Center for Entrepreneurship

The mission of the Madison College Center for Entrepreneurship is to strengthen communities through education, innovation and collaboration. We strive to plant the seeds of entrepreneurial thinking and to foster a culture of entrepreneurial action across all of Madison College. Our goals are to:

  • Assist in the creation of new businesses within our district.
  • Assist in the retention of businesses within our district.
  • Provide tools for startups to launch and for early stage businesses to improve planning and to achieve growth.
  • Focus on providing resources to underserved populations within our district such as women and minority entrepreneurs.

Our Center seeks to leverage the talents of our distinguished faculty and our world class campus infrastructure to add value to our regional entrepreneurship ecosystem while collaborating with existing organizations and promoting what others do best.  

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The Center for Entrepreneurship provides a variety of workshops and events designed to provide hands-on information and planning tools for both novice and experienced entrepreneurs. This ongoing series covers topics from the exploratory stage of learning what entrepreneurship is, through the fundamental elements of putting together a business plan. Madison College students are eligible to enter the Madison College Challenge business plan competition and compete for cash and in-kind prizes, including a $5,000 grand prize.  

Events are free to Madison College students and to the general public unless otherwise notedEntrepreneurs from communities surrounding Madison, Wisconsin are encouraged to attend. 

Attendees can park in any marked stall in the student parking lot. View our campus map.

Spring 2019 Schedule

Business Plan Basics Workshop with Andrea Hughes

Wednesday, January 23

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Truax Campus, E1874


Learn how to use your business plan as a platform to accelerate success.  Developing your business plan is a critical tool for communication with potential funders, and as a guide and tool to manage business growth.  This class will give you a brief synopsis on what goes into a business plan, what’s important and where to start.



Lunch & Learn - Madison College Challenge Info Session with Jill Huizenga

Tuesday, January 29

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Truax Campus, E1874


Come to this workshop to receive information for best practices.  We will review deadlines, talk about helpful tips and share best practices. If you want to participate in the Challenge, but have some questions or want to know more detail, this is a perfect workshop for you.



Hidden Talents, Are you Next? with Aaron Perry and Dannon Green

Friday, February 1

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Truax Campus, D1630


Dannon Green, an extremely versatile actor/comedian/scriptwriter will share his comedian talent and talk about his story and how he persisted through tough times with his strong minded and determined outlook. 

Aaron Perry, founder of Rebalanced Life and one of Time Magazine's 50 Most Influential People in Health Care, will talk about his passion for helping men have access to health care.  His message will talk about the importance of identifying a problem, taking action and providing access to those in need. 

Both men will challenge you to discover your hidden talent, to persist through problems, take action and make your community a better place. 

Come to this special event at Madison College on Friday, February 1 to hear this important message.


Lunch & Learn - Personal Branding, How To Stand Out In Your Field, Part 1 & 2 with Shana LaFore

Tuesday, February 5 and Thursday, February 7

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Truax Campus, E1874


During this Lunch and Learn, Shana LaFore will share strategies for branding your business to stand out and better engage with clients.  Topics and workshop activities include: 

  • Understanding what makes your business brand unique 
  • Learning how to communicate through your brand to attract more clients 
  • Using a step-by-step guide to start creating a branding package that you can use immediately 
  • Take home templates and worksheets to continue your branding journey

REGISTER-PART 1  Register-Part 2

The Modern Women Entrepreneur with Kay-Tee Olds

Thursday, February 7

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Truax Campus, E1874


This workshop explores the unique challenges women entrepreneurs face in today’s business landscape and discusses how we can create different playing fields to advance our goals. Successful female leaders recognize the resources within their entrepreneurship ecosystem and effectively leverage their support networks to fit their needs. These resources are not limited to business essentials such as legal, financial, marketing and technology; they also come from personal aspects of the entrepreneur’s life. Through this workshop, participants will learn to  

  • Identify essential resources for success 
  • Leverage the virtual business model to increase efficiency 
  • Build a team of entrepreneurs to maximize production and team accountability  
  • Maintain a sustainable work/life balance 
  • Cope with a fear of failure



Chef Series

The Madison College & Vollrath Chef Series focuses on the entrepreneurial journey that each chef has embarked on and the challenges they faced along the way. Events will also cover methods of food preparation, a cooking demonstration and a serving of appetizers prepared by the chefs.

Events will be hosted in our new Culinary Arts demonstration kitchen, located at the Truax campus in Madison, Wisconsin. The Chef Series is free to Madison College students and $35 for non-students. 

Watch this one minute video to learn what the chef series is all about. 

2018 - 2019 Chef Series 

Kyle Cherek

Don't miss these exciting talks and culinary presentations for the 2018-19 Madison College Chef Series, presented by The Vollrath Company and hosted by Kyle Cherek, host of Wisconsin Public Televisions Emmy award-winning Wisconsin Foodie! 




Pierre ZimmermanN

Thursday, January 24
6 - 8 p.m.


Pierre Zimmermann

Pierre Zimmermann owns La Fournette, a wholesale and retail bakery in Chicago, IL. He is a native of Alsace, France, a Master Baker, and won the Coupe du Monde de la  Boulangerie in 1996 as a member, and in 2008 as the coach of the French team.





Upcoming Events


Sean Sherman

Wednesday, February 13

6 - 8 p.m.



Rick Tramonto

Wednesday, March 6

6 - 8 p.m.



SaraH Grueneberg

Wednesday, April 10

6 - 8 p.m.



Gale GAnd

Wednesday, May 8

6 - 8 p.m.



Resident Entrepreneurs

Meet with the experienced and knowledgeable Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) and learn about our workshops and events that will prepare you for success as an entrepreneur in a rapidly evolving business world, or schedule a one-on-one consultation to talk about your business idea.


Deborah Biddle

Deborah Biddle

With a calm, level-headed approach, keen listening, insightful questioning, and a passion for individual and organizational belonging and thriving, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Certified Coach, Trainer and Professional Speaker Deborah Biddle has influenced individuals and teams to successfully rethink and redo the ways they engage with people and make decisions to improve their imprint and impact where they live and do business. To achieve real change, Deborah meets you where you are to customize and align her solutions-based approach with your organization’s strategy.

Email Deb to schedule an appointment.



Araceli Esparaza

An excellent communicator, comfortable in both English and Spanish, Araceli is the founder and owner of Wisconsin Mujer a social media boutique that specializes in strategic outreach targeting diverse populations. Her experience in sales comes from ten years of working in outreach and fundraising positions in local government, colleges, and large nonprofit agencies. Wisconsin Mujer has been featured in Wisconsin Life and has been a speaker at many conferences and workshops.

Email Araceli to schedule an appointment


Shana LaFore

Shana LaFore 

Shana has been a mentor, advocate and teacher in the art and design world for over two decades. She incorporates her real-world experiences in sales, entrepreneurship, art and design into her seminars and workshops for a rare mix of multi-faceted, innovative content. Her area of specialization is career development for professionals in creative fields such as art, architecture and design with specific emphasis on sales and client relations. 

Email Shana to schedule an appointment


Madison College Challenge

The Madison College Challenge is a three-phase business plan competition for registered Madison College students. Finalists who make it to the third and final phase have a chance to win up to $5,000 cash. This can be awarded to an aspiring entrepreneur (or team of entrepreneurs) designated for startup funding within the Madison College district.  

Madison College Libraries

  • Resources on Entrepreneurship

  • Creator Studio The Madison College Libraries Creator Studio is a place that encourages innovative thinking and creative exploration for group and individual learners. It is designed to build community and self-discovery by providing tools that offer hands-on experiences and learning.

WiSys Technology Foundation

Madison College has a formal technology transfer agreement with the WiSys Technology Foundation. If you are a Madison College student, faculty or staff with an idea or product in development WiSys may be able to help you protect your intellectual property and/or commercialize your product. WiSys works with innovators with discoveries from all disciplines and stages of development.

For more information on how to access WiSys resources contact

American Family Dream Bank

The American Family Dream bank offers valuable talks and events for entrepreneurs.  View their current offerings.