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Innovative Avenues for Funding” workshop presented by OfficeMax


“Innovative Avenues for Funding” workshop presented by OfficeMax, BizStarts July 24th


Are you aware of all the options you have for funding your business? Whether you’re starting or scaling up, funding options go beyond banks and investment funds. In fact, there are many avenues for getting funding that will make you more attractive to banks and investors. In this free presentation, discover how options like receivables on your books, government grants for small businesses, crowdfunding, and more can all lead to the capital you need. Hear from Greenpoint Fund manager Christopher Nohl and other experts on all the ways you can uncover funding and financing you need to grow.

The workshop will take place at the OfficeMax Business Solutions Center inside the Grand Avenue, 301 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee. Registration and networking begins at 7:30am, program will run from 8:00-9:30am. There is NO COST for this workshop, a refreshments will be served.

To reserve your spot, please e-mail Kathryn Spranger at We look forward to seeing you there!


BizStarts seeking next Venture Track Director  

In August, our own Todd Sobotka will move to a new investment fund, which will help provide another source of potential funding for startups.This means the Venture Track Director position will be open! Are you someone with strong experience working with startups, entrepreneurs, service providers, and investors? Would you relish the opportunity to play a key role in educating and helping entrepreneurs launch their companies across southeastern Wisconsin?Check out the job posting at!


Karen Ellenbecker honored as BizStarts’ latest “Inspirational Entrepreneur”

On June 5th, BizStarts honored Karen Ellenbecker, founder of

 Ellenbecker Investment Group, with our George Dalton Inspirational Entrepreneur Award at the University Club of Milwaukee. In addition to hearing from Karen and her inspiring words, as part of Flying Car week attendees had a chance to interact with several innovative companies that BizStarts works with: NexVex, Cleverhouse Toys & Games, Becky’s Blissful Bakery, EasyG, MCT (Mikkelsen Converting Technologies), MedTrak, and Touch-A-Prize.

Inspirational Entrepreneur - Karen Ellenbecker - Becky's Blissful Bakery BeckysBlissfulBakery

Inspirational Entrepreneur - Karen Ellenbecker


To watch Karen’s presentation click here!


WIN-Milwaukee Lunch July 18  tackles international markets 

Pathwayswin_logo used by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp’s international team to better connect state companies to export and foreign investment will be examined at the Thursday, July 18 meeting of the WIN-Milwaukee chapter, held in cooperation with BizStarts.

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 12 p.m. and the presentation at 12:15 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.
Mark Rhoda-Reis, WEDC’s market development director for the Americas and Europe, will speak on the agency’s role in encouraging international trade and foreign direct investment. He will also discuss the upcoming trade missions to South America, China and the Midwest U.S. – Japan Conference.

To attend, register here!


Greater Milwaukee Foundation grants BizStarts $25K for new programmingGreater Milwaukee Foundation BizStarts has expanded its service level to a wider variety of entrepreneurs. To help us expand our programming and the logistical needs that go with it, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has provided a $25,000 grant to BizStarts. Thank you to the GMF for your support of BizStarts and our mission to help start companies and create jobs for the Milwaukee region!

***FastPitch deadline quickly approaching – July 31st!***

FastPitch deadline quickly approaching – July 31st!

FastPitch - Racine/Kenosha The Second Annual Racine/Kenosha FastPitch Competition is your chance to prove the potential of your business idea….meet people who can help you succeed…maybe even win a cash prize!  Competitors will have three minutes max to hit it out of the park before a panel of judges from the business and investment community.  Verbal Presentations only – no PowerPoint.


BizStarts’ latest Investor Forum at Northern Trust showcases two companies and market discussions 


Northern Trust Logo_largeBizStarts’ most recent Investor Forum took place on May 28th, when host Northern Trust gave entrepreneurs Adam Borut of Apps Do Good and John Meinecke of Edison DC Power Systems the opportunity to present to investors.


Inside the beautiful bank building located at Jackson Street and Wisconsin Avenue downtown, investors got to check out not only two promising start-ups, but also to hear and participate in an economic and market outlook discussion from James McDonald, Senior VP & Chief Investment Strategist from Northern Trust. 

 InvestorForum-EdisonDCSystems_AppsDoGood  EdisonDCSystems 


Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference goes “Back to Basics”, discusses mistakes and how to avoid them 



The 11th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference, titled “Back to Basics,” took place June 4-5 at the Marriott West in Middleton

BizStarts’ Executive Director Eric Paulsen moderated one of the tracks, titled “Killer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.” Since he only knows how to make the killer mistakes, three terrific panelists provided solutions, tips, tricks, and suggestions for the audience:

Kelly Fitzsimmons, founder of HarQen, Kip Pendleton of The


 Pendleton Group, and Tom VanDenBogart of Heartfelt Celebrations.About 100 people attended the session – and hopefully fewer mistakes have been made since.


Other good, topical reads on entrepreneurship


Here are a couple articles from Paul Jones, co-chair of Venture Bestat Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP

“Angel Investing Outside of the Major Venture Centers: Unique Challenges and Opportunities”

 “There’s No Such Thing as “Free” Funding for your Startup”

Also, read this article from John Torinus

“Two non-big shots: ban meetings, org charts”


Mark Your Calendars

July 18, 11:30am-1:30pm WIN-Milwaukee Lunch, topic is “tackling international markets”. Crowne Plaza, 10499 Innovation Drive, Wauwatosa. 


July 19, 3:00-5:00pm: BizStarts Basic Training Intake Session. Open to all entrepreneurs. For location and details, contact Todd Sobotka or fill out the “Begin BizStarts” button on

July 23, 8:00-10:00am: Department of Defense: Introduction to DoD SBIR/STTR Programs. Register here

July 24, 7:30-9:00am: OfficeMax & BizStarts present “Innovative Avenues for Funding” workshop. Located at OfficeMax Business Solutions Center, 275 W. Wisconsin Avenue. Parking available on the street and in the Grand Avenue parking structure. FREE.

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