Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed Nov. 5-11 as Startup Wisconsin Week throughout the state to celebrate the achievements of Wisconsin’s entrepreneurs and to promote efforts to provide additional support for startups and early-stage companies.
The proclamation is being issued in conjunction with the second annual event, in which entrepreneurs, investors, business executives and community leaders will share advice and resources in more than 150 events statewide.
Sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Startup Wisconsin Week will feature free events that will build momentum and celebrate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the state.
The initiative aims to help entrepreneurs discover resources in their communities, highlight the importance of startups to the growth of the state’s economy and showcase innovations developed by Wisconsin startups.
“Wisconsin has a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem which has created thousands of new businesses,” Governor Walker said in the proclamation, adding that entrepreneurs and startup businesses “play a vital role in Wisconsin’s overall economic success.”
The week is organized by Startup Wisconsin, a new initiative committed to advancing and developing Wisconsin’s tech and startup ecosystems through unique programming, collaborative partnerships and networking.
“Wisconsin was built on know-how and an entrepreneurial spirit, we have seen firsthand how successful our state can be when we invest and develop our technology ecosystem,” said Matt Cordio, founder and president of Startup Wisconsin and Skills Pipeline. “Now, we are at a pivot point and to compete for talent and capital, we must come together to connect and create a statewide movement and build a more robust ecosystem. Doing so will allow companies to thrive in Wisconsin.”
Workshops, startup pitch competitions and “hacker” events, seminars, roundtable discussions, meetups, social activities and other events will take place in 12 Wisconsin cities: Appleton, Beloit, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Kenosha, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Racine, Sheboygan and Stevens Point. (Click on each link to view a local schedule.) All events are free and open to the public.
Topics include raising startup capital, finding resources to start or grow a business, social media and branding, networking, how to pitch to investors, and marketing. There also will be special programs for veteran and women entrepreneurs.
The week will kick off on Nov. 5 with a “State of Milwaukee’s Startup Ecosystem” town hall meeting in Milwaukee in which leaders from startups, venture capital and economic development organizations will discuss the state of the city’s startup ecosystem. Also on that day, dozens of startups from the region’s top accelerators and entrepreneurship training programs will demonstrate their products at the Startup Milwaukee Showcase.
Other key events include:
- Milwaukee: NEWaukee Speaker Crawl on Nov. 7, is an interactive professional development program that simultaneously features numerous speakers who will discuss the important issues facing Milwaukee and provide tips for personal and professional growth.
- Racine: Startup Racine Week Kickoff event on Nov. 5 will feature Mayor Cory Mason and leaders from city and county organizations who will help celebrate the city’s history of innovation and kick off a week of connecting, educating and celebrating entrepreneurs.
- Kenosha: Eisley Creative records will air a live episode of their “Be Original” podcast before a studio audience on Nov. 5. Guest Matt Cordio, founder of Startup Wisconsin, will discuss the statewide initiative.
- Madison: The Wisconsin Technology Council’s Early Stage Symposium on Nov. 7-8. More than 600 people are expected to attend the conference, which will provide startups with a chance to engage with angel and venture investors from Wisconsin and beyond.
- Beloit: The Beloit Startup Showcase event on Nov. 5 will feature five companies located in the Irontek co-working space pitching and participating in Q&A. The event also will include networking, live music and tours of Irontek.
- Fond du Lac: The Imagination Network Award Ceremony and Entrepreneurial Showcase on Nov. 6 features a showcase of various entrepreneurial talent and the presentation of the second annual Award for Entrepreneurship, sponsored by Alliance Manufacturing.
For a complete list of events, visit StartupWI.org/events.