Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who won a four-year term Nov. 2 to serve as Wisconsin’s next governor, will speak Thursday morning at the annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, to be held at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.


Walker will speak 8:15 a.m. Thursday to open the second day of the conference, which is the state’s largest gathering for start-up companies, early stage investors and others with a stake in Wisconsin’s high-growth economy.


Walker campaigned on the theme that “Wisconsin is open for business” and pledged to help create 250,000 jobs and 10,000 new businesses by January 2015.


“Wisconsin’s high-tech economy has grown, even during the recession,” said Mark Bugher, chairman of the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is producing the conference. “We hope to see that growth continue and even accelerate in sectors such as life sciences, information technology and more over the next four years.”


Bugher, director of University Research Park in Madison, will introduce Walker. A continental breakfast preceding the remarks will be hosted by Capitol Navigators Inc.


Other conference highlights include remarks by three nationally known speakers; 19 panel discussions and workshops; a luncheon honoring winners of federal Small Business Innovation Research grants; the sixth annual “Elevator Pitch Olympics” for companies in a seed financing stage; and the fourth annual Wisconsin Angel Network Early Stage presentation track for companies seeking angel investments and beyond.


Other investor-oriented tracks include the annual “First Look Forum” for campus-based discoveries and the I-Q Corridor Investors’ Forum, an educational event for accredited investors only. The conference is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and its partners and sponsors. Visit to register.