MILWAUKEE – Learning how to do business in Wisconsin’s leading foreign markets, such as Canada and the European Union, will be among the themes at the June 8-9 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee.
To register for the conference, to be held at The Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave., go to: http://www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/events/ent_conf/
Private and public organizations in Wisconsin have recently stepped up economic exchanges with the Canadian province of Manitoba, and several experts from Winnipeg will be on hand for panel discussions of interest to entrepreneurs.
Dave Angus, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, will take part in a June 9 panel on “Doing business abroad: What entrepreneurs need to know.” Angus has served as president of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada and is the Canadian representative on the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.
Tim Yusishen, founder and CEO of Solar Solutions Inc., will take part in a June 8 panel on “How entrepreneurs can clean up in cleantech.” Solar Solutions is a 20-year-old company that designs, manufactures and distributes renewable energy and conservation products globally.
The panel on “Doing business abroad” will also include David Kouidri, president of Polydec International Inc., a micro-technology manufacturer that has charted a 45 percent growth rate in new markets. Kouidri was the Swiss trade commissioner in Chicago for seven years and a leader in the Chicago International Trade Commissioners Association. He remains an adviser to the Swiss government on nanotechnology.
“It’s important that Wisconsin entrepreneurs consider opportunities to partner with others internationally, and to explore global markets,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the event with the help of a Milwaukee-based steering committee.
Still noted Wisconsin exports have generally grown at a faster rate than the U.S. average in recent years. In 2008, according to state Department of Commerce statistics, Wisconsin’s total exports were $20.6 billion – up from $18.8 million in 2007. Exports fell to $16.7 million in 2009 as a result of the recession, but the state still ranked 18th among all 50 states and exports appear up so far in 2010.
The Entrepreneurs’ Conference will feature nearly 20 panel discussions and other speakers. Previously announced speakers were: Dave Berkus, past chairman of California’s Tech Coast Angels and one of the nation’s most prolific angel investors, who will also host a conference workshop; Eric Apfelbach, chief executive officer of ZBB Energy Corp. in Menomonee Falls; Sue Marks, founder and CEO of Brookfield-based Pinstripe Inc., a privately‐held, venture‐backed human resources and recruitment process outsourcing firm; and Robert Okabe, a veteran Chicago-area investor and managing director of RPX Group, where he leads the firm’s efforts to assist universities, research institutions and corporations in creating startups.
Other conference highlights include:
— The Top 12: Finalists in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest square off
— Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” Award, to be announced soon.
— Resource center for one-on-one tips on grants, research partners and more
— Plenty of chances to network over food and refreshments!
The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council, the independent, non-profit science and technology advisers to the Governor and the Legislature. It serves as a catalyst for the growth of Wisconsin’s tech-based and entrepreneurial economy.
Register or learn more by visiting www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/events/ent_conf