Wisconsin Inno, a digital media and events company covering local startups, technology and innovation, delivered a program with opportunities to mix and mingle with other innovators, trailblazers and some of the most vibrant startups in Wisconsin, as well as a fireside chat featuring Michael Thorson, co-manager of Wisconsin Investment Partners, and a panel discussion from four companies on the 2019 Startups to Watch list.
Thorson’s message to attendees during the fireside chat was how Wisconsin is a vital place to start and grow a business. He stressed the importance of a secure economy: “The best economic environment for startups is a stable economic environment, and Wisconsin has it.” He also mentioned Wisconsin’s thriving venture capital ecosystem: “This past year, more money has been invested in Wisconsin’s startups than previous years.” A strong economy means investors and businesses are looking for expansion opportunities and innovative models to capitalize on growth potential.
The 2019 Startups to Watch list panel discussed how Wisconsin’s entrepreneurship ecosystem continues to thrive and grow due to access to funding and capital, low costs of living and starting a business, and a strong startup ecosystem and community.
The panel included:
- Jared Judge, CEO of Dream City Music, a collective of musicians dedicated to enhancing events with live music;
- Abigail Barnes, CEO of Allergy Amulet, a fast and portable food allergen and ingredient detection device;
- Larry Hitchcock, CEO of Socialeads, an AI platform that helps financial services companies and their advisors to automatically know the size, depth and value of their professional and personal social networks; and
- Brock Hensen, chief operating officer of EnsoData, a softwareasaservice (SaaS) company that enables the discovery, identification and actionable reporting of critical-to-understand patterns and trends in health data.
Judge spoke about how Milwaukee’s ecosystem in particular is growing and how community support is an invaluable resource. Hitchcock echoed those sentiments, saying Wisconsin has all the right ingredients, which is contributing to the startup community’s growing momentum.