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Entrepreneurs’ Conference to focus on strategies, tools and culture

MILWAUKEE – Turning big ideas into even bigger businesses is the theme of the second-annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference to be held June 1-2 in Milwaukee, conference organizers announced Wednesday. The event is designed to encourage and foster entrepreneurial growth in Wisconsin.

“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 chief operating officer 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 Foundation, the Wisconsin Business Incubation Association and the Wisconsin Small Business Innovation Consortium.

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

“This conference will help entrepreneurs find the strategies, tactics and tools to turn their ideas and innovations into thriving new businesses,” Hansen said.

The conference will feature winners of the first Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, a presentation of the first “Seize the Day” award for entrepreneurial activity, seminars by top managers from federal research and development grant programs and more than two dozen “how to” panel discussions or special presentations – all intended to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to be successful.

An invitation-only “boot camp” for high net-worth individuals who would like to know more about angel investments and a seminar on how the media makes decisions and choices about what to cover will be featured at the event.

“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.”

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