Contact: Tom Still or Sally Muller at 608-442-7557
To register for the conference, go to

MILWAUKEE – Turning big ideas into even bigger businesses is the theme of the second Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference to be held June 1-2 in Milwaukee, conference organizers announced Wednesday.

The second annual Entrepreneurs’ Conference will feature:

  • Winners of the first Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which will offer $120,000 in cash and in-kind services prizes.
  • Presentation of the first “Seize the Day” award for entrepreneurial activity. Go to www.telaricideas/win to submit a nomination.
  • Seminars by top managers from federal research and development grant programs.
  • Inspirational keynote speakers, to be announced in coming weeks.
  • More than two-dozen panel discussions or special presentations designed to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to be successful.

The conference will also include:

  • An invitation-only “boot camp” for high net worth individuals who would like to know more about angel investments, with advice from current angels and other investment experts.
  • A seminar on how the news media makes decisions and choices about what to cover.

Registration for the two-day conference is $150/$100 for members of the producing organizations. The first 500 registrants will receive a free copy of ‘The Venture Caf’,’ a book by Wisconsin-born author Teresa Esser.

The conference caps a year-long focus on entrepreneurship in Wisconsin, which has included the nation’s only statewide Business Plan Contest for tech-based entrepreneurs, the inaugural Entrepreneurs’ Conference in 2003, and the rapid expansion of state and private networks designed to help entrepreneurs.

“We must create an entrepreneurial culture in Wisconsin if we are to move our economy forward and create well-paying jobs,” said Kelly Hansen, conference chairwoman and CEO of Neohapsis, a computer security firm. Hansen serves on the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is producing the two-day event in conjunction with the Milwaukee chapter of the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) Foundation, the Wisconsin Business Incubation Association and the Wisconsin Small Business Innovation Consortium.

“This conference will help entrepreneurs find the strategies, tactics and tools to turn their ideas and innovations into thriving new businesses,” Hansen said.
The two-day agenda includes “how-to” panels on:

  • Evolving your start-up business
  • Encouraging best practices in technology development
  • Securing federal research and development grants
  • Fostering innovation
  • Assessing the market potential of your idea
  • “Bootstrapping” and creative financing
  • Going beyond the dartboard in pricing
  • Exploring multiple channels to grow sales
  • Starting a business in the inner city
  • Presentations by winners of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest

“We believe this conference will offer unparalleled networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and corporate technology officers,” Hansen said. “Professional service providers will be able to assist start-up and early-stage businesses with tech development, patent protection and licensing, product design, strategic marketing and operational improvements.

To register or to get more information, go to or call
(608) 442-7557.