To succeed over time, young companies must find revenue sources that range from sales to strategic debt to rounds of investment. Learn about diverse fundraising paths and current investment trends in the “Succeed” panel track at the June 2 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

The 20th annual conference, to be held at the Italian Community Center on June 1-2, returns in-person to the Cream City to celebrate the region’s rise as a startup and scale-up hub. Registration is open at

The “Succeed” track is one of three conference tracks open to all attendees at the conference. Panel discussions in the “Succeed” track are:

10 a.m. June 2 – Finding capital: Different fundraising paths for early stage companies
Wisconsin is developing an array of financing sources for young companies. The list includes angel networks and funds, traditional venture funds, corporate venture arms, family funds, crowdfunding and new twists on debt. Here about some of the state’s early-stage financing flavors. Moderated by John McDonald, Godfrey & Kahn. Panelists: Daniel Sem, CU Ventures and John Zeratsky, Character VC.

11 a.m. June 2 – How we funded our companies: Hear from entrepreneurs on their funding strategies
What funding path works best for you? How much capital do you need? How much equity are you willing to give up? Those are among questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves as they consider where and how they find sources of capital. We will hear how some young companies pulled it off … their own way. Moderated by Dan Gawronski, Michael Best. Panelists: Daniel Cruz, washbnb; Sunit Mohindroo, Citylitics; and Forest Richter, Fresh Coast Labs.

2 p.m. June 2 – What kind of deals are getting funded (and what is not) in 2022?
Many observers predicted COVID-19 would devastate the early stage market. It was the opposite, with Wisconsin charting two record years for early stage deal values. What deals are getting funded, however, in a year dominated by inflation, interest rate hikes, war and supply-chain troubles? We will examine where investors are putting their money as 2022 moves on. Moderated by Mark Ehrmann, Quarles & Brady. Panelists: Tim Keane, Golden Angels Investors and Jenni Le, Venture Investors.

The “Launch” panels and the “Grow” panels were recently announced. Attendees may attend all or parts of any track.

Putting early stage pieces together is the theme of the conference, where entrepreneurs from around the state will showcase their innovations, services and technologies.

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

  • Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen: Top 13 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest square off on the afternoon of June 1st
  • Greg Piefer, CEO of SHINE Technologies, keynote presentation on the morning of June 2nd, sponsored by Wisconsin Investment Partners
  • The 19th Ken Hendricks Memorial Seize the Day award luncheon honoring Cory Nettles, Generation Growth Capital, on the afternoon of June 2nd
  • Governor’s Business Plan Contest awards ceremony on June 2nd
  • Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits from 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 1st reception.

Sponsors so far are: Aberdean Consulting, Affiliated Engineers, American Family Insurance, AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, DeWitt, Findorff, First Business Bank, Godfrey & Kahn, Greater Green Bay Chamber, Health Tradition, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, J.P. Morgan, Madison College, Madison Development Corp., Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY!, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Medical College of Wisconsin, Michael Best, Mobile22, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Ogden Glazer + Schaefer, PDS, Perkins Coie, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Ruder Ware, Uber, UMOS One Workforce -TechStars, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Innovate Network, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, UW-Madison Office of University Relations, Venture Investors, Versiti, WIPFLi, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Wisconsin Dept. of Financial Institutions, Wisconsin Technical College System and Zendesk.

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