22 Mar New “Seize the Day” award available to Wisconsin entrepreneurs
MADISON – Entrepreneurs located in Wisconsin will have a shot at a new award for practical innovation at the second annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference, which the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Innovation Network will hold June 1 and 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee.
The organizers recently began to call for nominations for the “Seize the Day” award, with an April 30 deadline.
“Wisconsin needs more innovators who ‘seize the day’ in their own endeavors,” WTC President Tom Still said. “It needs more risk-takers with the vision and courage to succeed.”
The winner will be asked to present a short tutorial for aspiring entrepreneurs at the conference, according to Scott Kroeger, founder of Telaric Ideas, a company that invents and licenses technologies and pushed forward efforts to launch the award this year. This requirement is intended to boost entrepreneurship in the state with the combination of a success story and practical advice. WTC will archive the tutorial after its live presentation.
The award’s focus on finding and taking opportunities emerged from a desire not to be lost among numerous other awards for entrepreneurship in the state.
“Given our bent towards ‘grab the bull by the horns’ entrepreneurs, we thought ‘Seize the Day’ an appropriate and distinctive title,” he said.
Judges will look for five qualities that show innovative leadership—not necessarily innovative technology—and measurable success. The panel, appointed by WTC and WIN, will judge the candidates’ ability to find and hold on to opportunities, as measured in vision, courage, adaptability, persistence and resourcefulness.
Kroeger said ideas and money are both important, but “without a focused, agile, can-do leader, ideas do not get fully exploited, opportunities are not fully pursued, and money is harder to obtain.”
Successful entrepreneurs, he said, can re-invent themselves.
The award itself has been re-invented since it was first talked about at last year’s Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference. No award could be created in time for that conference, but Telaric Ideas and other organizers worked to get it ready for its debut this year.
United States Patent Services, a Wisconsin company that produces commemorative pieces, will commission a work of art for the winner, emphasizing a connection between Wisconsin’s artistic and entrepreneurial cultures. This year, Midwest-trained artist Ted Gall will create a steel and cast bronze sculpture. In future years, Kroeger said, local artists will compete to provide the prize.
“We want to recognize those who have made the most of their opportunities – and provide an example for others to follow,” Still said.
Jason Stitt is a staff writer for the Wisconsin Technology Network and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.