People involved in young companies can learn how to fund their businesses, navigate legal channels, market their products and services and hear from similar startups by attending the “Launch” track at the 2019 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee.

The conference will be held June 4-5 at Venue 42 in Milwaukee Brewing Co., 1128 N. 9th St., near the Fiserv Forum.

The “LAUNCH” track is one of three conference tracks open to all attendees at the 16th annual conference, which is returning to Milwaukee. Panel discussions in the “Launch” track are:

10 a.m. June 4 – Milwaukee startups to watch: Learn what’s happening with some of the region’s exciting young companies. 

Not so long ago, startup companies were more of a curiosity than the norm. That has changed – to the point that Milwaukee-area startups are popping up in all sectors. Hear from ‘treps who are redefining the region and why they’re on a successful path. Moderated by Matt Cordio, Startup Milwaukee. Panelists: Carol Vance, Alinea Engage; Chris Widmayer, Penrod; and Brian Beeghly, Informed360

11 a.m. June 4 – Keeping it legal: Strategic steps to take and pitfalls to avoid.

Legal questions often come much earlier than you think if you’re launching a company. Learn some basics about company structure, different ways to protect your intellectual property, and preparing for investment. Moderated by Jay Creagh, Godfrey & Kahn. Panelists: Kate Bechen, Husch Blackwell; Matt Pietruczak, Quarles & Brady; Dan Gawronski, Michael Best; and Ron Bote, WIPFLi.

10 a.m. June 5 – How to fund your company: Borrow it, earn it or find investors

What funding path works best for you? How much capital do you need? How much equity are you willing to give up? Those are among questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves as they consider where and how they find sources of capital, from angel and venture dollars to loans to customers – to a combination of all three. Moderated by Tim Keane, Golden Angels Investors. Panelists: Dana Guthrie, Alchemy Angel Investors; Carol Vance, Alinea Engage; and Chris Eckstrom, Rock River Capital Partners.

11 a.m. June 5 – Marketing in the muddle: How to communicate effectively in an age of media dysfunction

Most newspapers are struggling to find the right digital strategy. Television is being supplanted by a myriad of channels. Social media is encountering massive public mistrust, not to mention rumbles of government regulation. So, what’s a young company to do? Learn about multiple approaches to telling your story. After all, it’s all about attracting and retaining customers – and positioning your firm for growth. Moderated by Jackie Hermes, Accelity Marketing. Panelists: Dan Meyer, BizTimes Media; Jenny Weeden, Accelity Marketing; Spencer X Smith, AmpliPhi and Steve Lyons, SJL Government Affairs & Communications

Eight other panels in the “Grow” and “Succeed” tracks will be announced soon. Attendees may attend all or parts of any track.

“Connecting the I-Q Corridor” is the 2019 theme for the event, where ‘treps from around the state will showcase their innovations, services and technologies. Full panel information is now available on the conference website: witrepsconference.com. 

The Entrepreneurs’ Conference is one of the largest events for entrepreneurs and early stage investors in the Upper Midwest. More than 500 people are expected for the conference. Other highlights will include:

  • Day One keynote speaker Jeff Rusinow, a veteran super-angel investor who founded Silicon Pastures in 2000
  • Day Two keynote speaker John Zeratsky, a tech designer and author of “Design Sprint”
  • Live-stream of the two keynote speakers and the diversity + inclusion panel available for purchase, also accessible after the conference by attendees.
  • A June 4 plenary discussion on diversity and inclusion. 
  • “Seize the Day” 2019 winner Sue Marks to be recognized June 4
  • Diligent Dozen of #GovsBizPlan: Top 12 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest will square off on June 4 with the awards ceremony on June 5
  • Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits from more than 40 Wisconsin companies
  • A presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin YES! youth business plan contest, and;
  • Plenty of chances to network with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments including a June 4 reception.