#ESSWI 2019: Nov 5-7 at Monona Terrace in Madison

Marques Ogden
Former NFL lineman, entrepreneur
Wednesday, Nov. 6th

Former professional football player Marques Ogden, who lost $2 million on a construction project in 90 days before lifting himself off the turf, will speak about entrepreneurial resiliency the morning of Nov. 6 during the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison.

Ogden’s construction company had grown quickly and was honored as the state of Maryland’s African-American Subcontractor of the Year in 2010. When the company went bankrupt in 2013, Ogden moved from part-time work as a custodian to starting a new firm that focuses on helping others learn from business failures. Today, he’s an acclaimed speaker, author, marketer and business coach.

A 2002 finance graduate of Howard University, Ogden received a grant from the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust Fund to assist in turning his life around. His awards include Top 100 MBE Winners through the Center for Business Inclusion and Diversity sponsored by The University of Maryland, Southwest Airlines and greiBO media; and Winner of the Rising Star Under Age 40 Award from Living Classrooms and Stevenson University.

Brother of Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, Marques Ogden is not alone among former National Football League players who experience financial troubles after they retire from the game. Unlike some others, however, Ogden’s troubles weren’t due to lifestyle woes – but a bad business deal.

“I never overspent while playing in the NFL, lived in a townhouse, always drove pre-owned cars and did everything right according to most financial advisors and this one wrong business move cost me everything,” he said. “Even though I take full responsibility for what happened, seeking proper advice at the time would’ve been the difference between losing some money and all of my life’s savings.”

Ogden will open the conference with thoughts on entrepreneurial traits and take audience questions. Registration is open!

“Marques will bring a ‘rags to riches to rags and back’ story to the Early Stage Symposium, where entrepreneurs of all types will be able to begin their conference journey with tough yet inspirational advice about failure and recovery,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Anne Smith
2019 Triple E Winner
Wednesday, Nov. 6th

Anne Smith, whose career has included launching the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic at the UW-Madison, will accept the “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison.

Smith will be honored Nov. 6 during the “Triple E” luncheon, which will be held at Madison’s Monona Terrace Convention Center. Visit wisearlystage.com to register and see the full agenda.

The “Triple E” award was launched by the Wisconsin Technology Council to highlight the importance of teaching and mentoring entrepreneurs. The selection of Smith by the 2019 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 are Tim Keane, an investor and entrepreneur who was one of the first college-level educators in Wisconsin to design courses around entrepreneurial studies; Thomas “Rock” Mackie, a scientist, entrepreneur and educator who has helped build an entrepreneurial culture on the UW-Madison campus; Jan Eddy, tech company founder and a tireless mentor of startups through her work on and off campus; Allen Dines, who has mentored entrepreneurs and helped instill a startup spirit in UW-Madison students and faculty; and Terry Sivesind, a co-founder of MERLIN Mentors, an 11-year-old groups with about 100 mentors to help young companies.

Smith is an attorney and small business owner who has worked for companies such as Winterthur U.S. Holdings and Promega. Smith is also a co-founder of Madison Seed Accelerator Inc. and helped to launch StartingBlock Madison, where she serves on the board of directors.

“We’ll hear from Anne about the important work of the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic over time, as well as entrepreneurs who benefited by going through the process,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council.

Jeff Schumacher
55 Foundry
Thursday, Nov. 7th

Venture capitalist and tech veteran Jeff Schumacher, known internationally for his work around “decentralized technologies” such as blockchain and encryption used in financial and e-commerce transactions, will speak the morning of Nov. 7 during the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison.

Schumacher is a UW-Eau Claire graduate who recently launched 55 Catalyst Capital, which invests in decentralized technologies and next-generation internet infrastructure.

A speaker at events such as the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and a frequent guest on business news shows, Schumacher launched 55 Catalyst Capital in early 2019 to blend “expertise in technology, venture capital, liquid markets and financial services” addressing growth in decentralized technology.

Schumacher has described decentralized technology as a “next generation internet” that is “consumer-based and able to bring security, transparency and access in a way that restores trust.”

Based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., 55 Catalyst Capital also has offices in Palo Alto, Calif.; Cologne, Germany; and Seoul, South Korea. He was previously founder of BCG Digital Ventures; co-founder of Booz Digital; co-founder of Axon Advisory Partners; led the North American marketing and sales practice of McKinsey & Co; and was chief strategy officer for Sports Authority. While at UW-Eau Claire, he was student body president.

“Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest have complex economies that will benefit directly from decentralized tech,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “We’re eager to welcome Jeff Schumacher back to the state.”