MILWAUKEE – A talented line-up of entrepreneurs, investors and other start-up business experts will be featured in nearly two-dozen workshops and panel discussions at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, June 9-10, in Milwaukee.

To register for the conference, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 333 W. Kilbourn, go to: 

Entrepreneurs can learn from others who have launched companies and products – and who have experienced many highs and lows along the way. The list includes: Eric Antonson, U.S Trailmaps; Jane Boutelle, who led the QuickBooks launch for Intuit; Kevin Conroy, Third Wave Technologies and Exact Sciences Corp.; Brian Curry, PhysioGenix; Romke de Haan, Razorfish; Andrew DeMarco, Bridge Business Partners; Beth Donley, Stemina Biomarker Discovery; Jeff and Kelly Fitzsimmons, HarQen; Mark Gehring, Sharendipity; Bill Hickey, Phillips Plastics; Ted Lasser, GrayOrb; Dan Lawton, Promentis Pharmaceuticals; Deven McGlenn, NeoClone; Mike Nowak, Coating Excellence; Bob Pothier, formerly of GE Healthcare and PointOne Systems; Brent Reller, Steris; Tom Shannon, Prodesse; Randy Spaulding, Spaulding Clinical; Andy Theimer, Lansare; David Troup, Mail Foundry; Paul Trout, Shift Worldwide; Cd Vann, SoHo Biz Tube; and Jason Weaver, Sway.

There’s also a line-up of young entrepreneurs who will speak about their experiences: Chris Hallberg, Smug Coffee; Bryon Shannon, Wisconsin Relic; Rishi Shah, Flying Cart; Chad Sorenson, SoloGear; and Kavi Turnbull,

Current investors who have helped bring start-up companies to the next stage include: Scott Button, Venture Investors; Teresa Esser, Silicon Pastures; Charlie Goff, NEW Capital Fund; Joe Hildebrandt, DaneVest Tech Fund Advisors; Tim Keane, Marquette Golden Angels; Dick Leazer, Wisconsin Investment Partners; Basil Mundy, Wisconsin Investment Partners; Judy Owen, Calumet Venture Capital; Dennis Serio, Illinois Business and Investors Forum; Dan Steininger, Successful Entrepreneur Investors; and Bob Wood, Wisconsin Investment Partners. 

Other moderators and presenters include service experts, many of whom are veteran entrepreneurs or investors, who will offer solutions to common problems faced by start-ups and early stage companies. They include: Pete Bianco, Halleland Health Consulting; Kristin Cogswell, AT&T; Deron Curliss, Grant Thornton; Brian Curran of the New York Stock Exchange; Mark Ehrmann, Quarles and Brady; Grady Frenchick, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; Jonathan Fritz, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; Jack Heinemann, Wisconsin Security Research Consortium; Melanie Holmes, Manpower; Paul Jones, Michael Best & Friedrich; Brett Koeller, Godfrey & Kahn; Catherine Kolkmeier, La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium; Chelsea Krause, BizStarts; Joe Kremer, Wisconsin Angel Network; David Linz, Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network; Greg Lynch, Michael Best & Friedrich; Christine McBride, Grant Thornton; Doug Patch, Godfrey & Kahn; Hamang Patel, Michael Best & Friedrich; Sverre Roang, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; John Schulze, American Transmission Company; and Judith Steininger, Language Arts for Business.

Government leaders who have engaged in growing Wisconsin’s economy will also make remarks. They include Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel, Financial Institutions Secretary Lorrie Keating Heinemann, and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.

“We thrilled to offer such an experienced array of panelists, presenters and workshop leaders for the Entrepreneurs’ Conference,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, which produces the event with the help of a Milwaukee-based steering committee. “It will be a valuable experience for entrepreneurs who want to learn from others who have walked down their paths.”

Previously announced speakers were: Robert Stephens, who launched “The Geek Squad” in 1994 with $200, a peculiar but identifiable brand and a commitment to service; sixth annual “Seize the Day” winner Toni Sikes, an entrepreneur who built the nation’s largest online arts retailer from a warehouse on Madison’s near East Side; Greg Meier, a Milwaukee entrepreneur who is part of three start-ups; and John Roach, who runs a national film and video production company based in Madison.

Other conference highlights include:

n  Workshops built around the themes of Refining the Dream, Building the Team and Making the Green;

n  Presentations by the top 12 finalists in the sixth annual Governor’s Business Plan Contest;

n  Exclusive forums for investors in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest;

n  “Entrepreneurs’ Edge”pitches to investors and peers;

n  Hands-on panel discussions.


Register or learn more by visiting