10 Nov UW-Whitewater: Hosts first-ever state conference for young entrepreneurs
WHITEWATER Entrepreneurs from across Wisconsin will have the chance to network and learn valuable information from a diverse group of presenters in new and attractive industries at the state’s first conference for young entrepreneurs.
The Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs Conference will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Thursday, Nov. 19, in the Old Main Ballroom in the James R. Connor University Center. The event is co-hosted by UW-Whitewater’s award-winning Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization as well as the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.
The conference comes just two months after the UW System Board of Regents approved UW-Whitewater’s degree program in entrepreneurship. The new program allows students to major in entrepreneurship. The approval made UW-Whitewater and UW-Madison the only two schools in the UW System to offer the degree.
The 2009 Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs Conference is open to the public and will feature established and emerging entrepreneurs as guest speakers.
Jordan Leahy, a sophomore and young entrepreneur, helped organize the conference. Leahy was named Wisconsin’s Youth Entrepreneur of the year in 2006 and was also one of three winners in the Acton Foundation’s “Take an Entrepreneur to Lunch” national essay contest in 2008.
“Becoming an entrepreneur is something that is often overlooked by people not in the business field,” Leahy said. “Only 20 percent of entrepreneurs who graduate college are from the business school; entrepreneurs come from every discipline.”
Bill Dougan, advisor for UW-Whitewater’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, feels the conference will be a great way to bring entrepreneurs of all ages to the university and have the opportunity to benefit from the experience of the key speakers.
The featured presenters are some of the best in their respective fields and are people that young entrepreneurs can learn a lot from, Leahy said.
“The presenters are top-of-the-line,” he said. “They are all outstanding, driven and charismatic individuals.”
Students can register for the conference online at invention2venture.org for only $10 but their registration fee will be refunded if they complete a survey about the program following the conference.
“This is just a way our presenters felt like they could show students that they know how hard it is and that they want to give back,” Leahy said.
Leahy hopes that students will take advantage of this opportunity to learn form successful professionals and take what they learn and apply it.
“I hope that through the conference they (attendees) are going to realize that they can do what they want to do and that they have the confidence to take the next step,” he said.
For more information on the conference, visit uwwceo.org .
Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs Conference presenters
· 10 a.m., “What Investors Like to See,” Scott Button, managing director, Venture Investors LLC
· 11:15 a.m., “Technology Partnerships in the Fast Lane,” Scott Resnick and Jon Hardin, Hardin Design and Development
· 1:30 p.m., “Creativity and Passion Don’t Start Your Business Without Them,” James Schneider, business trainer and motivational speaker
· 2:45 p.m., “What it Really Takes to be an Entrepreneur,” Greg Meier, executive vice president, PhysioGenix
· 4 p.m., “Start to Finish: The Legendary Toppers Pizza,” Scott Gittrich, owner, Toppers Pizza