Category Archives: The Startup Economy

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 … Read the rest

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 … Read the rest

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 the rest

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 … Read the rest

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. … Read the rest

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 … Read the rest

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 anniversary celebration last … Read the rest

Ryan’s 12 million jobs — where from?

People in Wisconsin heard a familiar note in Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech for the vice presidential nomination. He talked up a goal of 12 million additional jobs for the first four years of a Romney-Ryan Administration. The vice presidential nominee … Read the rest

Wisconsin startup creates 450 jobs; 1500 seen

If you want to understand how jobs get created, just follow Sue Marks. She is a serial entrepreneur whose latest venture is Pinstripes, a 2005 startup that takes over recruiting of talent for large companies. An expert on staffing companies, … Read the rest

Mr. President: See entrepreneurs as heroes

= Let’s be generous and give President Obama a mulligan on his gaffe when he said of American entrepreneurs: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” That comment, though, shows two dimensions of … Read the rest