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.

Spring 2020 Schedule

Mindset for Success

Presenters: Lynn Baldwin, Lynea LaVoy & Jill Huizenga

Tuesday, March 3

12 – 1:15 p.m.  

DreamBank – American Family Insurance


Find ways to become inspired and empowered throughout your career no matter your chosen career path. Join Madison College business instructors Dr. Lynea LaVoy, Lynn Baldwin, and Jill Huizenga to explore the benefits of innovation, creativity, and critical thinking by solving problems through an entrepreneurial lens. Leave with practical ways that you can immediately implement towards your own mindset for success.



Lunch and Learn – Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs: How can you find your ideal client?

Presenter: Genia Stevens

Thursday, March 5

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  

South Campus – Room 205


You’ve developed your product or service, but you’re struggling with your sales strategy. Learn how a human-centered approach to problem solving can help you drive sales and increase revenue.

Design thinking is a creative, human-centered, and collaborative process for solving everyday challenges. And it can be especially beneficial for your for-profit, nonprofit or social enterprise. The design thinking process encourages us to think outside the box to develop new and innovative solutions to existing problems. This process allows us to develop a deeper understanding of organizations and the communities they serve.



Lunch and Learn - Unstuck

Presenter: Kay-Tee Olds

 Thursday, March 5

11:30 a.m. –1 p.m.   

Truax Campus – Room E1874


Ideas are a dime a dozen and execution separates the daydream from reality. For many professionals, there are so many stakeholders involved that pivoting the organization and implementing change become cumbersome and exhausting processes. Stakeholder management is often the hurdle that is preventing many organizations from reaching their potentials. This workshop dives deep into what it means to be an Intrapraneur and accesses the components of a successful change agent within your organization.

After attending the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the attributes of intraprenuership
  • Develop effective change agents in an organization
  • Manage multi-stakeholder communications


Lunch and Learn: Getting to the Bottom of Convenience Buzz

Presenter: Kay-Tee Olds

Monday, March 9

11:30 a.m. –1 p.m.  

Truax Campus – Room E1874


Convenience, convenience, convenience. This concept is being tossed around left to right as retailers of all kinds attempt to capitalize on this growing consumer demand. In recent years, we’ve seen major disruptions in the convenience retail market by large brands like Amazon Go, GrubhubandBlueApron, while others try to grab a piece of the pie through mobile app ordering, mobile payment, delivery services, drive-thru services, and ready-made meal packages. Technology has enabled a plethora of creative solutions to draw customer attention and to bring products to doors in the shortest path possible. However, C-store operators continue to struggle with implementing the right combination of programs to maximize their returns on investments. The key is to strategize around a deep understanding of the factors that drive changes in consumer behavior. This workshop provides an in-depth discussion of the changes in the consumers’ lifestyles and daily challenges, and their impacts on consumer needs. It explores the convenience vs value debate and recognizes technology as tools that serve as means to an end.

After attending the workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Analyze the impact of changing lifestyles and challenges
  • Recognize factors that drive the demand for convenience
  • Evaluate the main categories of convenience-retail solutions
  • Balance convenience vs value to reach different buckets of customers


Lunch and Learn - Overcoming Obstacles in Business

Presenter: Dione Laufenberg

Wednesday, March 11

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  

South Campus – Room 205


Have you ever heard of a business that was built successfully without facing some type of adversity?  Me either.

We all encounter a wave of resistance, a setback or something that must be overcome to find victory. The ability to adapt, pivot and revise the plan is one of the essential skills needed to succeed.

How to be resourceful and innovative to grow your business!

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.


Lunch and Learn - Design Thinking for Nonprofit: Effective Collaboration with Other Nonprofits

Presenter: Genia Stevens

Thursday, March 12

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  

South Campus – Room 205


Design thinking is a creative, human-centered, and collaborative problem-solving process. In this workshop, participants will use this process to explore how nonprofits might be able to effectively collaborate so they can address many of their common everyday challenges.


Lunch and Learn - Design Thinking for Nonprofit: Creative Funding Strategies for Your Nonprofit

Presenter: Genia Stevens

Thursday, March 26

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  

South Campus – Room 205


Attend this design thinking workshop and generate new fundraising ideas for your nonprofit. Participants will ideate and prototype new and innovative funding and fundraising solutions for their nonprofit. 


Lunch and Learn - Design Thinking for Nonprofit: Solving Your Nonprofit Volunteer Recruitment Challenges

Presenter: Genia Stevens

Thursday, April 2

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  

South Campus – Room 205


Attend this design thinking workshop and generate new volunteer recruitment and retention strategies for your nonprofit. Participants will ideate new and innovative volunteer recruitment strategies using techniques like brainstorming and mindmapping to push participants to tap into their creativity to build on each other’s ideas.


Lunch and Learn - Lunch & Learn: Personal & Business Finances 

Presenter: Amy Crowe & Kate Huebner from Summit Credit Union 

 Tuesday, April 7 
11:30 – 12:30 p.m.  

Truax Campus – Room E1874 

Effective money management is critical to your entrepreneurial success. This session will guide you in organizing your money, separating your personal and business finances, opening business accounts, and setting yourself up to get the support and financing you need to grow.  You’ll learn strategies to manage an irregular income and resources that can help you achieve personal and business success. 


Lunch and Learn - Getting to Yes, Planning & Funding Your Business 

Presenter: Robin Finco & Dana Hoffmann from Summit Credit Union 

 Thursday, April 9 
11:30 – 12:30 p.m.   

Truax Campus – Room E1874 

Learn the nuts & bolts of a winning business plan, plus what financial institutions look for in a business and business plan during the loan application process.   


Lunch & Learn - Storytelling for Sales and Service 

Presenter: Teri Creighton 

 Tuesday, April 14 
11:30 – 12:30 p.m.  
West Campus – Room 116 
 In this workshop, learn how using storytelling principles can help sales and service professionals to make the personal connection to their audience.  The science behind storytelling is riveting and proves stories have a profound effect on our brains and behavior.  You will learn techniques and strategies for story telling that appeal to both logic and emotion.  Learn tips for authentically telling your story to help increase your effectiveness and success. 

Workshop - My Money, My Business Money…Tips for Success 

Presenters: Julie Spitzack & Jim Holden + Madison College / Community Entrepreneurs: Facilitator Amy Crowe 

 Wednesday, April 15 
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.   

Truax Campus – Room C2406 

 Managing money between home and work can be hard and often uncertain.  Join us for a panel of credit union and entrepreneurial experts to discuss the connection between personal and business money.  Learn what it takes personally to self-fund your business, and how you can work to get the money you need from outside sources to grow and thrive.  We’ll cover tips for success including managing your money, knowing who to ask for help, common questions to ask, and resources available.   


Lunch & Learn – Self-Leadership for Success 

Presenter: Teri Creighton 

Thursday, April 16 
11:30 – 12:30 p.m.  
Portage Campus – Room 102 
Self-Leadership is the practice and process of intentionally influencing your thinking and actions towards achieving your objectives.  Before you can effectively lead others, you need to lead yourself.  In this workshop you will learn key self-awareness, self-efficacy and techniques and strategies for influence and impact.  Learn three key tips to create clarity and focus to achieve your success. 

Lunch and Learn - Design Thinking for Nonprofit: How Can You Improve Your Board Recruitment and Retention?

Presenter: Genia Stevens

Thursday, April 16
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  

South Campus – Room 205


Learn how a human-centered approach to board recruitment and retention can help you improve how you recruit your next board member. In this design thinking workshop, participants will learn how immersive empathy can help boards recruit and retain engaged, diverse, and committed board members. 


Boss Up: The Courage and Confidence to Start (or start over)

Presenter: Lauren Gmeinder

Tuesday, April 21

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.  

Truax Campus – Room C2406


Join Laura Gmeinder, entrepreneur, business coach and motivational speaker Laura Gmeinder for this high energy two part series. Learn how experiencing a soul crushing quarter life crisis was the wake up call she needed to reinvented herself as an award winning entrepreneur, championing and empowering women in business around the world.  She'll share insider tips and the life hacks she used to move past fear and grow her confidence to reinvent herself, while along the way attracting ideal clients and opportunities on a global scale-  and how you can step up and show up in your business (or career) too. Highlights include:

"Boss Up: The Courage and Confidence to Start (or Start Over)

  • What's getting in the way is the way
  • When you find yourself drowning in your comfort zone
  • Fear factor: our emotions as messengers
  • Tips for discovering meaning and motivation wherever you are in your journey
  • Fake it until your make it: building your confidence
  • How I discovered my competitive advantage- and how you can too.


The Tides are Turning: Empowered Women Rising Together

Presenter: Lauren Gmeinder

Thursday, April 28

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.  

Truax Campus – Room C2406


Join Laura Gmeinder, entrepreneur, business coach and motivational speaker Laura Gmeinder for this high energy two part series. Learn how experiencing a soul crushing quarter life crisis was the wake up call she needed to reinvented herself as an award winning entrepreneur, championing and empowering women in business around the world.  She'll share insider tips and the life hacks she used to move past fear and grow her confidence to reinvent herself, while along the way attracting ideal clients and opportunities on a global scale-  and how you can step up and show up in your business (or career) too. Highlights include:

"The Tides are Turning: Empowered Women Rising Together"

  • Unlearning your good girl ways
  • The role of your intuition in the inner leader journey
  • Establishing yourself as a thought leader: attracting ideal clients and opportunities your way
  • 3 ways to move past Imposter Syndrome
  • A changing economy and the competitive advantage for women in business. 
  • Feeding the feminine: empowered women empowering women
  • What's possible? A call to action.


Chef Series

The Chef Series information has moved to it's own page. Please see for upcoming events and registration.

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.

Office hours: Walk-ins available, however appointments are encouraged. Please email us at or contact on of the EIR's directly to set up an appointment

2019-20 EIR's

Genia 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).

Please contact Genia at or Click here to schedule an appointment with Genia.

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.

Please contact Scott at


Brian Lee 

Brian Lee

Brian Lee, APR, is the president of Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media, an integrated communications agency he founded in January 2011.

In addition to serving as an entrepreneur-in-resident at Madison College, Brian is a part-time lecturer on social media in the School of Continuing Education. He also is an instructor in the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation’s UpStart program for female and minority entrepreneurs.

Brian earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2011 and a certificate in reputation management in 2017. In 2015, he was selected for the State of Wisconsin’s Business Intelligence Team (a part of the National Center for Economic Gardening) as a digital marketing specialist who works with second-stage companies throughout the state.

A serial entrepreneur, Brian is the editor-in-chief of Madison Startups, an online publication that covers startup news in town. He also runs, a restaurant and bar guide that is searchable by amenities, as well as Revelation Events, a corporate events planning business.

Brian graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in journalism and major in strategic communications.

Office hours for Brian are: 9-11 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Traux and 9-11 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at West campus. Please contact Brian directly to schedule one-on-one meetings outside of these hours.

Please contact Brian at

Jeff Nobel 

Jeff Noble

Jeffrey Noble is a full-time faculty member in the Small Business Entrepreneurship program at Madison College, with expertise in small business marketing, day-to-day business operations, and customer service. Prior to teaching, his primary career was in insurance and financial services. Jeff was a district sales manager before starting his own small business (insurance/financial services agency) in 1994 and has been fully licensed as an insurance and real estate broker, and was previously registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to market investment products. In 2008, Jeff became a co-author for a Business Math textbook published by Pearson Education.As a life-long resident of Columbia County, Jeff has been very active in the community as a member of groups such as Optimist International, and is currently a committee member for the Innovation Champions Group serving Sauk/Columbia/Marquette Counties, and is a member of the Poynette School Board. When not working with students, he thoroughly enjoys being outdoors, and does some hobby farming on his rural property near Poynette. 

Jeff received his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Graceland College (Lamoni, IA) and his MBA in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

Office hours for Jeff are: Every Tuesday at the Portage campus from 10-12 p.m. and Reedsburg campus from 1-3 p.m.  

Please contact Jeffrey at


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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