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Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary Paul Jadin to speak at March 8 WIN lunch in Milwaukee


Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary Paul Jadin to speak at March 8 WIN lunch in Milwaukee

The Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) and BizStarts Milwaukee are pleased to invite you to the next local WIN Meeting, Thursday, March 8th. The featured speaker will be Paul Jadin, secretary and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Mr. Jadin will discuss economic development initiatives led by WEDC, a public-private authority that replaced the Department of Commerce in mid-2011.
The luncheon will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10499 Innovation Drive, Wauwatosa.  Registration and networking begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for students, $25 for WIN members, Governor’s Business Plan Contest participants and Milwaukee County Research Park tenants, $35 for non-members and included with WIN corporate memberships.

WIN-Milwaukee meetings are held in cooperation with BizStarts Milwaukee. WIN is the membership arm of the Tech Council, the independent, non-profit science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature. WIN also has chapters in Madison, northeast Wisconsin and central, western and northwest Wisconsin.



BizStarts hosts MIT Alumni Club of Wisconsin’s “Technology Achievement Awards” March 14th

BizStarts Milwaukee is pleased to host and sponsor the MIT Club of Wisconsin’s 10th Annual MIT Club of Wisconsin Technology Achievement Awards at the Zoofari Conference Center at the Milwaukee County Zoo, 9715 West Bluemound Road, Milwaukee.
The early evening event will take place Wednesday, March 14th from 5:00 to 7:30pm., with the awards presentation at 6:00pm.

Award winners will include Phoenix Nuclear Labs of Madison and Generac Power Systems of Waukesha. Keynote speaker (and Individual Award recipient) Hector DeLuca, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry at UW-Madison, will speak on “The Evolution of Startup Companies, Related to Universities.” Admission fee of $10 includes appetizers and your first beverage from the bar. We’d love to have you join us!


Giacomo Fallucca
Giacomo Fallucca of Palermo Villa, Inc. addresses the audience at BizStarts’ Inspirational Entrepreneur event on February 7, 2012.

Giacomo Fallucca of Palermo Villa receives BizStarts’ “George Dalton Inspirational Entrepreneur” Award 

Over 140 entrepreneurs, service providers, investors and supporters enjoyed BizStarts Milwaukee’s first Inspirational Entrepreneur event of 2012, held February 7 at We Energies’ beautiful Auditorium.
Giacomo Fallucca received BizStarts’ George Dalton Inspirational Entrepreneur Award after he shared his story from working in his father’s bakery as a child to how Palermo’s was able to launch a pizza company and rise to becoming one of the nation’s top providers of frozen pizzas to markets across the nation. Click here to read the full story

BizStarts Collegiate Business Plan Competition sponsored by Mason Wells set for April 26; get your plans in!

Mason Wells

Our College Consortium team is preparing for the 2012 BizStarts Milwaukee Collegiate Business Plan Competition sponsored by Mason Wells on April 26th, with final judging taking place from 1-3pm and the final Awards Ceremony and Networking Session taking place from 4:30-6:30pm. The event will be held 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 courtesy of Mason Wells, and one plan will automatically receive a place in the Governor’s Business Plan Competition later in the year! 


“Ugly Baby” panel views three start-ups preparing to blossom

Our increasingly-famous “Ugly Baby” Panels continue to serve as strategic opportunities for start-ups to polish their presentation and get feedback and advice from seasoned entrepreneurs, mentors and investors in a setting designed to help them “pretty up” everything in preparation for investment and launch.
On Tuesday, February 21st, BizStarts hosted an Ugly Baby panel in its Wauwatosa headquarters, giving attendees the opportunity to view three future up-and-comers: Golf Pipeline, NexVex and Silent
Let’s take a brief look at each company:


Company 1: Golf Pipeline

Mission: to become the premier tee time reservation portal for golfers and golf courses.

Founders: Brian Wroblewski, Graham Gibbs, Phil Terranova, Andy Meier

Golf PipelineÆ is a revolutionary online community providing golfers with reserve tee times, the option of adding friends to those tee times, and the creation of a golf profile which can be shared with friends and golf courses.  Golf courses can better connect to their golfers through the use of the unique Golf PipelineÆ social network and real-time information available online to golf course partners.  The market for this service is also international and is a $20 billion industry.

The objective is to deliver significant benefits to avid golfers, those that golf eight or more times per year, spend a minimum of $400 on tee times and golf course owners. The Golf Pipeline model is similar to the best of leading consumer online retail sites, such as Evite, Facebook, Travelocity, and OpenTable, providing the same capability for the golf industry.

Their site will provide tee times, score tracking, and social networking services to connect with other golfers, such as linking friends in tee times using the Golf Pipeline “Reservation Linking” system.


Will Bazeley of NexVex presents his company to the Ugly Baby Panel audience

Company 2: NexVex “Next Generation Vendor Exchange”

Founders: William Bazeley, David Kish, Christine Duecker

It seems the technical tidal wave has left roofing repair – and replacement – behind. But NexVex will fix that…

Their concept to use aerial measurements will not only reduce costs but also provide greater accuracy for the contractor and the consumer side of the business, eliminating inefficiencies in business to consumer and business-to-business sales.  Yearly, with 130 million homes needing roofing services and roof construction in the United States at $2.5 billion, the market is significant.


The NexVex approach will standardize bids, save significant time, streamline consumer and vendor efficiencies and, most important, provide a 300% return on investment for vendors in truck charges travel and other expenses.

SilentCriticCompany 3: Silent Critic

“It’s a music lovers’ dream!  It’s an industry transformation!  It’s fun!  It’s!”

This innovative internet service is designed to provide a broadly accessible environment connecting up-and-coming musicians with listeners.  Founders Ryan Burke and Joe Pliner have developed a playlist with a rating system and selection process that is driven by listener input and guarantees that every song uploaded will be played.  Songs with high ratings by users receive the most play time.

In their creative approach, every user would have the option to rate songs, which would be fed into an algorithm giving each song a summary rating.  Scalability would ensure freshly uploaded songs to have equal opportunities to compete with songs with thousands of views.  The selection process would be a rating system:  a song is selected at random and assigned a number from 1 to 100.  With a rating of 85, and receiving a random number between 1 and 85, the song is selected and played.  A song is not selected when its randomly assigned number does not fall within its rating value and the program moves on to the next random song and the process is repeated.  A song’s rating determines its success rate, creating an environment for users to play an active role in finding the next great – and famous – band.

Want to find out more about these companies? Contact us at 414-921-0909.


More investment activity for HarQen

HarQen Inc. is another example of how fresh investments in startups and young companies are continuing in our region!  HarQen Inc. has developed what founder and chief executive officer Kelly Fitzsimmons notes as a better online conferencing product, which has attracted nearly $1.8 million in investments including funds from high-profile start-up investor Tom Shannon.  HarQen, based in Milwaukee’s Brewer’s Hill area, plans to raise up to $4.1 million in its current round of fundraising in part for its new product, called Symposia. For more information, read the full Business Journal article here.


Other great uses of your reading time…

“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.”  — Frank Capra

“The manager administers; the leader innovates. The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective. The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why. The manager has his eye on the bottom line; the leader has his eye on the horizon. The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.” — Warren Bennis

The Six Attributes of Successful Entrepreneurs
Written by Jay Goltz of the New York Times, it’s a short list, starting with Ambition. Read it here!

“Startups are belief systems, organizations are networks.”

This piece from MÂrten Mickos, the CEO of MySQL AB (which sold to Sun Microsystems for $1 Billion in 2008), was printed in Forbes and explores entrepreneurship from a “belief” standpoint. Read it here!

8 Ways to Surf the Entrepreneur Information Wave

Check out this piece from Martin Zwilling, CEO & Founder of Startup Professionals, Inc. here


Mark Your Calendars

February 29, 5:30-8:00pm: BMA (Business Marketing Association) of Milwaukee Student Event “Lightning Round: Speed Interviewing & Resume Review 2012”. Details
March 1-May 30, 6:00-9:00pm: “Small Business Planning Series”, hosted by UW-Parkside and WWBIC, where you can learn how to build your business plan. Details
March 8, 11:30am-1:30pm: WIN/BizStarts Lunch featuring WEDC Secretary Paul Jadin. Register
March 14, 5:30-7:30pm: BizStarts hosts the MIT Alumni Club of Wisconsin 10th Annual Technology Achievement Awards at the Zoofari Conference Center. Details/Registration
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

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