Hundreds of people are set to attend the 16th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. Here are 10 reasons to join them Tuesday and Wednesday at Union South on the UW-Madison campus for one of the Midwest’s premier events for entrepreneurs.

Register through 5 p.m. Sunday at Or register Tuesday and Wednesday at Union South, which is located at the intersection of Randall and Johnson near Camp Randall Stadium. You can also check real-time parking stalls available here! Why attend?

  1. You’ll hear from topical speakers: Marsha Lindsay, who has helped companies large and small to brand products, services and even their missions, will open the conference Tuesday morning. A Madison product herself, Lindsay advises companies worldwide. Tom Erickson, who has launched, built and sold software companies from coast-to-coast, will speak Wednesday over lunch. Also, you’ll hear from Kerry and Dude Frank, winners of the Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” award. They founded Comply365 in Beloit. Special invited guest: Scott Walker to honor business plan contest finalists.
  2. You’ll watch the “Diligent Dozen” finalists in the 15th annual Governor’s Business Plan Contest sweat it out: The pressure is on! Our judges will decide who takes home the top prizes in the 2018 BPC after 12 give short pitches between 3:05 and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. We’ll announce the winners over lunch Wednesday!
  3. You’ll meet a mini-celebrity: Alex Hart-Upendo is “mini” in the sense he’s only 11 years old, but he won the 2018 Wisconsin YES! youth business plan contest. His “Build-a-Bow” business has attracted national media attention. Alex will present Wednesday.
  4. Featured panels will introduce you to social media experts and investors: A plenary panel Tuesday afternoon will drill down into the nitty-gritty of social media for business, and the management team from the Badger Fund of Funds will talk about their work Wednesday morning.
  5. You’ll learn from successful entrepreneurs: The panels and seminars will include Entrepreneurs and emerging company leaders include: Michael Adam, DocLaunch; Abi Barnes, Allergy Amulet; Matt Cordio, Startup Milwaukee; Jacquin Davidson, Davidson Associates; Syovata Edari, CocoVaa; Mark Gehring, HealthMyne; Robert Hopton, Health eFilings; Matt Howard, EatStreet; Jennifer Javornik, Filament Games; Josh Klemons, Reverbal Communications; D.P. Knudten, COLLABORATORcreative; Rachel Neill, Carex Consulting; Greg Schneider, Zendesk; Spencer X Smith, AmpliPhi and Spencer X Smith Consulting; Don Stanley, 3Rhino Media; Jason Weaver, Halo; Evan Wing, HMA Fire; Matt Younkle, Cardigan; and Sherry Zhang, GenoPalate.
  6. You might bump into a seasoned investor: Investors who will take part in panel discussions include: Dan Brooks, Sun Mountain Capital; Mark Bakken, HealthX Ventures; Andrea Dlugos, Wisconsin Investment Partners; Jonathan Fritz, Symphony Corp.; Lorrie Heinemann, Madison Development Corp.; Jonathon Horne, Idea Fund of La Crosse; Molly Lahr, AmFam Ventures; Ross Leinweber, Bold Coast Capital; Dan Malven, 4490 Ventures; Richelle Martin, The Winnow Fund; Ross Mires, Square 1 Bank; Craig Schedler, NM Future Ventures (Northwestern Mutual); David Trotter, Winnebago Seed Fund; Troy Vosseller, gener8tor; Andy Walker, Rock River Capital Partners; and Heather Wentler, The Doyenne Group.
  7. You can tour the Wisconsin Innovation Showcase in our exhibit area: About three-dozen companies, including many Business Plan Contest finalists, will be featured in an exhibit space that serves as a crossroads between major program venues. A dedicated networking session will also take place is this space following the lunch on Tuesday. Grab a coffee, a cookie – and make some connections!
  8. Discounts are available for military veterans. We are offering a $60 rate for returning U.S. military veterans who would like to learn more about starting and running a business. Students get the $60 rate, too.
  9. You won’t leave hungry: Two luncheons, a reception and two breakfasts are included in your registration fee. It’s hard to go wrong on that alone!
  10. You’ll be a part of a major networking event: Whether it’s the luncheons, the reception, the panels or lobby conversations, you’ll meet hundreds of people who are building Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial economy. Join them!

Register or learn more by visiting