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. 

Entrepreneurs 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.

Fall 2019 Schedule

Lunch & Learn – The Benefits of Solving Problems through Entrepreneurship  

Presenters: Lynn Baldwin, Lynea Lavoy, Jill Huizenga 

Tuesday, October 1 
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
South Campus - Room 201


Come and learn about the new Mindset for Success Course overview, which is designed to foster the attitudes and skills that can inspire and empower you throughout your career regardless of your chosen path. Do you want to develop and improve skills in creativity, ambition, critical thinking, innovation, opportunistic thinking and teamwork through experiential and problem-solving approaches?  Come and learn how to become an engaged workplace contributor and develop a workforce-ready mindset.


Boot Camp for Success 

Presenter: Sauk and Columbia Economic Development 

Friday, October 18 
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
UW Platteville - Baraboo/Sauk County Campus 


Learn how to effectively launch a new business!  

Featured Topics:  

  • Explore your ideal business Model Canvas 
  • Understand legal Entities 
  • Accounting best practices 
  • Financing your start up 
  • Branding and online presence 

Network with area entrepreneurs and get connected to business resources! 

Deadline to register is 10/11/19. $40.00 includes materials, lunch and snacks. 




Tackling the Scary Business Plan 

Presenter: Kay-Tee Olds 

Tuesday, October 22 
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. 
Truax Campus - Room D1630B 


Business planning is the most crucial stage for aspiring entrepreneurs. Not only is it a process to test the viability of your new idea and a guideline for your business operations, it is a required component of acquiring funding. Yet, developing the business plan is a big hurdle due to its extensiveness and technicality, so much so that many startup hopefuls often become exhausted and uninspired, and new ideas are delayed or killed during incubation. 




Lunch & Learn – Finance Your Business with Kiva  

Presenters: Nichole Crust and Andrea Hughes 

Tuesday, October 29 
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
Truax Campus - Room E1874 


Explore new and creative methods for funding your business. Find out how Kiva and WWBIC work together to provide funding for your business. Not familiar with KIVA?  Come and learn more about this fundraising/lending platform. 




Overcoming Obstacles in Business 

Presenter: Dione Laufenberg 

Wednesday, October 30 
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. 
Truax Campus - Room D1630B 


The 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. 




Business Basics for New Startups

Presenter: Tom Bader

Tuesday, November 5
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. 
South Campus - Room 118


Tom will be covering basic topics such as insurance planning considerations for small businesses, address topics like employee benefits plans to attract/retain key employees, ways for business owners to take advantage of programs that are available to them, and how to network with other business owners to drive referrals for their business.


Lunch & Learn – An Entrepreneur's Guide to Coworking 

Presenter: Claudia Seidenberg 

 Tuesday, November 12 

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
Truax Campus - Room E1874 


Join Claudia Seidenberg, Executive Director of 100state, Wisconsin's largest coworking community, for a breakdown of Madison's coworking ecosystem, a discussion on the benefits of coworking, and what type of space is right for you as an entrepreneur. Whether you have questions, are considering taking the coworking leap, or just want to learn something new, this session will be a great opportunity to get to know this exciting aspect of the entrepreneur community. 



To Hire or Not to Hire?

Presenters: Todd Starkey & Sharon Egan

Tuesday, December 3
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
South Campus – Room 118


Congratulations!  Your business is growing to the point where you may be considering a regular staff person or people to help.  How do you know when that is?  What is there to consider?  Your first hire is critical to your vision.  What about a Contractor?  Hiring Family or Friends?  Todd Starkey and Sharon Egan of The QTI Group’s HR Services Team will talk about things to ponder, walk through some scenarios and the pitfalls to avoid. 



Lunch & Learn – Presentation Tips

Presenter: Shana LaFore

Tuesday, December 10
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Truax Campus – Room 1874


Have a fabulous product or service, but it feels like people just don’t “get it”? Need to make a pitch or present an idea, but are unsure how to even begin? During this lunch and learn Shana LaFore will share tips on how to present yourself and your work in a compelling and impactful way to attract attention and compel viewers to take action. The session will cover both visual presentation techniques as well as how to talk about (and ultimately sell) your work.  





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.  

2019-20 Chef Series Dates coming soon

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! 







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.

2019-20 EIR's

Genia Stevens

Gina Stevens

Genia Stevens is the owner of Belwah Media, an integrated marketing communications agency and founder of Belwah Strategy, a strategic planning agency. Genia’s also a design thinking practitioner who helps organizations develop strategies that focus on success through collaborative problem-solving. Her agency Belwah Media has been awarded the LGBT Business of the Year Award and is also part of the Forbes Agency Council, an invite-only organization for successful and diverse executives in marketing, PR, media, and advertising. Genia’s areas of expertise are strategic planning, marketing strategy development, social media marketing, marketing analytics, business plan development, and community outreach and engagement.

Genia is a Forbes columnist and you’ll also find her writing on, Social Media Today, and Business 2 Community. Currently, Genia is serving as a board member of Collaboration for Good and the Foundation for Madison Public Schools. She volunteers 10 hours each month coaching and training nonprofits and social enterprises on marketing, volunteer recruitment and retention, and improving their fundraising strategies. She’s also currently volunteering as a coach for the Social Good Accelerator, a collaborative initiative with the purpose of building ways and means for individuals and organizations that intentionally operate to address inequalities and expand prosperity.

Genia received her Bachelor’s degree from Beloit College (Beloit, WI) and her MBA from Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, WI).



Scott Kohl

Scott Kohl

Scott Kohl is a serial entrepreneur, public speaker and product designer who has 20+ years’ experience advising fellow startups and consulting with F500 enterprises on innovation, engagement, business model creation, and organizational development. He believes in the power of failure, discomfort and small data as means to develop trust, empathy, relationships and innovative cultures.

Scott is a UW Alumni with MBA from UW Madison and bachelors in Economics. He’s certified in project management and has trained in lean startup from Intuit Alumni of the 100 startups in 100 days initiative. Recently his company, ThirdSpace, was a finalist for the most innovative company in Madison.

When he’s “not riding the white lightning” of startup life, he enjoys landscaping, outdoor hikes, building legos and playing Minecraft with his 5-year-old son.


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.



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