Wisconsin Technology Council: Line-up of top speakers set for June 1-2 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tom Still or Sally Muller, 608-442-7557
To register for the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, go to www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com
MILWAUKEE – A three-time winner of the Academy Award … the governor of Wisconsin … the leader of a national technology organization … an author … a trailblazing entrepreneur. Those are major speakers at the second Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, a two-day event aimed at exposing the state’s entrepreneurs to the best business practices and the brightest ideas.
Here are the scheduled speakers at the June 1-2 conference, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 333 W. Kilbourn.
Few people would think of the motion picture industry as a haven for entrepreneurs, but the label fits Jim Rygiel like a glove. Rygiel, a Kenosha native who graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a degree in architecture, has nearly as many entrepreneurial credits to his name as he does film credits. In addition to his early design and animation work at Pacific Electric Pictures and Digital Productions, Rygiel formed and headed the computer animation department at Boss Film Studios. This department of one in 1989 grew to more than 75 animators and 100 support staff within a few years. In 1997, Rygiel began his independent supervising career with the films “The Parent Trap, “Star Trek: Insurrection,” “Anna and the King,” and “101 Dalmatians.”
After completing “101 Dalmatians,” Rygiel was asked to collaborate with director Peter Jackson and run his New Zealand-based visual effects facility, WETA, for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Rygiel’s work resulted in three Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, one for each of the films in the trilogy. Rygiel is once again pursuing an entrepreneurial path — he is becoming a film director.
Other films to Rygiel’s credit include “The Last Starfighter,” “Starship Troopers,” “Species,” “Outbreak,” “Air Force One,” “The Scout,” “The Last Action Hero,” “Cliffhanger,” “Batman Returns,” “Alien III” and “Ghost.” Rygiel speaks during the Wednesday, June 2, luncheon.
Gov. Jim Doyle will speak Wednesday evening, June 2, about his commitment to building an entrepreneurial climate in Wisconsin when he presents the awards for the first Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
Few people track state-by-state technology development efforts like Dan Berglund, the president of the State Science and Technology Institute. He will talk about what’s working around the nation — and what’s not — during his Tuesday, June 1, speech at the Technology Awards dinner co-hosted by the Wisconsin Small Business Innovation Consortium and the Wisconsin Technology Council.
Teresa Esser is a Wisconsin native and author of The Venture Cafe: Secrets, Strategies and Stories from America’s High-Tech Entrepreneurs. It contains advice and anecdotes from more than 150 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, executive headhunters, corporate lawyers and engineers. Esser graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology after studying brain and cognitive science and creative writing. She speaks during the Tuesday, June 1, luncheon. The first 500 people to register for the conference will receive a copy of her book.
Juanita Koilpillai was the co-founder and chairman of Mountain Wave, a successful enterprise security management firm that was acquired by Symantec in July 2002 for $20 million in cash. The deal brought Mountain Wave’s “CyberWolf” technology to Symantec, which is a global leader in information security. Koilpillai will talk about her experiences as an entrepreneur during the Wednesday, June 2, breakfast.
Registration for the two-day conference is $150 for general admission and $100 for members of the producing organizations, which are the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the Wisconsin Business Incubation Association, and the Wisconsin Small Business Innovation Consortium. Individual dinner and luncheon tickets are available for $50 for some events.
The second annual Entrepreneurs’ Conference will also feature:
n Winners of the first Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which will offer $120,000 in cash and in-kind services prizes.
n Presentation of the first “Seize the Day” award for entrepreneurial activity.
n Seminars by top managers from federal research and development grant programs.
n More than two-dozen panel discussions or special presentations designed to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to be successful.
To register or to get more information on the conference, go to www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com or call (608) 442-7557.