Armed services veterans who want to learn about launching, expanding and financing a business may register at a major discount to attend the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, Nov. 6-7 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison.

Veterans from the post-9/11 era may attend the full conference, which includes two breakfasts, two lunches and an evening reception, for $60. That rate compares to the full conference fee of $279 and is made possible by our sponsors and the Wisconsin Technology Council’s support for the work of the state Department of Veterans Affairs. An identical student rate is available.

“Post 9/11 veterans can bring a host of skills to business, from technical expertise to teamwork to a personal work ethic,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council, which produces the conference. “This conference offers tips on how to launch and grow a business, while featuring chances to network with some of Wisconsin’s best entrepreneurs and investors.”

Visit and click “Register Now,” then choose “Returning Veterans” or “Student” under the registration drop-downs.

“Trends in investing: What ‘treps need to know” is the 2019 theme for the event, which will feature company presentations, a dozen panel discussions and workshops, keynote speakers and more. Detailed information is available on the conference website:

The Early Stage Symposium is one of the largest events of its kind in the Upper Midwest. More than 500 people are expected for the two-day conference. Other highlights will include:

  • More than 40 company presentations in two different platforms and the “Investor Intros” speed-dating segment.
  • Keynote speakers Marques Ogden, entrepreneurial former NFL player with a rags-to-riches-to-rags-and-back story, and UW-Eau Claire graduate Jeff Schumacher, who founded California-based BCG Digital Ventures and now leads 55 Foundry, which will invest in and incubate young decentralized technology companies.
  • Remarks by the 2019 winner of the “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award, Anne Smith of the UW-Madison Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic.
  • Panel discussions and educational seminars featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector.
  • “Office Hours,” offering the opportunity to meet with subject experts on a variety of topics in small discussion groups or one-on-one.
  • A Nov. 6 evening conference reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.

The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: 100state, Aberdean Consulting, Accuray, ACS, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., AmpliPhi, AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Boardman & Clark, Ben Brewer Photography, C.D. Smith Construction, CGI, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University of Wisconsin, CUNA Mutual, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, Discovery World, Eppstein Uhen Architects, Exact Sciences, Findorff, First Business Bank, Fluno Center, Foley & Lardner, Foxconn, Godfrey & Kahn, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, Idea Fund of La Crosse, KW2, M3 Insurance, Madison Development Corp., Madison Gas & Electric, Marquette University, Makin HEY! Communications, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Medical College of Wisconsin, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Morgridge Institute, Murphy Desmond, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Northwestern Mutual, One City Schools, Perkins Coie, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, RSM US, ScaleFactor, Signature Bank, Summit Credit Union, Susan Healy, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, TASC, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, Venture Investors, Versiti, WEA Trust, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi, Wisconsin Dept. of Financial Institutions, Wisconsin Investment Partners, Yahara Software and Ziegler.