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Happy New Year from all of us at BizStarts Milwaukee!

Happy New Year from all of us at BizStarts Milwaukee. Here is our first Catalyst of 2012 as we look forward to a year filled with new start-ups, investment opportunities, jobs and positive economic and entrepreneurial momentum for all of us in southeastern Wisconsin.
Dan Steininger interview with Journal Sentinel on job creation
We kick off the year with our President, Dan Steininger, featured in this past weekend’s Journal Sentinel as part of their ongoing “Agenda 2012: Wisconsin 2020” series. Read his article here, or check the front of our website,, to watch his interview!


BizStarts Collegiate Business Plan Competition sponsored by Mason Wells set for April 26

Mason Wells

Our College Consortium team has announced that the 2012 BizStarts Milwaukee Collegiate Business Plan Competition sponsored by Mason Wells is set for April 26 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)’s Todd Wehr Center.
A collaboration of post-secondary institutions in the Milwaukee 7 Region, the Collegiate Business Plan Competition is a ‘contest of winners’, featuring entrants selected by their institutions as their best plans for each academic year. There will be $15,000 in prizes awarded to the top five finalists, and one plan will automatically receive a place in the Governor’s Business Plan Competition later in the year!
Get details on the process, due dates and more HERE!


Joe Tate honored with BizStarts’ “George Dalton Inspirational Entrepreneur” Award 

Over 130 entrepreneurs, service providers, investors and supporters enjoy BizStarts Milwaukee’s final Inspirational Entrepreneur event of 2011, which was held December 1 at We Energies. Days earlier, it was announced that we renamed the Inspirational Entrepreneur Award after original Board member – and certainly an inspirational entrepreneur – George Dalton. Mr. Dalton passed away in November at age 83 and will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him, respected his business leadership and his generous contributions to our community.

BizStarts President Dan Steininger (left) and Executive Director Eric Paulsen (right) present Joe Tate with the George Dalton Inspirational Entrepreneur Award.

Joe Tate was our “Inspirational Entrepreneur,” taking waste service opportunities to a whole new level. His founding of Superior Services, Inc. resulted in the creation of 3,000 jobs and eventually an IPO. Read more and watch video here!


Next Inspirational Entrepreneur Event: Giacomo “Jack” Fallucca, Owner, President & CEO of Palermo Villa, Inc.

The first Inspirational Entrepreneur event of 2012 will be a tasty one, with none other than Giacomo Fallucca discussing his experiences growing Palmero Villa, Inc. 40-fold and developing award-winning lines of frozen pizzas to create a truly new type of company.
GiacomoFalluccaWhen Mr. Fallucca joined Palermo Villa, Inc. in 1985, revenues were $5 million. With his innovative and creative leadership, by 2011 corporate revenues exceeded $200 million and the firm employed more than 430 people. Founded by his immigrant parents as an Italian bakery in Milwaukee’s Third Ward 50 years ago, it now is a leader in the frozen pizza industry.
The Palermo’s family of products is one of the industry’s top five brands, led by the award winning Palermo’s Primo Thinô line and is a leading private label manufacturer, serving many national retail chains. He also serves as a past president of the National Frozen Pizza Institute, is a member of The Executive Committee (TEC) and is a board member of US Bank Milwaukee, Winsert Inc., Land O’ Frost Inc., and Fein Brothers. He Co-Chairs the Milwaukee 7 Food & Beverage Advisory Council and Milwaukee’s summer youth employment program Earn and Learn.
Come get inspired, network with other entrepreneurs, service providers and investors and enjoy the hospitality of WE Energies in their beautiful Auditorium.


BizStarts is hiring!
After three years working for BizStarts and helping entrepreneurs, Venture Track Director Chelsea Krause has taken an opportunity herself to move into the world of entrepreneurship. She will be a partner in a management consulting start-up, working with larger companies on customer-oriented strategy.
Additionally, Giuseppe Pappalardo is returning to his hometown of Cleveland. While he is disappointed to have to leave the BizStarts Milwaukee team, he is excited for his new opportunity, which includes bring closer to family and watching the Browns lose each Sunday on local TV.
We want to thank them for all of their work with BizStarts and wish them both all the best as they move into their new endeavors!
As a result, we have two openings. BizStarts Milwaukee is seeking a new Venture Track Program Director and a new Administrative Coordinator. Interested? Find descriptions here, and contact us!

Madison paper uses Spaulding Clinical to illustrate importance of early stage investment

This January 18th piece from Madison’s Capital Times discusses the statewide push for a state-backed venture capital fund. Author Mike Ivey uses Spaulding Clinical Research, an early BizStarts-assisted company, to illustrate how crucial early-stage investment is for entrepreneurs and their start-ups. Check it out!


Story Behind the Startup:

MedTrak, Stephen Hushek, Ph.D.

For BizStarts, the people we serve and support say it best: our mission, our purpose is embodied in the words of our inventor, physicist and entrepreneur, Stephen Hushek, Ph.D.

“The BizStarts staff is amazing. They have given me so much confidence to help me take my idea to a broad audience. As an entrepreneur, to have a pro bono group that is looking out for my interests, who only wants me to do well, that’s a very rare thing. BizStarts gives independent entrepreneurs like myself the resources normally found on the campuses of major research universities. My career has been in intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging: my goal continues to be providing surgeons with the technology to better serve their patients, to save more lives and solve highly complex medical challenges.”

MedTrak began a year ago with an idea to solve a frequent medical and neurosurgical problem. Without imaging available during surgical procedures, surgeons cannot always determine if all malignant tissue has been removed and some studies have shown residual tumor in 30-50% of the cases. Intraoperative imaging can also detect debilitating intracranial bleeding.


MedTrack - Artwork2


With Dr. Hushek’s MedTrak equipment, unconscious brain surgery patients are carefully moved from the operating suite into a magnetic resonance imaging scanner, which will provide neurosurgeons with crucial information. His lifesaving and creative technology will allow surgeons to detect complications also, allowing immediate further treatment and intervention. Outcomes will promote patients’ complete recovery while improving the safety and quality of these procedures.
Dr. Hushek is from Milwaukee, and served as the Vice President of Technology for IMRIS, a Canadian firm, from 2005-2010 and was employed by GE in Waukesha from 1994-1999 for a project, which developed magnetic resonance imaging equipment specific to surgery and interventional procedures.

“Because I’m a techno geek, I don’t really have an extensive background on the business side of things. Whenever I have an idea or have to give a presentation BizStarts provides an excellent sounding board in a very supportive environment. First, I went through my business plan with Chelsea Krause, the Venture Track Director, which gave me the confidence for my Ugly Baby presentation. In their group meetings, I benefited from interacting with entrepreneurs that had already been successful. It also provided me with connections and introductions so I could form a network of people to support my initiative. It’s so rare that you have direct contact with an angel investor. BizStarts’ network has many people willing to listen to my specific needs, unusual challenges and provide such generous support.”

“I am now recruiting investors so I can raise the funds to design and produce the prototype and submit it for FDA clearance. I cannot officially market this device to customers until it is cleared by the FDA but I am talking to a lot of hospitals and have gotten a lot of interest.”

To find out more about Steve and MedTrak, contact us!

Mark Your Calendars

Governors Business Plan Competition 2012 - Banner
January 31, Deadline to submit for the Governor’s Business Plan Contest. Details
February 7, 4:00-6:00pm: BizStarts Inspirational Entrepreneur event featuring Giacomo Fallucca of Palermo Villa, Inc., We Energies Auditorium. Register
April 26, 4:00-6:30pm: BizStarts Collegiate Business Plan Competition, sponsored by Mason Wells, Todd Wehr Center on the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) campus. Details

Thanks to our I.P.O. Level Sponsors!

Our top level sponsors are called “I.P.O. Sponsors” and we appreciate their support of $10,000 or more.



Mason Wells





baker tilly



We’ll salute our Venture, Angel and Supporting sponsors in the next Catalyst!
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