MADISON – How does state government view the future of Wisconsin’s “knowledge-based” economy during uncertain economic times? Gov. Jim Doyle and Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel will address that question the morning of Nov. 6 at the 2008 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.
To register for the conference or the addresses by Doyle and Leinenkugel, visit
Doyle has made development of Wisconsin’s tech-based economy a priority since first taking office in January 2003. He supported the passage of Wisconsin’s investor tax credits in 2004, as well as the creation of the Wisconsin Angel Network and the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network. His “Grow Wisconsin” economic stimulus plans have focused on strategies to improve the knowledge-based economy.
Leinenkugel took office as Commerce secretary in late September. He is a fifth-generation member of the family that founded Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., one of Wisconsin’s iconic breweries. Before joining Commerce, he was vice president of sales and marketing for Leinenkugel, as well as group manager for specialty and craft brands at Miller Brewing Co. He earned a degree in business administration from Marquette University and served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. 
The Commerce Department provides development assistance in areas such as marketing, business and community finance, exporting and small business advocacy.  The Technology Development Loan and Grant program is managed through Commerce, as well as other programs that relate to tech-based economic development. The secretary of Commerce is a member of the board of directors for the Tech Council, which is the independent, non-profit science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature.
This will be Leinenkugel’s first major address to members of the tech community. A previously announced speaker, Robert Conn, will be unable to appear Nov. 6 for personal health reasons.
The annual conference, which has existed under different names for more than 20 years, will also feature the second annual Wisconsin Angel Network Early Stage presentation track for companies seeking angel investments beginning in the $500,000 range.
Two-dozen companies were selected for the WAN track. Companies in the WAN track feature technologies in major sectors: information technology and Internet services, biotechnology, medical devices, advanced manufacturing and “cleantech.” These companies are located in communities across Wisconsin as well as other Midwestern states. They will present for seven minutes each Nov. 5, followed by up to three minutes of questions from investors from across the “I-Q Corridor” region of the Upper Midwest.
The symposium will also feature the annual Elevator Pitch Olympics, presentation training sessions for entrepreneurs, a look back at the founding of University Research Park, a dozen panel discussions and a networking reception.
The conference is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and its partners and sponsors. Visit to register, review sponsorship opportunities or to learn more.