MADISON – Three panel discussions at the Wisconsin Life Science & Venture Conference are tied to the year-long “Building the New Wisconsin Economy” project, which has focused citizen and news media attention on the elements of a successful 21st century economy.

Panel discussions scheduled for the two-day venture and technology conference (Nov. 16-17) will center on entrepreneurship and attracting investment capital to Wisconsin. The conference will be held in Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

Here is a summary of the three panels:

“Managing start-up companies: It’s more than good science.” 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16.

The importance of securing business leadership for early-stage science and tech-based companies will be explored by veteran entrepreneurs. The moderator will be David Ward, president of NorthStar Economics. Panelists are Eric Apfelbach of Virent Energy Systems (and formerly of Alfalight), Ralph Kauten of Quintessence Biosciences and UW-Madison Professor Lloyd Smith, a co-founder of Third Wave Technologies.

“Views from the top: How major institutions read the future of tech-based investment.” 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16.

This panel will provide an overview of Wisconsin’s life science technology development prospects from the perspective of “big institutions” with a stake in the state and/or the industry.

The moderator will be Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. Panelists are Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF; Tom King, vice president, finance, American Family Insurance; David Mills, executive director, State of Wisconsin Investment Board; Cory Nettles, secretary, state Department of Commerce; and Joshua Salisbury, executive director, corporate finance and investment banking, Eli Lilly and Company.

“Views from outside: An assessment of market trends.” 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Outside investment is a part of Wisconsin’s investment future. This panel of venture capitalists from outside Wisconsin will provide an overview of the state’s life science technology development prospects from their perspective of investors. The director of the state government’s entrepreneurial programs will reflect on what that means for Wisconsin entrepreneurs. Tom Still is the moderator. Panelists are Carter Dunkin of Advantage Capital in Missouri, Craig England of England & Associates in Washington, D.C., Peter Shagory of Baird Venture Partners in Chicago; and Pam Christenson, director of the Bureau of Entrepreneurship within the state Department of Commerce.

The conference will also include company presentations, keynote speakers and other panel presentations related to emerging technologies on the UW-Madison campus.

Major speakers from outside Wisconsin include:

  • Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (8:30 a.m., Nov. 16
  • Theresa Mullin, assistant commissioner for planning of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and an architect of the “Critical Pathways Initiative.” (12:30 p.m., Nov. 16)
  • Mark Booth, president of Takeda Pharmaceuticals of North America. (8:15 a.m., Nov. 17)
  • Khaja Zafarullah, senior clinical genomics special for the IBM Healthcare Research Group. (12:30 p.m., Nov. 17)

For more on the conference or to register to attend, please go to