Hundreds of people are set to attend the 15th 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. Saturday 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: Arvind Subramanian, CEO of Madison-based HealthMyne, will talk about trends in healthcare technology and how to build successful companies. He brings 26 years of health-tech experience to the stage Wednesday. Alan Webber, co-founder of Fast Company magazine and author of “Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self,” will also speak Wednesday. He’ll be available to sign his latest book. Special invited guests: Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch to honor business plan contest finalists.
  2. You’ll watch the “Diligent Dozen” finalists in the 14th 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 2017 BPC after 13 finalists (OK, it’s a baker’s dozen) give short pitches between 3:05 and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. We’ll announce the winners over lunch Wednesday – which is also when the grand prize winner of the Wisconsin YES! youth business plan contest will present!
  3. You’ll learn from successful entrepreneurs: The panels and seminars will include Entrepreneurs and emerging company leaders include: Tricia Ascher, Ascher Janitorial; Luke Bonney, Redox; Melinda Caughill, i65; Carter Cliff, D1ASP0RA; Matt Cordio, Startup Milwaukee; Jacquin Davidson, Davidson Associates; Michael Ertmer, Bunker Labs Wisconsin; Darren Fisher, Spearity; Andrew Foxwell, Foxwell Digital; Scott Jens, Revolution EHR; Bridget Krueger, Kaleidocare; Chris Johnson, Pilot Training System; Tera Johnson, Tera’s Whey; Brian Lindstrom, Datica; Rachel Neill, Carex Consulting; Steve O’Brien, Noble Applications; Christina Outlay, colorcoded WI; Kristina Pence-Dunow, Hometown Trolley; Henry Schwartz, MobCraft Beer; Toni Sikes, CODAworx; Spencer X Smith, Spencer X Smith Consulting; Don Stanley, 3Rhino Media; Carla Stephany, Riveter Enterprises and Matt Younkle, Murfie/Cardigan.
  4. You might bump into a seasoned investor: The list of panelists alone includes George Arida, 30 Ventures; Greg Baker, Bascom Ventures; Mark Bakken, HealthX Ventures; Rimas Buinevicius, M Barc Investment Group; Dan Einhorn, Capital Midwest Partners; Jonathan Fritz, Symphony Corp.; Jonathon Horne, Idea Fund of La Crosse; Brian Kaas, CMFG Ventures; John Neis, Venture Investors; Shontra Powell, Golden Angels Investors; Craig Schedler, NM Future Ventures; Todd Sobotka, BrightStar Wisconsin; David Trotter, Winnebago Seed Fund and Andy Walker, Rock River Capital Partners. About 40 investors will attend the event.
  5. There’s no lack of program choices: The program features 15 panels and seminars spread over two days, bound by themes of “Launch,” “Grow” and “Succeed.” This year, the “Succeed” track will showcase five companies that have moved to, expanded and/or continue to grow in Wisconsin – and why the state is the right place for them. Learn more in the 64-page program, a storehouse of information from sponsors and other resources.
  6. 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!
  7. You’ll meet a legendary entrepreneur: 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 Tuesday over lunch. He launched Jamf after graduating from UW-Eau Claire. 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. Just as impressive is Halmstad’s role in renovating downtown Eau Claire.
  8. Discounts are available for military veterans. Through our partnership with Bunker Labs Wisconsin, we are offering a $60 rate for 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