welcome letter!

Rusinow founded Milwaukee’s first angel network, Silicon Pastures, in 2000. His best deal exits include BuySeasons, ModernMed and Propeller Health, which sold for more than $300 million collectively. He will reflect on two decades as a “lean-in” angel; tell inside stories on deals that went well and not-so-well; reveal internal deal statistics for the first time; and offer advice to startup founders and angels on how not to be consumed in the “food chain” of investing. Rusinow will speak June 4.

Zeratsky was co-creator of Google Ventures’ Design Sprint, a process combining strategy, design, behavioral science and lean-startup principles, and the subject of his best-selling book, “Sprint.” He has run more than 150 sprints with startups such as Slack, Nest, Blue Bottle Coffee and Uber. With stories and illustrated examples, Wisconsin native Zeratsky will explain the Design Sprint process and show how it can be used by any team to create solutions and try risky ideas fast. Zeratsky will speak June 5.

Connecting the I-Q Corridor is the theme of the conference, where ‘treps from around the state will showcase their innovations, services and technologies. A dozen panel tracks formed under three unique stages of “launch,” “grow” and “succeed” will appeal to entrepreneurs in all stages. Detailed panel information will be posted soon at

Produced by the Tech Council, the Entrepreneurs’ Conference is one of the largest events for entrepreneurs and early stage investors in the Upper Midwest. Other highlights will include:

  • Diligent Dozen: Top 12 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest square off on June 4th.
  • Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” 2019 award winner
  • Social media contest using conference hashtag: #WiTreps
  • Governor’s Business Plan Contest awards ceremony on June 5th
  • Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits from more than 40 Wisconsin companies
  • A panel discussion on how to better connect innovation hubs in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay and beyond
  • 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 4th

Sponsors so far are: Aberdean, Affiliated Engineers, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Ben Brewer Photography, Biz Times Milwaukee, BMO Harris Bank, Boardman & Clark, C.D. Smith Construction, Carroll University, Center for Technology Commercialization, CGI, City of Fitchburg, Dedicated Computing, DeWitt, Findorff, First Business Bank, Foxconn, Godfrey & Kahn, Husch Blackwell, Madison College, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY!, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Microsoft, Midwest Prototyping, Murphy Desmond, Neider & Boucher, Northwestern Mutual, OneNeck IT Solutions, Perkins Coie, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Rockwell Automation, ScaleFactor, Susan Healy, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, Telsa, Uber, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison D2P, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, UW-Madison University Relations, Venture Investors, Versiti, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, WEA Trust, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WHEFA, Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi and Wisconsin Technical College System.

For more information, visit or call 608-442-7557.