People involved in young companies can learn investment trends, growth resources and the stages of entrepreneurism by attending the “Succeed” track at the 2019 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee.


The conference will be held June 4-5 at Venue 42 in Milwaukee Brewing Co., 1128 N. 9th St., near the Fiserv Forum.


The “SUCCEED” track is one of three conference tracks open to all attendees at the 16th annual conference, which is returning to Milwaukee. Panel discussions in the “Launch” track are:


10 a.m. June 4 – Corporate investing trends: Innovation inside major firms can include investing in young companies. Learn what ‘BigCo’s” want.

Corporate venture capital activity hit an all-time high in 2018 and shows few signs of slowing. It has more than doubled in just five years. What is driving the investment interest of established companies? Learn from four of Wisconsin’s biggest and best major firms. Moderated by John McDonald, Godfrey & Kahn. Panelists: Craig Schedler, Northwestern Mutual; Jed White, TASC Ventures and Brian Kaas, CMFG Ventures


11 a.m. June 4 – Three faces of entrepreneurism: From startup to growth to maturity.

To be successful, entrepreneurism is a business life cycle, with companies moving from the “born in a basement” stage to expansion to exit over time. What are the phases of growth and how must entrepreneurs adapt to those varying stages? Learn from entrepreneurs who have reached different rungs on the ladder. Moderated by Tina Chang, SysLogic. Panelists: Cynthia LaConte, Dohmen; Kathy Hust, Scanalytics; Kyle Weatherly, Frontdesk and Justin Nicols, Sift Healthcare


10 a.m. June 5 – State of the ecosystem: Learn how to tap into resources in your community, state and beyond.

Through a series of quick pitches, 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 and more. Moderated by Mark Ehrmann, Quarles & Brady. Panelists: Abby Taubner, gener8tor; Dave Linz, Center for Technology Commercialization; Joey Frayne, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.;Bruce Palzkill, Department of Workforce Development; Elizabeth Thelen, M7, Elmer Moore, Scale Up Milwaukee and Nadiyah Johnson, Jet Constellations


11 a.m. June 5 – Investing in the Heartland: Hear from some of the leading Midwest-focused investors.

Entrepreneurs can wait to be discovered by coastal VCs or look for funding closer to home, where more regional funds are scouting for deals. Sectors such as healthcare, financial tech, logistics and agriculture are fueling investments in the Upper Midwest. Hear from representatives of three funds that are making a mark in the Heartland. Moderated by Justin Beck, PerBlue. Panelists: Brad Baum, Lightbank; Ron Watson, Lewis & Clark and Trey Hart, 50 South Capital


Eight other panels in the “Grow” and “Launch” tracks were previously announced. Attendees may attend all or parts of any track.


Connecting the I-Q Corridor” is the 2019 theme for the event, where ‘treps from around the state will showcase their innovations, services and technologies. Full panel information is now available on the conference website:


The Entrepreneurs’ Conference is one of the largest events for entrepreneurs and early stage investors in the Upper Midwest. Other highlights will include:


  • Day One keynote speaker Jeff Rusinow, a veteran super-angel investor who founded Silicon Pastures in 2000
  • Day Two keynote speaker John Zeratsky, a tech designer and author of “Design Sprint”
  • Live-stream of the two keynote speakers available for purchase, also accessible after the conference by attendees.
  • A June 4 plenary discussion on diversity and inclusion.
  • “Seize the Day” 2019 winner Sue Marks to be recognized June 4
  • Diligent Dozen of #GovsBizPlan: Top 12 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest will square off on June 4 with the awards ceremony on June 5
  • Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits from more than 40 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 4 reception.


Sponsors so far are: Aberdean, Accelity Marketing, Affiliated Engineers, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Ben Brewer Photography, Biz Times Milwaukee, BMO Harris Bank, Boardman & Clark, C.D. Smith Construction, Carroll University, Center for Technology Commercialization, CGI, City of Fitchburg, Dedicated Computing, DeWitt, Findorff, First Business Bank, Foley & Lardner; Foxconn, Godfrey & Kahn, Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, HealthX Ventures, Hendricks Holding Comp., Husch Blackwell, Madison College, Madison Development Corp., Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY!, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Microsoft, Midwest Prototyping, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Murphy Desmond, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Northwestern Mutual, Old National Bank, OneNeck IT Solutions, Perkins Coie, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Rockwell Automation, ScaleFactor, Susan Healy, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, Telsa, Uber, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison D2P, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, UW-Madison University Relations, Venture Investors, Versiti, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, WEA Trust, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WHEFA, Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi and Wisconsin Technical College System.


To learn more, visit or call 608-442-7557.