WARF Entrepreneurons Series

The series to take if taking an idea to market is on your mind.

Entrepreneurons Past Events

Our archive of past events includes information on Entrepreneurons speakers as well as downloadable slides from some of the keynote presentations. Visit our video archive to watch any sessions you may have missed.

Fall 2016 Events

Spring 2016 Events

Fall 2015 Events

Spring 2015 Events

Fall 2014 Events

Spring 2014 Events

Fall 2013 Events

Fall 2016
Thursday, October 6


Safe, effective and well thought out: Product liability and avoiding unexpected pitfalls
Keynote:
Jordan Eisenberg, entrepreneur

Panel:
Lars Gulbrandsen, Quarles & Brady LLP
Catherine Faught Pollard, Quarles & Brady LLP
Ryan Polkowski, Harley-Davidson Motor Company
 
Moderator:
Joan T. Schmit, UW–Madison

Monday, December 5

Is venture capital funding right for me? Early stage financing alternatives
Keynote:
Paul Jones, Venture Best

Panel:
Henry Schwartz, MobCraft Beer
Lorrie Keating Heinemann, BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation
Stephen Dinehart, Moola Pitch 
Todd Strother, Center for Technology Commercialization
Spring 2016
Thursday, January 21


Mergers & acquisitions: Why do some companies choose to stay in Wisconsin?
Panel:
Nicholas Caruccio, general manager, Epicentre (an Illumina company)
Kaz Hirao, CEO, CDI (a Fujifilm company)
Andrew Kirkpatrick, senior vice president of global operations and corporate development, Accuray
Scott Johnson, vice president of assay research & development, Luminex Corporation

Moderator and Discussion Leader:
Lisa Johnson, CEO, BioForward

Wednesday, February 17

Why choose Wisconsin for your business?
Panel:
Scott Resnick, executive director, StartingBlock Madison
Alex Kubicek, founder and CEO, Understory
Jillana Peterson, corporate social responsibility, Zendesk
Kevin Barrett, senior vice president for strategic business development, Gilson

Moderator and Discussion Leader:
Lisa Johnson, CEO, BioForward

Wednesday, April 27

Social entrepreneurship: Can you do well by doing good? 
Keynote:
Ibrahim AlHusseini, FullCycle Energy Fund

Panel:
Mark Richardson, GigBlender
Amelia Baxter, Whole Trees
Neil Peters-Michaud, Cascade Asset Management
George Hofheimer, Filene Research Institute
Nathan Clarke, Mad Urban Bees 

Moderator:
Maurice Cheeks, MIOsoft Corporation & City of Madison

Monday, May 9
Success is seldom a straight line: Startup stories of pivots and failures
Keynote:
Mark McGuire, American Family Ventures

Panel:
Rimas Buinevicius, Rowheels
Laurie Benson, LSB Unlimited
Emile Nuwaysir, CDI/Fujifilm
Mark Zager, Silatronix

Moderator:
Craig Heim, WARF

Fall 2015
Monday, October 12

The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem at UW–Madison: Everything you need to chart your path Panel:
John Biondi, Discovery to Product (D2P)
Anne Smith, Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic
Mike Williams, Business Clinic
Dan Olszewski, Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
Leigh Cagan, WARF
Elias Meyer-Grimberg, Student Business Incubator
Friday, October 23
The synergy of art and technology in entrepreneurship Keynote:
Toni Sikes, CEO, CODAworx

Panel:
Lisa Frank, artist
Eric Spray, senior concept artist, Raven Software
Rock Mackie, serial entrepreneur and emeritus professor, UW–Madison

Moderator:
Stephanie Jutt, professor of music,UW–Madison

Wednesday, November 11
Accelerators and Incubators – Models from around the country and across town Panel:
Mat Falkowski, IndieBio
Scott Resnick, StartingBlock
Elizabeth Thelen, The BREW
David Schubert, Accelerator Corp.

Moderator:
Bob Buderi, Xconomy

Wednesday, December 2

Constructive Counsel: Choosing and working with the right lawyer for your startup
Panel:
John Neis, managing director, Venture Investors of Wisconsin
Shawn Guse, CEO, Intuitive Biosciences
Greg Lynch, partner, Michael, Best & Friedrich

Moderator:
Stephanie Adamany, deputy general counsel, WARF

Spring 2015
Tuesday, January 27
Building your networks Keynote and Moderator:
Spencer X. Smith, business consultant, Spencer X. Smith Consulting

Panel:
Chris Rudolph, business coach, American Family Dream Bank
Cathy Yerges, social engagement strategist, BG3
Evan Wing, assistant vice president, market manager, Park Bank - Madison
Thursday, February 26

Market research: Learn about your markets early and often Keynote:
Oliver Richards, vice president, The Beacon Group

Panel:
Ann MacPhetridge, senior global commercialization marketing manager, Promega
Kevin Micklitz, partner, Sunseed Research LLC

Moderator:
Dan Olszewski, director, Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship, UW–Madison School of Business
Tuesday, April 7


Competitive Intelligence: How to gain a strategic advantage by studying your competition Keynote:
Harry Gwinnell, counsel, Greenblum & Bernstein P.L.C.

Panel:
Scott Piering, vice president and chief intellectual property counsel, Spectrum Brands
Kate Toews, engagement manager, McKinsey & Company
Steven Andrzejewski, patent and market analyst, WARF

Moderator:
Brian Jelinek, student, UW–Madison Law School
Wednesday, April 22
Business Plans: Dead or alive? Keynote:
Peter N. Townshend, partner, Perkins Coie LLP

Panel:
Joe Kirgues, co-founder, gener8tor
Eric Steege, innovation consultant, American Family Insurance
Michelle Somes-Booher, business consultant, Small Business Development Center
Suman Banerjee, professor, UW–Madison computer sciences department

Moderator:
Terry Grosenheider, wealth management advisor, The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank N.A.
Fall 2014
Date Topic Speakers
Monday, October 6

How do I know if I should start a company? Keynote:
Fred T. Lee, professor of radiology and biomedical engineering, UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and founding member of Cellectar Inc., NeuWave Medical Inc. and Elucent Medical LLC

Panel:
John Biondi, director, UW–Madison Discovery to Product (D2P) Program
Leigh Cagan, chief technology commercialization officer, WARF
Anne Smith, co-director, UW–Madison Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic

Moderator:
Jeff Engel, Wisconsin editor, Xconomy
Monday, October 13


Academic entrepreneurship: Notes from the trenches Keynote:
Daniel van der Weide, professor, UW–Madison College of Engineering, and co-founder of Tera-X LLC, NeuWave Medical Inc. and Elucent Medical LLC

Panel:
Max Lagally, professor, UW–Madison College of Engineering, and founder of nPoint Inc. and SonoPlot Inc.
Douglas McNeel, professor, UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and co-founder of Madison Vaccines Inc.
Timothy Shedd, professor, UW–Madison College of Engineering, and co-founder of Ebullient LLC
Jamey Weichert, professor, UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and co-founder of Cellectar Biosciences Inc.

Moderator:
T. Rock Mackie, professor emeritus, UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and College of Engineering, and co-founder of TomoTherapy Inc.
Thursday, October 23
The importance of intellectual property: What is it, how do you protect it and how do you capture its value? Keynote:
Earl "Eb" Bright, executive vice president and general counsel, ExploraMed

Panel:
Heather Gerard, intellectual property manager, Promega Corporation
Scott Piering, vice president and chief intellectual property counsel, Spectrum Brands

Moderator:
Michael Falk, general counsel, WARF
Thursday, November 6
Anatomy of a deal Keynote and Moderator:
Greg Robinson, managing director, 4490 Ventures

Panel:
Mark Gehring, co-founder and president, Propeller Health
Paul Radspinner, co-founder, president and CEO, FluGen
Justin Beck, co-founder and CEO, PerBlue
Monday, November 24

The art and science of the perfect elevator pitch Keynote and Moderator:
William Dougan, professor of management, College of Business and Economics, UW-Whitewater

Panel:
Laurie Benson, CEO and board director, LSB Unlimited
Scott Button, managing director, Venture Investors of Wisconsin
Joe Kremer, CEO, Isomark
Thursday, December 4

Early stage financing Keynote and Moderator:
John Philosophos, partner, Great Oaks Venture Capital

Panel:
Justin Reed, president and CEO, C-Motive Technologies
Fred Robertson, operating partner, Baird Capital
Laura Strong, president and COO, Quintessence Biosciences
Spring 2014
Date Topic Speakers

Monday, January 27

Download Bryan Jurewicz's slides



Customer acquisition and development

Keynote: Bryan Jurewicz, CEO advisor, LeanTech Group

Panelists:
Matt Younkle, CEO, Murfie Inc.; inventor and serial entrepreneur
Fred Robertson, MD, operating partner with Baird Capital; assistant professor, UW School of Medicine and Public Health; former CEO, Tomotherapy Inc.
JoAnne Robbins, professor, UW School of Medicine and Public Health; founder, Swallow Solutions LLC

Moderator:
Michael Enyart, director, Business Library, UW–Madison School of Business

Wednesday, February 5

Download Luella Schmidt's slides


Startup accounting and taxes

Keynote: Luella Schmidt, owner, Fine Point Consulting

Panelists:
Danny Andersen, director and CPA, Baker Tilly
Mark Zager, CEO, Silatronix Inc 
Stacie Laplante, assistant professor - accounting & information systems, UW–Madison School of Business

Moderator:
Michael Williams, faculty associate - management & human resources, UW–Madison School of Business

Monday, February 10

Download Rich Schifreen's slides


Valley of death: Surviving the journey from idea to product

Keynote: Richard Schifreen, Accelerator Program manager, WARF

Panelists:
Robert J. Drape, executive director, WiCell
Derek Hei, director, Waisman Biomanufacturing
Peter Sausen, vice president global safety assessment, Covance Laboratories Inc. 
Terry Sivesind, director, MERLIN Mentors

Tuesday, February 25

Download Sean Jacobsohn's slides


Valuation and financial analysis

Keynote: Sean Jacobsohn, venture partner, Emergence Capital Partners

Panelists:
Terry Sivesind, director, MERLIN Mentors
Chad Raube, president and CEO, Guaranty Services Group
Carrie Thome, director of investments, WARF

Moderator:
Mark Ehrmann, partner, Quarles & Brady

Thursday, March 27


Marketing/PR and communications

Keynote: Marsha Lindsay, CEO, Lindsay, Stone & Briggs

Panel:
Todd LaBeau, vice president, director of digital marketing, Lindsay, Stone & Briggs
Mike Judge, director, Center for Brand and Product Management, Wisconsin School of Business
Tim Gill, search manager, Shopbop.com/Amazon.com
Chris Parker, vice president and chief commercial officer, Cellular Dynamics International

Wednesday, April 9

Download Paul Jadin's slides


Entrepreneurial ecosystem part I: Unique Madison resources

Keynote: Paul Jadin, executive director, MadRep

Panel:
Pam Christenson, economic development director, Madison Gas and Electric
Dawn Mortimer, innovation director, American Family Insurance
Todd Strother, consultant, Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC)
Leigh Cagan, chief technology commercialization officer, WARF

Moderator: Zach Brandon, president, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, April 22

Download Jon Eckhardt's slides


Entrepreneurial ecosystem part II: Accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces—the view from Silicon Valley and closer to home

Keynote: Jon Eckhardt, Robert Pricer Chair in Enterprise Development and executive director, Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship

Panel:
Michael Fenchel, co-founder and chairman, 100state
Troy Vosseller, co-founder, gener8tor, Sconnie Nation and Sconnie Beer
Kelda Roys, founder and CEO, OpenHomes

Fall 2013
Date Topic Speakers

Thursday, October 3

Download intro slides







Do you really want to start a company?

Join experienced entrepreneurs and UW–Madison faculty as they discuss their personal experiences in deciding whether, when and how to make the leap to entrepreneurship.

Keynote: Paul Shain, president and CEO, Singlewire Software

Panel:
Mark Cook, professor of animal sciences
W. John Kao, professor of pharmaceutical sciences
Dan Ludois, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering
Laura Strong, president and COO, Quintessence Biosciences

Tuesday, October 15

Download intro slides

Download IP essentials slides





The importance of intellectual property: Know what is at the core of your value and potential as a company and how to protect it.

Keynote: Stephanie Adamany, WARF associate general counsel

Panel:
Dave Kettner, vice president of legal affairs, Virent
Matt Messinger, executive director, Wisconsin Center for Education Products & Services
Bill Baxter, senior IP counsel, GE Healthcare
 
Moderator: Kevin Noonan, partner, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff

Tuesday, October 22

Download intro slides

Download Brian Wiegand's slides





Building a startup team

Keynote: Brian Wiegand, serial entrepreneur and CEO and co-founder of Jellyfish, Alice.com, NameProtect and BizFilings

Panel:
Becky Splitt, CEO, StudyBlue
Norman Koo, VP and general manager, AOL
Paul Radspinner, president and CEO, FluGen

Thursday, November 7

Download intro slides

Download Ted Feierstein's slides


Lean startups and business plans

Keynote: Ted Feierstein, partner, LeanTech Group

Panel:
Rimas Buinevicius, lead member, Madcelerator; CEO, Rowheels
Mark Gehring, president and co-founder, Asthmapolis
Adrian Reif, co-owner, Yumbutter

Wednesday, November 20

*This session is a workshop only.

Lean business model canvas workshop

Neil Lerner, director, Small Business Development Center

Thursday, November 21

Download intro slides

Download Kevin Conroy's slides


Structure and governance

Keynote: Kevin Conroy, president and CEO, Exact Sciences

Panel:
Lorrie Keating-Heinemann, vice president, Brightstar Wisconsin Foundation
Scott Resnick, vice president, Hardin Design & Development
Paul Wrycha, partner, Foley & Lardner

Moderator: Dan Olszewski, director, Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship

Thursday, December 5

Download intro slides

Download Mark Reinstra's slides


Early stage financing

Keynote: Mark Reinstra, partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati

Panel:
Dan Blake, director, Wisconsin Angel Network
Scott Button, partner, Venture Investors
Toni Sikes, general partner, Calumet Venture Fund
Patricia Struck, administrator, Department of Securities, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

Moderator: Joe Kremer, CEO, Isomark