Category Archives: The Startup Economy

Big Connecture exit heats startup economy

In the wake of high voltage success from the recently announced IPO of Connecture in the Milwaukee region, sparks are flying in the adolescent startup economy in Wisconsin. The Connecture IPO would have received high-five headlines had it… Read more

Wisconsin needs to pay-it-forward like Silicon Valley

Greg Robinson, 4490 Ventures in Wisconsin

Greg Robinson, 4490 Ventures in Wisconsin Successful entrepreneurs in Wisconsin need to “pay it forward,” like they do in Silicon Valley. That was a big part of the message for Wisconsin leaders from Greg Robinson, a transplant to the… Read more

Entrepreneurs can reverse brain drain

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Can the brain drain of more than 10,000 college graduates per year from Wisconsin be reversed? Some big hitters from Southeastern Wisconsin think it is already happening. Gary Grunau, who was awarded the George Dalton Inspirational Entrepreneur… Read more

Buyouts of startup firms prove sticky

A recent string of buyouts and expansions of business spawned by Wisconsin entrepreneurs ought to put to rest one misguided complaint about a state strategy that goes all out for high growth startups. Critics of public investments in a startup… Read more

Another startup exit; another boost to economy

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Score another healthy exit for the Milwaukee 7 region, the sale of Discount Ramps LLC, a West Bend-based web marketplace for more than 11,000 products. If there were an M7 hall of fame for entrepreneurs (there should be one), Joel Lederhause, a… Read more

M7 region scores another sweet exit

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Don’t you wish you were an angel investor in the 7Summits deal? I missed it. Darn it. Its founders, led by CEO Paul Stillmank, and investors have pulled off an early exit, the dream of most entrepreneurs. The company was launched in 2009. It… Read more

Startup exits sweet; early exits even better

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Early stage investing is all about getting to exits, a sale of an entrepreneurial startup in one way or another. Southeastern Wisconsin had a big exit last week that was cause for applause but underappreciated. Bill Haack and his investment fund… Read more

Will Wisconsin step up on startup economy?

Thursday is D-Day for the long-debated venture capital bill in Wisconsin, and the decision by the Republicans who control the legislature will send a major signal on how they see entrepreneurship as a way forward for the state’s economy. The… Read more

State should venture only as limited partner

Super angel investor Tom Shannon meets with the CEO of Somna Therapeutics, a recent spinout from the Medical College of Wisconsin, every Monday morning to go over an activity report. He and CEO Nick Maris look at what got done the previous week,… Read more

Look to Utah for university chancellor prototype

Because the Wisconsin economy is recovering more slowly than most states from the Great Recession – 47th in job creation so far in 2012 — it is only natural that its economic developers look elsewhere for models for faster growth. Utah leaps… Read more