MILWAUKEE – Still on the fence about coming to the seventh annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee? Here are 10 reasons to drop in Tuesday and Wednesday for one of the Midwest’s premier events for entrepreneurs.
Or register Tuesday and Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 333 W. Kilbourn, beginning at 7 a.m. each day. Why attend?
1.      You’ll hear from irreverent and entertaining speakers: Headline speakers are 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, an Emmy Award-winning producer who will speak on “Marketing in the Digital Age.” You never know what these folks might say.
2.      You’ll watch 12 finalists in the Governor’s Business Plan sweat it out: Talk about pressure! Our judges will decide who takes home the top prizes in the 2009 BPC after 12 contest finalists give short pitches between 10 a.m. and noon Tuesday. We’ll announce the winners over dinner Tuesday night.
3.      You’ll learn from successful entrepreneurs: Panelists and presenters include 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.
4.      You might bump into a seasoned investor: Panelists 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.
5.      There’s no lack of program choices: The program features 21 panels spread over two days, in addition to the headline speakers and featured presentations.
6.      You’ll walk away with some great materials: Our 58-page program is a storehouse of information, and it will include an attendee list as well as DVD on entrepreneurism produced by Marquette University.
7.      We’ve set up an e-mail kiosk in our exhibit area. Check your messages – and then check out our sponsor booths and tables. They’ll be grouped in the atrium.
8.      You’ll meet a new crop of entrepreneurs: In addition to the 12 Business Plan Contest finalists, you’ll hear from three start-up companies in the Entrepreneurs’ Edge segment and a “Young Guns” panel that includes Chris Hallberg of Smug Coffee, Bryon Shannon of Wisconsin Relic, Chad Sorenson of Sologear and Kavi Turnbull of
9.      You won’t leave hungry: Two luncheons, a reception, a dinner and two breakfasts are included in your registration fee. It’s hard to go wrong on that alone!
10.  You’ll be a part of a major networking event: Whether it’s the luncheons, the reception, the panel discussions or lobby conversations, you’ll meet hundreds of people who are building Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial economy. Join them!
Register or learn more by visiting