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Funding guidance for startups offered at WTC’s Conference

One of the key struggles entrepreneurs face with launching a business is that of funding.  Startups are costly endeavors. The funds required to build a product to the minimum viable product (MVP) state, or to show the business growth needed to attract investors, often exceed what a founder is personally able to invest into the newly formed company.

When a startup business needs funding, where should it seek capital?

The Wisconsin Technology Council is hosting a series of discussions on startup fundraising that will answer many questions about financing emerging companies during their Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on June 2.

These funding sessions, dubbed the “Succeed” track, are open to all attendees at the conference.

Panel discussions in the “Succeed” track are:

10 a.m. June 2 – Finding capital: Different fundraising paths for early stage companies
Wisconsin is developing an array of financing sources for young companies. The list includes angel networks and funds, traditional venture funds, corporate venture arms, family funds, crowdfunding and new twists on debt. Hear about some of the state’s early-stage financing flavors.

Moderated by John McDonald, Godfrey & Kahn. Panelists: Daniel Sem, CU Ventures and John Zeratsky, Character VC.

11 a.m. June 2 – How we funded our companies: Hear from entrepreneurs on their funding strategies

What funding path works best for you? How much capital do you need? How much equity are you willing to give up? Those are among questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves as they consider where and how they find sources of capital. We will hear how some young companies pulled it off their own way.

Moderated by Dan Gawronski, Michael Best. Panelists: Daniel Cruz, washbnb; Sunit Mohindroo, Citylitics; and Forest Richter, Fresh Coast Labs.

2 p.m. June 2 – What kind of deals are getting funded (and what is not) in 2022?
Many observers predicted COVID-19 would devastate the early stage market. It was the opposite, with Wisconsin charting two record years for early stage deal values. What deals are getting funded, however, in a year dominated by inflation, interest rate hikes, war and supply-chain troubles? We will examine where investors are putting their money as 2022 moves on.

Moderated by Mark Ehrmann, Quarles & Brady. Panelists: Tim Keane, Golden Angels Investors and Jenni Le, Venture Investors.

Produced by the Tech Council, the Entrepreneurs’ Conference is among the largest events for entrepreneurs and early stage investors in the Upper Midwest. The event is at the Italian Community Center on June 1-2. Registration is open at

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