Category Archives: The Startup Economy

Entrepreneurs can reverse brain drain


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


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


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


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

True North for investing public funds in ventures

As Wisconsin gets closer to considering an early stage investing bill, it is important to get the basic principles right. Here’s my take on how to proceed on solid ground: • The state should invest only in concert with private investment… Read more

Obama, Romney should make Getz the model

“If you don’t get out and try it, you won’t have the opportunity to be successful.” So said Jalem Getz about business ventures after receiving the George Dalton Inspirational Entrepreneur Award from BizStarts Milwaukee at its fourth… Read more