Finding the resources you need, taking the right legal steps and simply being aware of leading tech-related sectors will be part of the “Launch” panel discussion 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 “LAUNCH” track is one of three conference tracks open to all attendees at the 20th annual conference, which is returning to Milwaukee. Panel discussions in the “Launch” track are:

10 a.m. June 2 – Wisconsin technologies to watch: Learn more about the state’s hot industries
Our Midwest state isn’t a “one-trick badger” when it comes to industries that employ technology. From life sciences to advanced manufacturing, and from natural resources to power and controls, learn about four sectors that are among those that set Wisconsin apart from others. Moderated by Aaron Davis, MKE Tech Hub Coalition. Panelists: Dean Amhaus, The Water Council; Phil Fonfara, Blue Line Battery; and Christina Runge, Medical College of Wisconsin.

11 a.m. June 2 – Keeping it legal: Strategic steps to take and pitfalls to avoid

Legal questions often come much earlier than you think if you’re launching a company. Learn some basics about company structure, different ways to protect your intellectual property, compensating team members and preparing for investment. Moderated by Scott Brunner, Husch Blackwell. Panelists: Pat McQuillan, Central Standard Craft Distillery; Tom Quinn, Marquette Energy Analytics; and Carrie Thome, NVNG Investment Advisors.

2 p.m. June 2 – Community and academic resources you can tap in starting a company
Learn how to tap into the resources of private and public networks dedicated to helping your business grow. Hear about community portals into loans and other financing, business tax credits, mentoring, academic research channels and more. Moderated by Kalpa Vithalani, Marquette University. Panelists: Ilya Adveev, UW-Milwaukee; Joey Frayne, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.; Adhira Sunkara, WiSys; and Brian Walsh, Center for Technology Commercialization.

Six other panels in the “Grow” and “Succeed” tracks will be announced soon. 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.