The Million Cups VenFair

The Million Cups VenFair will return in 2022.   See below details of the most recent live Venfair in 2019 – a Madison Startup Ecosystem in miniature!


Thanks to 1 Million Cups for organizing and hosting the 2019 VenFair – Each table in the Atrium is hosted over the lunch hour (actually an hour and a half) by a key supplier of value-add to Madison Startups.  It’s the Madison Startup Ecosystem in miniature.

Special thanks to Jar Media for the above photos from 2018 VenFair

See the below image of The Million Cups VenFair floor plan. Below that is listing of participants with their Table location.  Event Sponsors participating in the VenFair include, Baker Tilly, Findorff, Kollath CPAs, MakinHey!, Murphy Desmond, Propeller Health, University Research Park, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

The organizations that make up the core of the Madison Tech and startup scene are here today.  Several companies that provide expertise and support to Madison entrepreneurs have collectively sponsored the food that will sustain your energy as you roam the tables.  Collectively all these organizations bring continuity and add expertise to Madison’s high tech scene. Each table is identified with a sign showing the entity or sponsor.  Check them out, learn who does what,  Make new connections and strengthen connections you already have.  Your Challenge: find the resource you need whether it be partners, employees, customers, investors, consulting skills. Go meet them, learn what they do and how they might help you.ore.



The 2021 Summit is virtual on August 12

Registration is Free

Register separately for:

Keynote 5 Lakes Chat@BSS moderated by Kathleen Gallagher with John Byrnes, Mike Splinter and Stephen Turner

Virtual Pitch & rePlay

Note: The Summit is included with Forward Pass purchase but registration is still required.


Find it in 2021:

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
The Hector Deluca Forum
330 North Orchard Street
Madison, WI 53715

For 2020 it’s virtual


Follow us on Twitter for updates, announcements, and “LIVE” event tweets!


Learn more: Descriptions of VenFair Participants

Summit Event Sponsors

Table A    Kollath CPA is a full-service accounting firm with locations in Middleton and Sauk City that offer a wide range of tax, accounting, assurance and payroll services.  Kollath’s team of professionals are focused on the health and growth of your business and will give you the personal, custom attention you need to be proactive.  We will help you meet your goals.

Representing Kollath CPA:  Mike Brand and Jessica Primrose


Table A  Findorff is one of the Midwest’s leading builders. The Company, established in 1890, is a leader in advancing health and science through the built environment.

Representing Findorff:  Chad Escher and Bob Hougard

Table B  The University Research Park is a 255 acre research and technology park on Madison’s near West side housing more than 120 companies that employ more than 3,000.  The Park operates or supports several entities that participate directly in growing the Madison high tech scene including MERLIN Mentors, Madworks co-working, Madworks Seed Accelerator and Forward BioLabs which provides shared laboratory and office space including fully equipped, maintained, supported lab space, and a network to facilitate success.

Representing the University Research Park:  Aaron Olver and Grace Maass

Table B  Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP is a full-service accounting and advisory firm delivering refreshing candor with clear industry insight to connect your business goals with innovative solutions that drive your business forward. Baker Tilly’s industry-focused teams serve clients that are both privately held and publicly traded companies, and occupy all stages of development—from start-ups and family-run businesses to international corporations.

Representing Baker Tilly:  Dan Anderson

Table  C   Propeller Health  is a leading digital therapeutics company dedicated to the development and commercialization of measurably better medicines. Propeller creates products to more effectively treat chronic respiratory disease and improve clinical outcomes for patients through connectivity, analytics, and companion digital experiences. The Propeller platform is used by patients, physicians and healthcare organizations in the United States, Europe and Asia.  Now a wholly owned subsidiary of ResMed, Propeller originated through the insights and initiative of a UW-Madison researcher who still leads the company. Propeller has been a long time member of and contributor to Madison’s tech and startup scene.

Table C   Since 1931, the law firm of Murphy Desmond S.C. has been assisting small, medium and large businesses to grow and thrive in Wisconsin. Named the “#1 Preferred Law Firm” (2010-2013) in In Business magazine by Madison-area executives (and listed in the Top 3 for over 10 years), included on U.S. News & World Report’s“Best Law Firms” list, and rated AV (top rating) by Martindale-Hubbell and, Murphy Desmond has earned a reputation as a dependable business law firm. The lawyers at Murphy Desmond work with start-ups and emerging companies, and the firm is a committed partner in helping to build a strong network of support for entrepreneurs, investors and innovators who bring new ideas to the marketplace. Call us today at 608.257.7181 or email

Murphy Desmond S.C. : JP Croake and Matt Frank

Table D  Modest in size, but mammoth in creative talent, there’s not much Makin’ Hey! Communications can’t handle. From strategic planning and brand identity to web design and development. From print and packaging design to social media strategy and management, we’ll make your project or organization a splash of color in a sea of black and white and the spicy among the bland. Our crew believes that the status quo is boring, that it’s ok to color outside the lines, and that great ideas always start with a full glass. So, if you’re looking to make some noise amid the quiet, let Makin’ Hey! be your megaphone. (not present today; handling some pressing client deadlines)

Table D  The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) promotes, encourages and aids scientific investigation and research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research.  Founded in 1925, WARF is among the oldest and most successful technology transfer offices in the nation. As the designated patenting and licensing organization for UW–Madison, WARF advances transformative discoveries to the marketplace to benefit humankind across Wisconsin and the world.  Upstart is a free entrepreneurship program created by WARF for women and people of color.

Meet the VenFair Hosts

Table 1 –  Fine Point Consulting LLC   We are a boutique consulting firm specializing in accounting, CFO, and Human Resources services. We help entrepreneurs who are trying to scale fast get more done and stay lean.

Representing Fine Point Consulting: Will Huepenbecker and Amanda Klamrowski

Table 2 – Michael Best is a leading law firm, providing a full range of legal services to clients on a global, regional, and local basis. The firm has more than 340 legal professionals serving clients across the U.S. Venture Best®, the emerging company and venture capital team at Michael Best, works closely with high impact entrepreneurs and emerging businesses, as well as the angel and institutional venture capital investors that finance them. The Venture Best Team represents a substantial number of start-up and emerging companies in biotechnology, information technology and software, medical device, electronics, and other high-technology sectors. This emerging company practice allows Michael Best to introduce venture capital and private equity investors to early- and mid-stage investment opportunities. For more information, visit

Representing Michael Best: Nic Herdrich, Dan Gawronski and Melissa Turczyn

Table 3 –  R.W. Baird  Baird is a Milwaukee based, global Investment Services firm that has been in Madison for over 70 years.  Everything we are, do and hope to achieve at Baird is driven by a straightforward mission:  To provide the best financial advice and service to our clients and be the best place to work for our associates.

Representing R.W. Baird: Laura Murray and Jim Hodge

Table 4 –  SCORE   Madison Score offers free Business Counseling and low cost seminars such as our Going Into Business seminar. We have 45 members with experience in areas such as sales, marketing, business plans and accounting areas. We work with new and existing businesses and our mentors can help your business. We also have a special emphasis in working with non-profit businesses. The Going Into Business seminar helps new or newer businesses plan and prepare for this new venture. It is a 2 hour comprehensive look at all facets of opening a new business from business structure, to business plan, cash flow, marketing and more. The more time spent preparing for a New Business, the increased chances of success. Call today to register for seminars or to register for the free counseling for all businesses. Madison Score wants to work with your business.

Representing SCORE Bruce Kahn and Gerry Anderson

Table 5 –   Venture Investors LLC   Turning Innovation into Health.  Venture Investors is a premier provider of venture capital funding and company building expertise to early-stage healthcare companies. With a Midwest focus and national reach, we have a track record of working with passionate entrepreneurs to advance solutions to the market that address the world’s biggest health challenges. Venture Investors is focused on investment opportunities in healthcare, principally those emerging from ecosystems surrounding major research universities in the Midwest.  Formed in 1982, Venture Investors has offices strategically located next to the country’s second and sixth largest research institutions in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Madison, Wisconsin.

Representing Venture Investors:  Scott Button and Paul Weiss

Ogden Glazer + Schaefer

Table 6 –  Ogden Glazer + Schaefer is an entrepreneurial firm. We are entrepreneurs; our attorneys have started, run, and exited their own companies. We are deeply committed to and actively involved in the Madison and Wisconsin entrepreneurial communities. If you need help with formation, angel or venture investment, other financing, IP audits, IP protection, or just a consultation to get you set in the right direction, we can leverage our own background and expertise or make connections with others throughout the community. We can’t wait to help you succeed!

Representing Ogden Glazer + Schaefer: Erin Ogden and Collin Schaefer

 Idea Fund of Lacrosse  The Idea Fund of La Crosse was established in 2016 to invest in early-stage startup companies and currently has $13mm under management. The fund targets Wisconsin-based startups that are either pre-revenue or early-stage revenue, diversified across sectors. The fund seeks to partner with highly skilled founders, and provides support from initial investment through company exit. (not at a table today)

Table 7 – 5Nines Founded in 2001, 5NINES is locally owned and privately held internet and technology company, with a mission to provide knowledge, solutions and leadership to help our customers solve problems, save money, and leverage emerging technologies to their fullest potential.  We do all things tech at 5NINES from providing internet to being your IT department. Need a website? We can do that too.

Table 8 –  Husch Blackwell  Husch Blackwell leads our clients from where they are to where they want to be. From offices in 18 U.S. cities, we deliver legal insight and business leadership that helps our clients identify smart solutions, advance their goals and move forward.

Representing Husch Blackwell: Jackie Wilcox and Scott Brunner

Table 9 –  Rock River Capital Partners  Venture Capital for the New Midwest. Through capital, expertise & connections to a global network, Rock River Capital exists to forward the ideas & hard work of the Midwest into great companies.

Representing Rock River Capital Partners:  Andy Walker

Table 10 – State Bank of Cross Plains is known for our modern, progressive approach to supporting businesses and consumers by offering services more typical of larger financial institutions in an environment that values one-on-one personal relationships and community involvement. Thanks to our recent merger, State Bank of Cross Plains is a $1.3 billion institution, offering a full range of business and personal financial services including business, real estate, and consumer lending, as well as wealth management and financial advisory services. We now also provide crop insurance and ag lending Services. SBCP has 15 convenient locations in Dane, Rock, and Green Counties. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

Representing State Bank of Cross Plains:  Bridget Krueger and Marc McMerty

VenFair Startup Resources

Table 11 –  1 Million Cups  As a program of the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups works with entrepreneurs, empowering them with the tools and resources to break down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses. Mr. Kauffman believed it was a fundamental right for anyone who had a big idea to be able to bring it to life—and we’re here to fulfill that mission.

Representing 1 Million Cups:  Joey Frayne, Josh Heling and Trezy

Table 12 –   Starting Block StartingBlock Madison, Inc. creates meaningful intersections that cultivate entrepreneurs, build innovative and growing companies, and drive new ideas into reality. StartingBlock Madison’s 50,000 sq. ft. entrepreneurial hub provides promising entrepreneurs, startups, and existing companies with what they need most: community, connections to resources, and impactful programming combined with flexible, scalable community and office spaces.

Representing StartingBlock: Marc Yarmoff and Gabriel Merithew

Table 12 –   Doyenne   Doyenne works within entrepreneurial communities to create more inclusive opportunities for women entrepreneurs to thrive. We focus on developing entrepreneurs skills, mobilizing the community, transforming the narrative about entrepreneurship, and funding women-led ventures based in Wisconsin

Representing Doyenne Heather Wentler & Mikayla Mitchell

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Table 13 –  The Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic (L & E Clinic) provides free legal services for nascent entrepreneurs at the University and throughout the state. The Clinic is comprised of law students and lawyers to assist teams and companies with forming their business, understanding intellectual property, drafting contracts, and taking on funding. The Clinic works with a network of service providers to help clients find and work with additional resources where needed.

Madworks Seed Accelerator is a governance accelerator located in Madison, Wisconsin that helps new and early stage growth companies (and their founders!) learn to run their companies…like companies.  Madworks employs a three pronged approach focusing on board governance, strategic financials, and legal issue analysis to help founders get a strong foundation of knowledge that can help propel them to the next level.  Additionally, throughout each 10 week session,Madworks also assists the participating companies with two board meeting simulations, pitch practice, and has a host of mentors and outside professionals available to advise each company according to their specific needs.  Madworks is graciously funded by a grant from the WEDC and each company that completes the program is eligible to receive up to $5,000 in grant funding.

Representing L&E Clinic:  Jeff Glazer

Representing Madworks Seed Accelerator: Collin Schaefer


Table 13 –  MERLIN is a free team mentoring service focused on helping entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of a startup venture.  MERLIN mentors are peer-reviewed volunteers who have masterfully started and managed new ventures. These mentors use their skills, experience and enthusiasm to guide emerging entrepreneurs in early stage ventures to boost the potential of business success.

Representing MERLIN:  Susie Younkle and Mike Sanders

Table 14 –  Wisconsin Technology Council  The Wisconsin Technology Council is the science and technology advisor to the Governor and the Legislature. It is an independent, non-profit and non-partisan board with members from tech companies, venture capital firms, higher education, research institutions, government and law.

Representing Wisconsin Technology Council: Bram Daelemans and Angela Scholobohm


Table 14 –  100State  100State is Wisconsin’s largest co-working community. Through 100State’s dynamic community of entrepreneurs, problem solvers, and creatives, members innovate boldly and turn their passions into professions.

Representing 100State:  Claudia Seidenberg and Emily Volland


Table 15 –  gener8tor  is a nationally ranked accelerator that invests in high-growth startups. Three times a year we invest $100K in each of five startups who receive a concierge experience during our 12-week accelerator program. gener8tor supports the growth of these startups through our network of experienced mentors, technologists, corporate partners, angel investors and venture capitalists.

Representing gener8tor: Jenni Le and Lauren Usher

Table 15 –  Capital Entrepreneurs is a community group for Madison area entrepreneurs, and is the social fabric that ties much of the Madison entrepreneurial community together. Our members are dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship by bringing entrepreneurs together to create new connections and a community around the startups in Madison. CE focuses on social and networking events that include smaller scale monthly meetings, all the way up to large 400+ socials. CE has also initiated and organized a number of other entrepreneurial events throughout the ecosystem.

Representing CE: Nathan Eggenberger and Ben Hansen

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Table 16 –  Horizon is a community workspace offering individuals and early stage startup teams a downtown hub to work and connect.  Matrix is a collaborative business facility located on Madison’s near West side offering workspace for business, arts and wellness professionals.  Matrix and Horizon members enjoy reciprocal access to both locations.

Representing Horizon:  Preston Austin

Representing Matrix: Tiffanie Mark

Table 16 –  WiSolve  WiSolve provides high-quality data-driven business consulting services to our clients while offering a learn-by-doing professional training experience to our graduate student and postdoc consultants. WiSolve specializes in market analysis, technology assessment, competitive landscaping, SBIR/STTR grant preparation, and investor-facing materials.

Representing WiSolve:  Christopher Konop and Jonathan Lenz