More than 40 investors and entrepreneurs will talk about best practices, success stories – and even how they learned from failure – during panel discussions at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Middleton. 


Tracks within the two-day conference are built around three distinct stages that matter to all startup companies: launch, grow and succeed. Seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and others who work with emerging companies will take part in each discussion. To register, visit


The Launch Track will include these panels: “Startup 101: Understanding business acronyms, agencies and other alphabet soup;” “Lean startups: Operating at max efficiency;” “Beg/borrow/bootstrap: Lessons from entrepreneurs;” “Patent reform: What the new rules mean to you and your intellectual property;” and “Crowdfunding: Where do we stand one year after the JOBS Act?” 


The Grow Track will feature: “Killer mistakes and how to avoid them;” “Designing your product: From idea to prototype;” “The C-Corp. vs. LLC smackdown: What’s the right corporate structure for you and your investors?”; “Pursuing investors: What angels and VCs need to hear;” and “How to learn from failure as a startup and as an investor.” 


The Succeed Track will include: “How to build a board of directors that works for you;” “Coming to terms with your term sheet;” “How to build your company’s team: Matching researchers and techies with business managers;” “Closing your first deal… and many more;” and “Do you want to be rich or king? Knowing when it’s time to let go.” 


Investors who will take part include Jim Pavlik, Baird Capital; Joe Hildebrandt, DaneVest Tech Fund; Paul Jones, Angels on the Water; Andy Shrago, Wisconsin Investment Partners; Charlie Goff, NEW Capital Management; Tom Shannon, Shamrock Partners; Roy Thiele-Sardina, HighBAR Partners; Sanjeev Chitre, U-group LLC; Scott Button, Venture Investors; Brian Birk, Sun Mountain Capital; Brad Taylor, Wisconsin Investment Partners; Tim Keane, Golden Angels Network and Keane-D’Souza Fund, and Fred Robertson, Baird Capital. 


Entrepreneurs on panels include: Amelia Swan Baxter, WholeTrees; Kelly Fitzsimmons, HarQen; Kip Pendleton, The Pendleton Group; Tom VanDenBogart, Heartfelt Celebrations; Kevin Conroy, Exact Sciences; Shawn Guse, Intuitive Biosciences; Dominic Dimarco, MobileIgniter; Scott Kohl, Ronin Studios; Rebecca Scarberry, Becky’s Blissful Bakery; Rimas Buinevicius, Rowheels; Jason Lucash, OrigAudio; Nathan Patterson, Radiant Fabrication; Liz Eversoll, SoLoMo Technology; Deven McGlenn, NeoClone; Steve Glynn, Spreenkler; Tom Mozer, Aurora Spectral Technologies; Matt Howard, EatStreet; Jami Morton, SnowShoe; Mark Gehring, Asthmapolis; Mark Wilson, TermSync; Matt Younkle, Murfie; Jeremy Shafton, Door 6 Inc.; Tom Alberti, Chimera LLC; Eric Apfelbach, ZBB Energy Corp.; Todd Asmuth, AquaMost; Scott Fulton, Agilent Technologies; and Laura King, NeuWave Medical. 


Other announced highlights of the conference include:


·         The annual “Seize the Day” award, which honors the 2013 recipient, Fred Foster, co-founder and president of ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls); 


·         The Diligent Dozen: Finalists in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest square off; 


·         Wisconsin Innovation Showcase, which will highlight some of the state’s best and boldest companies and their innovative products; 


·         Nationally known speakers such as Jason Lucash of OrigAudio and “Shark Tank” fame; 


·         “The California Badgers,” a plenary panel featuring UW-Madison graduates who made their mark as entrepreneurs and investors in California’s Silicon Valley; 


·         Plenty of chances to network over food and refreshments! 


The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference is produced by the Tech Council, the independent, non-profit science and technology advisers to the governor and the Legislature. It serves as a catalyst for the growth of Wisconsin’s tech-based and entrepreneurial economy. 


Register or learn more by visiting To learn more about the host city and what it has to offer, go to