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

Freelancing in the Gig Economy with Matt Nelson

Tuesday, March 26

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Truax Campus, D1630B


In this first of three workshops, you'll learn how 54 million Americans representing 1/3 of the entire workforce are participating in the gig economy. We'll cover the basics of getting started around the following topics: 

  • Is freelancing right for me? 
  • Getting organized for independent work. 
  • Most in-demand skills for freelancers. 
  • Honing your products and/or services. 
  • Building your portfolio and branding yourself. 
  • Tools and resources for freelancers. 


Mastering your Mindset with Jodi Goldbeck

Wednesday, March 27

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Truax Campus, D1630B


Maintaining a positive outlook does not always come naturally.  The good news is that having an optimistic mindset is like a muscle- you must continuously train it in order for it to grow and be effective. Join Jodi Goldbeck, faculty member at Madison College who has been studying the topic of gratitude, optimism and well-being for over two years, as she describes techniques to master your mindset and live a more meaningful life. Discover how to live more fully in the present, develop resilience techniques to get you through the difficult days and set goals to maintain positivity.




Lunch & Learn: What can WWBIC do for you with Andrea Hughes

Tuesday, April 2

12:30-1:30 p.m.

South Campus, SM137


Learn about WWBIC’s services, including business education courses and business loans.  Interested in starting or expanding your business and don’t know where to start?  This session will introduce you to the range of support offered by WWBIC for small businesses like yours, including high quality business and financial education classes and access to fair capital to grow your business. 




How to be resourceful and innovative to grow your business with Dione Laufenberg

Tuesday, April 2

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Truax Campus, D1630B


he business world is ever changing therefore your vision and strategy must also change if you want to see growth.  The business plan you start with is based on the current climate, trends and your hypothesis of what your target customer want or need. Once you have established your business and opened your shop, you need to be constantly gathering data, feedback and adjusting your concept per your actual sales.   With over ten years in the wellness/beauty industry Dione has had to find ways to stay on top of the latest trends.  She grew her Boutique day spa business during the toughest financial climate.  With a new product based e-commerce business, she is once again finding innovative solutions to fulfill her customer’s needs. 




Lunch & Learn: SCORE and the Importance of Mentorship with Jorge Antezena and Antonio Molina Rivas

Monday, April 8

12:30-1:30 p.m.

South Campus, SM137


Learn more about SCORE, a local resource that can help you with your business start -up.  Learn more about what SCORE can help you with and learn about the importance of mentorship. 



Lunch & Learn: Life Hacks for Stress with Lisa Lanting

Tuesday, April 9

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

Truax Campus, E1874


This is an interactive presentation so please bring a phone or mobile device. 


Gain a new perspective on work/life balance and burnout. Using a fun, interactive, game format with anonymous polling via mobile device, this session offers fast, easy techniques to “hack” your body’s stress response in order to feel strong, calm, and resilient under pressure. We will explore cutting-edge research on chronic stress, which offers new insights on how to work with our autonomic nervous system to prevent burnout. At the end of this lunch and learn, all participants will receive a sample script with short practices that they can use in meetings, in presentations, before and after difficult conversations, with children, while stuck in traffic… anytime, anywhere. 


Lunch & Learn: Social Media and Your Startup with Steve Noll

Friday, April 12

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

Truax Campus, E1874


Social Media is a critical part of a Small Business Marketing plan. Learn how to integrate tools like Facebook into establishing and growing an online presence for your business. Getting new likes/fans, content creation, paid vs free advertising and using Social Media PR will be covered (and more) to help make sure your business can launch with customers on day one. 



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. 

Check out the Chef Series archive to see our past events.  

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! 




Sarah Grueneberg

Wednesday, April 10
6 - 8 p.m.


Sarah Grueneberg

The Chef/Partner of Chicago’s Monteverde Restaurant and Pastificio has held the highly-regarded Michelin star. She also won a James Beard Award for Best New Chef in the Great Lakes in 2017.





Upcoming Events



Gale GAnd

Wednesday, May 8

6 - 8 p.m.

Gale Gand



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.


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.


#Faces of Founders: A discussion of entrepreneurship, race, place and gender. 

American Bar Association

ABA guide to starting a new business. This resources explains the fundamentals of funding a small business, typical laws and regulations that impact small businesses and issues that are unique to home-based businesses.