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:Entrepreneurship Center Madison College

  • 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. 

All events are 6-8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Attendees can park in any marked stall in the student parking lot. View our campus map.

2018 Spring Schedule

Lunch & Learn: Creative Ways to Fund Your Business with Alex Lindenmeyer

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Room E1874

Thinking outside the box when raising capital.

Pizza for lunch!


Resources for Women Entrepreneurs with Kay-Tee Olds, The Mobile Contessa

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The number of female-led startups almost doubled since 2009. When women are supported by resources and a startup ecosystem, their businesses can thrive. This workshop provides insight and tools to help women locate effective resources so they are empowered to grow as founders and entrepreneurs. After attending the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify necessary skills that make up an effective advisory board
  • Leverage a diverse network to secure funding
  • Efficiently outsource to increase production
  • Locate free or inexpensive resources for additional support


Financials for Start-Ups with Dan O'Brien

5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, 2018

This workshop provides an introduction to the key financial reports used in all businesses. Topics covered will include balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. Following this session, participants will have an understanding of common performance metrics related to the practice of entrepreneurial finance.


Lunch & Learn: Importance of Networking with Alex Lindenmeyer

11:30-12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Room E1874

Learn how to engage with Madison's start-up community. Get the opportunity to meet and hear from some of Madison College partners in the entrepreneurial business community. Partners include 100State and WWBIC.

Pizza for lunch! Registration below.

Additionally from 1-3 p.m. The Center for Entrepreneurship will be hosting an Open House. Students, faculty/staff, and community partners are invited to come see the space and engage in the Madison College Entrepreneurship community on campus. Light appetizers and refreshments will be provided.


Dreaming of Starting Your Business with Jill Huizenga

9-11 a.m. Saturday, April 14, 2018

Do you have ideas and aspirations, but aren't sure where to go or how to proceed? This informational and engaging workshop may spark your passion into a reality. Topics include the state of entrepreneurship (business ownership), the entrepreneurial mindset, characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, idea generation, and resources for your entrepreneurial journey.

This event will be available via telepresence in Portage room 123, Reedsburg room 130, Fort Atkinson room 109 and Watertown room 161. The presenter will be at Portage location.

Register for Portage     Register for Reedsburg     Register for Fort Atkinson     Registration for Watertown

Chef Series

Chefs Phillip Hurley John GadauThe Madison College 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 $25 for non-students. 

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

Spring 2018 Chef series 

Gilbert Altschul

Chef's Series presenter Gilbert Altschul

Thursday, March 29, 2018

I'm not a businessman, I’m a business, man

An exploration of Chef Gilbert Altschul and his restaurants which includes Grandpa’s Pizzeria, Gibs Bar, Porter Coffee house and Bandit Taqueria.

Chef Altschul was born and raised in Madison, WI. After high school he obtained a B.A. in business from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater followed by a degree from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute.

He spent time cooking in San Diego and Chicago before moving back to Madison to open Grampa’s Pizzeria and the neighboring Gib’s Bar.

Chef Altschul is currently working on a project to revitalize the train station on West Washington Avenue. Gilbert’s family has a long restaurant history in Madison and most of the menu he created at Mickey’s Tavern ten years ago remains unchanged.


Jed Spink | Executive chef of RED SUSHI Chef Series presenter Jed Spink

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Graduate of the school of hard knocks

Chef Jed Spink was born and raised in Madison. Inspired by Julia Child and Graham Kerr at an influential time in his youth, Jed would often be found trying to stay at home in the kitchen cooking these meals for his sister and himself. As his career began, his style was influenced by chefs, modern and timeless, through reading and travel.

Experience and time led Chef Jed into various positions such as a dishwasher at age 14 to become the executive chef at Crave at age 22. Being executive chef pushed his drive to always work harder and be better, heading the charge for Eno Vino’s title as Best Restaurant in Madison (2010).

Currently, Jed is the executive chef of Red Dine and Lounge which won gold medal best Japanese/Sushi and silver medal best Chef 2018 via Madison Magazine. It is in this position, as a chef and manager, which has influenced his career the most. Jed runs his kitchen with an approachable style and strives for staff education. Jed has expanded on his own cooking style by creating Asian-influenced and seasonal dishes. The friendly competition and collaborations that come with working at a high-energy restaurant in the downtown scene have continued to push him further as well.



Sustainable Agriculture

Madison College has entered into a lease agreement with Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River, Wisconsin. The farm will serve as an educational resource and as the college's first entrepreneurial incubator.  See below for workshops, classes, and related events. 

Indoor and outdoor workshops will be located at Fountain Prairie Farm owned by John & Dorothy Priske, W1901 State Road 16, Fall River, WI 53932.

 Image of Fountain Prairie Farm


Humus-Structured Compost Series

Grounded LLC logo

Presented by: Angela Curtes, Owner, GROUNDED LLC 

This educational series staged indoors and out at the Fountain Prairie Farm between March and August, will offer learning and hands-on sustainability practices. We will explore and build a deeper understanding of the current state of agriculture by looking at history, philosophy, and science in order to introduce and implement the Controlled Heat Compost Method as a means to attain vital soil regeneration for the future of our farms, land and water, as well as our overall well being.

Individuals may register for all four parts and sub-sessions for $325 total. See instructions at the bottom to register.

Part I - Indoor Workshop:
Historic Overview & Impacts of Agriculture and Guiding Principles and Methodology for Establishing a Controlled Heat Windrow Compost System with Angela Curtes - $45

6 - 9 p.m. Thursday, April 19, 2018  

This workshop provides a historical overview of the modern agricultural movement and its growing impacts on Earth’s basic life support systems, including soil, air, water, and food, in addition to human health. It will provide background to the paralleling sustainable agriculture movement beginning in Europe in the 1920’s and continuing with vigor to this day. We will explore how the matrix of living soil lies at the foundation of a viable and healthy farm operation, which is only possible through building sustainable soil microbial populations. Explore how humus-structured compost, through implementing the controlled heat fermentation compost method, can provide resilient and dynamic fertility that rebuilds and regenerates depleted soils, while also addressing growing environmental concerns. Learn the basic guiding principles and methodology of this composting method in order to design, implement and manage a small to large-scale farm windrow compost system.

Part II - Outdoor Workshop:
A-Z Instruction for Implementing a Controlled Heat Windrow Compost System with Angela Curtes - $105

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 17, 2018 

This full-day, hands-on workshop brings us on-site the Priske- Scottish Highlander Cattle Farm in Fall River, where we will experience all the steps involved in designing and implementing a large-scale windrow compost system. Topics will span from site observation and selection, organic resources, and tools and machinery, to how to best design and implement a compost system for small to large farm operations. This course will further discuss how integrating biodynamic compost principles can aid in decomposition rates and quality, achieving a finished humus-structured compost in 3-4 months. You will also learn how biodynamic compost preparations are applied as an inoculant.  Join us for the day and future days on the Priske's Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River in Columbia County and enjoy a wholesome, locally sourced and prepared lunch!

Part III - Outdoor Workshop:
Monitoring, Maintaining and Turning a Compost Windrow with Angela Curtes (Includes 5 Sub-Session Workshops) - $135

This five-part outdoor workshop will develop and follow the life of a compost pile. The workshop will be held at Fountain Prairie Farm and meets every other week starting May 31 and ending July 26. In this workshop we will monitor the compost pile to assure our moisture and temperature are correct; prepare the pile for turning; learn troubleshooting techniques; and properly collect and monitor data throughout the composting process.

Sub-Session 1: Monitoring Methods with Angela Curtes - $30

4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31, 2018

With the preparation and implementation complete for establishing a windrow compost system, the next vital phase of monitoring and managing the windrow begins!  Attention to temperature, moisture, and aeration will be assessed and monitored to ensure a successful end product. This is especially critical in the first month when implementing a heat-controlled compost system as temperatures can reach up to 158 degrees!  Learn to properly observe, assess, monitor, remediate, and data track the life of a dynamic windrow compost system.

Sub-Session 2: Preparing to Turn with Angela Curtes - $35

5 - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, 2018

At the close of the first month, the compost windrow will be further assessed and monitored before undergoing its first turn cycle. This day will review and perform the monitoring and management steps learned in the previous session before learning turning techniques using a skid loader to properly mix, aerate, and turn the compost windrow.  Use of the biodynamic compost preparations will be reviewed and additionally applied to the turned windrow.

Sub-Session 3: Troubleshooting with Angela Curtes - $25

6 - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28, 2018

The transformation of the compost windrow is based on microbial digestion and natural forces, but not without our attention and guidance throughout the entire decomposition process. This short, on-site workshop continues our compost monitoring diligence to properly track and assess the compost’s moisture, temperature, odor, and decomposition rate. Troubleshooting measures will be discussed, determined, and implemented if necessary. Join us for another special outing on Fountain Prairie Farm!

Sub-Session 4: Another Turn with Angela Curtes - $25

6 - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018

As the compost moves into its second full month of decomposition it will be ready for its second turn. Join us as we uncover and assess the compost’s phase, which is undergoing an up-building, humus-structuring process. We will continue to assess and monitor the compost’s features before undergoing another turn cycle. 

Sub-Session 5: Data Collection with Angela Curtes - $20

6 - 7 p.m. Thursday, July 26, 2018

This short, on-site workshop maintains our keen observations of the composting process over time and into the second and a half-month. We will continue to collect data, including moisture, temperature, and odor and learn to assess past data points in relation to the compost’s physical appearance and its temperature and moisture readings.

Part IV - Outdoor Workshop:
Compost Maturation Assessment and Quality Assurance: Concluding Findings, Questions and Discussions with Angela Curtes - $40

5:30 - 8 p.m. Thursday, August 9, 2018  

In the third month, the compost will be turned one more time, before determining its maturity and the quality of its finished state. Monitoring, assessing, and data collection will ensue prior to undergoing the third turn. Review of turning techniques and methodology will be discussed as well determining application rates for farm and garden fertility. Quality assessments will be discussed, as well as reviewing past compost laboratory analysis and chromatography insights for quality assurance. Join us for this final, mid-summer outing to the Priske’s Fountain Prairie Farm!

To register:

Call 608-258-2301 ext. 2 or toll-free 855-473-2301 ext. 2. 

Individuals with an existing student account may register in myMadisonCollege. Please visit the continuing education Humus-Structured Composting page for sections and course numbers.


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.