2020 Program

The 2020 Badger Startup Summit returns as

the COVID-19 edition scaled down to two virtual events

The Live Summit format will return in 2021

The Badger Startup Summit is all about building networks.  For seven years we’ve brought the myriad participating and supporting entities that comprise Madison Startup Ecosystem into one room, at one time.  The live Summit will continue in 2021 as we reflect on and explore the Badger community of startup and tech innovators.  But this year the COVID crisis has forced a radical adjustment.  We are going virtual this year.  With the associated dissolution of geographic constraints, we are going beyond Madison to the larger Wisconsin and regional community.

This year the Summit bookends the startup continuum. We lead with a Keynote 5 Lakes Chat aimed at those already on the path to growth and we focus on the importance of building scale into every startup venture.  We conclude with our signature Pitch & rePlay format aimed at entrepreneurs who are at the earliest stages of testing out their ideas while sounding for feedback in a positive environment.  For this virtual two-part Summit if you don’t gain new insights or made new connections today, we aren’t delivering.

12:00 noon  5 Lakes Chat @ Badger Startup Summit

Strategies for Meteoric Growth:  Start Planning to Scale up on Day One (did you miss the Chat on the 13th? Click HERE)

We partner this year with the 5 Lakes  Institute for virtual Fireside Chat, a discussion on the importance of planning for scale with three scale-up experts  moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Kathleen Gallagher.  These three UW-Madison alums have spent their careers scaling companies. Join us for this conversation on what it takes to successfully scale a business.

John Byrnes: Chairman, 5 Lakes Institute, is a lawyer and private equity investor who earned a highly respected reputation in commercial banking, corporate finance, and venture capital during his 40-year professional career in the financial services industry. He is Founder, retired Chairman and Executive Managing Director of Mason Wells, a top-tier, Midwest-focused private equity firm.

Tom EricksonFounding Director of the UW-Madison School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences. Tom honed his scale-up skills as the Founding Board Director, Chairman and CEO of Acquia, a Boston-based provider of cloud platforms for digital experience management. Named the fastest growing US software company in 2012 by Deloitte, Tom managed the growth of Acquia to $175M in revenue and 800 employees. Acquia sold a majority stake to Vista Equity Partners in late 2019 for more than $1B. Tom is a Founding Pillar at Pillar Venture Capital in Boston and serves on Boards of several emerging tech companies in data science analytics and payment processing.

George Roberts: Venture Partner, Open View Venture Partners, Prior to joining Open View, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison. George also served as a member of the firm’s executive management team responsible for restructuring Oracle, increasing profit margins from 22% to over 40%, and positioning Oracle as the second most profitable company in the industry after Microsoft.

Kathleen Gallagher: Executive Director, 5 Lakes Institute. Kathleen is a writer and published book author with expertise in business and science communications.  During her more than twenty year tenure as a reporter at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel she won several awards covering business, technology and science; including journalism’s highest honor a Pulitzer Prize. Kathleen is a regular columnist at BizTimes.com and co-host of WUWM’s “How Did You Do That” a popular radio talk show featuring interviews with successful entrepreneurs.

Bring your Lunch, pull up a chair and enjoy this candid discussion on the challenges of moving beyond just having a successful venture to one that can scale to achieve the heights that most of us come to associate with companies based on the West or East coast.  5 Lakes Institute was formed to expand the opportunities for startups in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region. In keeping with that mission this Chat dives into what it takes to successfully scale a business.

1:00 pm Break

(close out of the 5 Lakes Chat Zoom and sign in to Pitch & rePlay.  NOTE: you must Register separately for each event)

1:30 pm The MERLIN Pitch and Re-Play

Welcome and Introduction Susie Younkle— MERLIN Mentors

Logistics and Expectations Dennis Barnum—MERLIN Mentors

Our signature pitch session returns in partnership with MERLIN Mentors as a virtual experience. We will use gener8tor’s Mentor Swarm model (big thanks to gener8tor’s Madison g-Beta team) to rotate entrepreneurs sequentially through virtual

rooms where they meet and pitch to attendees. Entrepreneurs start simultaneously, each in a different room of 5-10 attendees eager to hear your story.Entrepreneurs rotate to the next room every 15 minutes

2:45 pm Pitch Wrap-up  Dennis Barnum

3:00 pm  Adjourn

Next up:

The High Tech Happy Hour celebrates it’s 19th Anniversary.  and there is more…  Don’t miss the rest of the 2020 Forward Fest.

The 2020 Summit is Aug. 13

Registration is free but required

Click the Buttons below to sign up

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

Find it

Not at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery this year

Watch your email for the links to the virtual session  arriving shortly prior to Aug 13


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