You’ve taken care of most of the basics of starting your emerging company … so, now what? Clearing hurdles that often don’t arise until startup excitement passes is the theme of the “Grow” panel discussion track at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

The May 31-June 1 conference at the Italian Community Center returns to the “Cream City” to celebrate the region’s rise as a startup and scale-up hub within the Midwest. Registration is open at or linked here.

The “Grow” track is one of three conference tracks open to all attendees at the 21st annual conference. Panel discussions in the “Grow” track are:

10 a.m. June 1 – Startups need corporate sales partners: How to find the right person to say ‘yes’ (or at least a quick ‘no’)
Angel and venture capital is important to many young companies, however, securing revenue from strategic customers is just as vital for business longevity. How does the entrepreneur get to the right people in a large or complex organization to inform a credible pipeline including the likelihood and timing of a sale?

Moderated by Chad Johnson, Tip a ScRxipt. Panelists: Kelsea Elder, Strategist and Sourcing Professional; Mike Maschek, Inception Health; and Alysha Newby, Dell Technologies

2 p.m. June 1 – Challenges women face as entrepreneurs: Some are not always obvious to others
It need not be overt. Many, if not most, challenges encountered by women entrepreneurs are subtle. They include struggles to be taken seriously; being able to “own” their accomplishments without coming off as bragging; and finding investors who understand female-oriented market needs can be different. Our panel will examine ways that women can succeed in a male-dominated field.

Moderated by Stephanie Melnick, Melnick & Melnick/She Stands Tall. Panelists: Valeri Lucks, Honeypie; Marian Singer, Wellntel; and Sherry Zhang, GenoPalete

Two more panels in the “Succeed” track will be announced soon; three “Launch” panels were announced recently. Attendees may attend all or parts of any track.

“Crossroads of innovation” is the theme of the 21st annual conference, where entrepreneurs from around the state will showcase their ideas, services and technologies. Seven panel tracks formed under three unique stages of “launch,” “grow” and “succeed” will appeal to entrepreneurs in all stages. Detailed panel information is posted at

Produced by the Tech Council, the Entrepreneurs’ Conference is among the largest and affordable events for entrepreneurs and early stage investors in the Upper Midwest. Other highlights will include:

  • “Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen: Top 13 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest square off on the afternoon of May 31
  • Charles Ross, Milwaukee native and chief executive officer of International Business Innovation Accelerator, to keynote morning of June 1
  • Plenary panel including angels and venture capitalists on how to pitch to investors when the industry is puckering up, mid-morning June 1
  • Deb Carey, co-founder of New Glarus Brewing Co. to accept 2023 ‘Seize the Day’ award over lunch on June 1
  • Governor’s Business Plan Contest “Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen” awards announcements June 1
  • Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits from Wisconsin companies
  • Plenty of chances to network with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments, including a May 31 reception at the Italian Community Center

Sponsors thus far are: Aberdean Consulting, Affiliated Engineers, Alliant Energy, Amazon, American Family Insurance, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Business Fitness, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen), DeWitt, Findorff, First Business Bank, Foley & Lardner, Godfrey & Kahn, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, Insperity, J.P. Morgan, Lost Boys Interactive, Madison College, Madison Development Corp., Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, MalamaDoe, Marquette University, Microsoft, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Perkins Coie, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Ruder Ware, Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction, Technology Entrepreneurship Office at UW-Madison, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, UMOS One Workforce – TechStars, University Research Park, U.S. Bank, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Innovate Network, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, UW-Madison Office of University Relations, Venture Investors, Versiti, WE Energies, Whitewater University Innovation Center/Fiscal Economical Research Center, WIPFLi, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Wisconsin Dept. of Financial Institutions, Wisconsin Technical College System, WiSys and Yahara Software.

To become a sponsor, contact Angela Schlobohm at For more information, visit or call 608-442-7557.