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Doyle’s Entrepreneurs’ and Research week nears

Conferences intended to showcase Wis. startups, biotech

Entrepreneurship, nanotechnology and biomedical engineering will be the subjects of three conferences June 1-4 in Madison and Milwaukee, giving substance to what Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has declared “Entrepreneurs and Research Week.”

Tips for Entrepreneurs

Established entrepreneurs will share stories and advice at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, which runs June 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, 333 W. Kilbourn. Doyle will also present awards to the winners of his statewide business-plan contest.

Featured speakers include:
Jim Rygiel, the UW-Milwaukee alum who won an Academy Award for the computer animation in the “Lord of The Rings” movies
Teresa Esser, the author of “The Venture Cafe: Secrets, Strategies and Stories from America’s High-Tech Entrepreneurs
Juanita Koilpillai, co-founder of computer security firm Mountain Wave, which Symantec bought for $20 million.
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Rounding out the schedule will be more than two dozen panel discussions and other presentations and seminars.

The Wisconsin Technology Council is administering the conference along with the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the Wisconsin Business Incubation Association and the Wisconsin Small Business Innovation Consortium. The lineup is sure to lend a local flavor to the discussions of entrepreneurship and business.

“Digital media and design are technology and entrepreneurial strengths for Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin.,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “From animation to architecture, from envisioning tomorrow’s cities to building today’s information systems, Milwaukee’s digital design cluster is a leader.”

The business-plan contest winners will share prizes including $120,000 and business services, according to conference officials, who also announced a “Seize the Day” award would be given to a deserving entrepreneur.

Focus on Biology: Nanotech and Medicine

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering, a conference on “bionanotechnology” will be held June 3 in the Grainger Technology Transfer Auditorium in Engineering Hall. It will feature a biotech spin on nanotechnology, which involves the building of tiny structures out of individual atoms and molecules.

The full conference title is “Bionanotechnology: Opportunities in the Bionanotech Convergence Zone,” a phrase that hints at the increasing interaction between nano- and biotechnology researchers in recent years.

Jeffrey Schloss, an expert in nanotechnology’s use in healthcare who works with the National Institutes of Health, will address the conference-goers as a keynote speaker. Among many other projects, Schloss co-chairs the working group for the NIH Nanomedicine Roadmap Initiative.

Finally, the Great Lakes Biomedical Conference will take place June 4 at the Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee.

This conference is traditionally a collaboration among faculty from Marquette University, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee School of Engineering, according to organizers. This year, speakers from 17 Midwest research institutions will introduce emerging technologies. Presentations will draw from fields such as biomedical engineering and imaging devices, with a focus on creating marketable products.

After that, groups of researchers will give moderated presentations in the fields of ife sciences, imaging/devices, nanotechnology, and bioinformatics.

Getting There

With four solid days filled by conferences in two cities, next week will be a busy time for anyone interested in the state of business and technology in the Midwest. Full schedules and conference information are available on each event’s Web site.

Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference (June 1-2)
Bionanotechnology: Opportunities in the Bionanotech Convergence Zone (June 3)
Great Lakes Biomedical Conference (June 4)

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