Milwaukee native and Marquette University graduate Charles Ross, the chief executive officer of the International Business Innovation Association, will set the tone for the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held May 31 and June 1 in Milwaukee.

The conference at the Italian Community Center returns to the Cream City to celebrate the region’s rise as a startup and scale-up hub within the Midwest. Registration is open at or linked here.

Through its work across the United States and 30 countries, InBIA supports entrepreneurship and provides industry best practices while enabling collaboration, mentorship and peer-based learning. For more 30 years, InBIA has developed a network of accelerators, incubators and other resources for entrepreneurs in a spectrum of industries and disciplines.

Ross will speak on the morning of June 1, providing an overview of global entrepreneurship — as well as tangible examples that may interest young companies in Wisconsin.

Ross holds an electrical engineering degree from Marquette University and a master’s in business administration from Indiana University. Among many experiences, he has coached founders and chief executive officers at dozens of high-growth companies.

“We think Wisconsin entrepreneurs are among the best in the world — and we want them to ‘think big’ about their business models and connections,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Charles Ross brings a combination of local roots and global perspectives to the conference.”

“Crossroads of innovation” is the theme of the 21st annual conference, where entrepreneurs from around the state will showcase their ideas, services and technologies. Seven panel tracks formed under three unique stages of “launch,” “grow” and “succeed” will appeal to entrepreneurs in all stages. Detailed panel information will be posted soon at

Produced by the Tech Council, the Entrepreneurs’ Conference is among the largest and affordable events for entrepreneurs and early stage investors in the Upper Midwest. Other highlights will include:

  • Diligent Dozen: Top 12 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest square off on the afternoon of May 31
  • Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” 2023 award winner, to be announced
  • Governor’s Business Plan Contest “Diligent Dozen” awards announcements June 1
  • Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits from Wisconsin companies
  • Plenty of chances to network with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments, including a May 31 reception at the Italian Community Center

Sponsors thus far are: Aberdean Consulting, Affiliated Engineers, Alliant Energy, Amazon, American Family Insurance, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen), DeWitt, Findorff, First Business Bank, Foley & Lardner, Godfrey & Kahn, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, J.P. Morgan, Lost Boys Interactive, Madison College, Madison Development Corp., Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, Marquette University, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Perkins Coie, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Ruder Ware, Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, UMOS One Workforce – TechStars, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison College of Engineering, UW-Madison Innovate Network, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, UW-Madison Office of University Relations, Venture Investors, Versiti, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, WE Energies, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Wisconsin Dept. of Financial Institutions and Wisconsin Technical College System.

To become a sponsor, contact Angela Schlobohm at For more information, visit or call 608-442-7557.