MADISON — Author and futurist Joel Kotkin, who recently praised Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial economy in an article written for Inc. magazine, will speak June 8 at a luncheon at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee.
Kotkin is the author of the May 1, 2005, article in Inc. magazine on “The Best Places For Doing Business in America 2005,” which examined 274 population centers and ranked their economies.
“The economies of most big cities are idling,” wrote Kotkin. “The real entrepreneurial hotbeds are now on the periphery — where low costs make it possible to thrive in a tough global economy. The new economy didn’t disappear … it changed addresses.”

In the article, Kotkin noted that not all “not all metropolitan economies are hurting. Greater Milwaukee jumped more than 100 places, to No. 66, this year — one of several Wisconsin areas that are making the state an anomaly in the Midwest.”

Green Bay, La Crosse and Madison all got top grades in Kotkin’s analysis, as well. Green Bay placed 4th, behind only Reno, Nev.; Boise, Idaho; and Casper, Wyo. La Crosse was 15th and Madison 38th. That gave Wisconsin three metro areas in the top 40, more than the rest of the Midwest — from Ohio to the Dakotas — combined.

“Kotkin understands that Wisconsin has most of the tools needed to succeed in the knowledge-based economy. We look forward to hearing how our region can perform even more successfully,” said Ken Wanek, co-chairman of the conference and president/CEO of DataTrac Corp..

An internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, Kotkin is the author of the newly published, critically acclaimed “The City: A Global History” from Modern Library. He is also author of the widely acclaimed, best-selling book, “The New Geography,” How the Digital Revolution is Reshaping the American Landscape” (Random House, 2000).

Kotkin is an Irvine Fellow at the New America Foundation and is a highly respected speaker and futurist. He consults for many leading economic development organizations, private companies, regions and cities. In addition, Kotkin serves as senior advisor to the Planning Center, a major planning, design and environmental consulting firm based in Costa Mesa, California and serves as a visiting lecturer in history, theory and humanities at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.

The third Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference will celebrate the state’s emerging high-growth, knowledge-based economy and feature other nationally known speakers, panelists and “hands-on” workshops. The conference will be held June 7-8 at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 333 W. Kilbourn.

The conference will also unveil the winners of the second Governor’s Business Plan Contest, the second “Seize the Day” award, the first Governor’s Technology Transfer Award and the inaugural Young Entrepreneurs Award. There will be 20 “how-to” panel discussions for entrepreneurs, all featuring state, regional and national business experts.

Gov. Jim Doyle is invited to speak at the June 7th awards dinner. Other keynote speakers will be announced later this week week.

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference is being co-produced by the Tech Council, which is the non-profit science and technology adviser to the Governor and the Legislature, and a number of statewide and regional partners.

For more information or to register, go to