People involved in growth-stage companies can learn about opportunity, failure, coping and more by attending the “Grow” track at the 2019 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee. The conference will be held June 4-5 at Venue 42 at Milwaukee Brewing Co., 1128 N. 9th St., near the Fiserv Forum.

The “GROW” track is one of three conference tracks open to all attendees at the 16th annual conference, which is returning to Milwaukee. Panel discussions in the “Launch” track are:

10 a.m. June 4 – Milwaukee’s F+B revolution: It’s Brew City, Cream City and more for ‘treps who are putting Milwaukee on the menu

The Milwaukee region has a rich tradition of producing, packaging and shipping food and beverages of all descriptions. With ample water, a central location, logistics, a seasoned workforce and access to agricultural resources, Milwaukee is a major part of a statewide cluster. Learn more from our panelists. Moderated by Erin Ogden, Ogden Glazer + Schaefer. Panelists: Cindy Poiesz, Evolve Brands; Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori, Satori Food Project and Jim McCabe, MKE Brewing Co.

11 a.m. June 4 – Connecting the I-Q corridors: Common challenges and assets in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay

The Upper Midwest is home to major companies, financial resources, research universities and more. How can the region bind itself in a way that puts it on the map with innovation hubs on the nation’s coasts and elsewhere? Moderated by Tom Still, Wisconsin Technology Council. Panelists: Julia Kanouse, Illinois Tech Association; Abby Taubner, gener8tor; Chandra Miller-Fienen, StartingBlock and Craig Dickman, Titletown Tech

10 a.m. June 5 – It’s OK to fail, especially if you learn from it: What those who have cratered would change if they could do it over again

Common mistakes that can be company killers, especially if you don’t understand some basic rules. Hear from those who came back from adversity by learning from it. Moderated by Nathan Hammons, Marquette Law School. Panelists: Toni Sikes, CODAworx; Jacquin Davidson, Midwest Energy Research Consortium; Kelly Fitzsimmons, Custom Reality Services and Steve Catlin, ParqEx

11 a.m. June 5 – How to sleep at night: Maintaining a balance of work, home and mental health

National mental health statistics are troubling – and entrepreneurs are far from immune. In fact, some experts say entrepreneurs are 50 percent more likely to report having a mental health condition, with some specific conditions being incredibly prevalent amongst founders. How can you run a company and keep your life balance? Moderated by Elmer Moore, Scale Up Milwaukee. Panelists: Rachel Neill, Carex Consulting; Jeremy Fojut, NEWaukee and Mae Haggerty, ConfIdence

Four “Launch” panels were recently announced. Four more in the “Succeed” track will be announced soon. Attendees may attend all or parts of any track.

Connecting the I-Q Corridor” is the 2019 theme for the event, where ‘treps from around the state will showcase their innovations, services and technologies. Full panel information is now available on the conference website:

The Entrepreneurs’ Conference is one of the largest events for entrepreneurs and early stage investors in the Upper Midwest. More than 500 people are expected for the conference. Other highlights will include:

  • Day One keynote speaker Jeff Rusinow, a veteran super-angel investor who founded Silicon Pastures in 2000
  • Day Two keynote speaker John Zeratsky, a tech designer and author of “Design Sprint”
  • Live-stream of the two keynote speakers available for purchase, also accessible after the conference by attendees.
  • A June 4 plenary discussion on diversity and inclusion.
  • “Seize the Day” 2019 winner Sue Marks to be recognized June 4
  • Diligent Dozen of #GovsBizPlan: Top 12 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest will square off on June 4 with the awards ceremony on June 5
  • Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits from more than 40 Wisconsin companies
  • A presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin YES! youth business plan contest, and;
  • Plenty of chances to network with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments including a June 4 reception.

Sponsors so far are: Aberdean, Accelity Marketing, Affiliated Engineers, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Ben Brewer Photography, Biz Times Milwaukee, BMO Harris Bank, Boardman & Clark, C.D. Smith Construction, Carroll University, Center for Technology Commercialization, CGI, City of Fitchburg, Dedicated Computing, DeWitt, Findorff, First Business Bank, Foxconn, Godfrey & Kahn, Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, HealthX Ventures, Hendricks Holding Comp., Husch Blackwell, Madison College, Madison Development Corp., Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY!, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Microsoft, Midwest Prototyping, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Murphy Desmond, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Northwestern Mutual, Old National Bank, OneNeck IT Solutions, Perkins Coie, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Rockwell Automation, ScaleFactor, Susan Healy, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, Tesla, Uber, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison D2P, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, UW-Madison University Relations, Venture Investors, Versiti, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, WEA Trust, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WHEFA, Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi and Wisconsin Technical College System.


To learn more, visit or call 608-442-7557.