Entrepreneurship Series

Entrepreneurship Series

The Entrepreneurship Continuing Education Series is designed to help you learn how to successfully start, grow, and sustain your small business. You’ll learn directly from business owners, community leaders, and Mid-State instructors in this series of two-hour classes offered September through May. The series is followed by a separate Entrepreneurship Conference in June.

This series is a collaborative effort of Mid-State Continuing Education and the School of Business & Technology, with support from the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Grow Rapids, Incourage, and Current – Wisconsin Rapids young professionals group.

Series highlights:

  • Open to all Mid-State Technical College students, staff, and community members.
  • Each session is a two-hour presentation with an optional third hour for participants to network, collaborate, and engage in one-on-one help as desired.

Benefits of full-series participation:

  • Community connections. All sessions will be hosted at the Mid-State Wisconsin Rapids campus providing community members in the heart of Wisconsin the opportunity to learn about small business ownership right in their neighborhood.
  • Pitch opportunity. After the series, Mid-State will host an idea pitch event. Participants will be well prepared to pitch their idea and business plan to local professionals and compete with others to win start-up funds.

SEPTEMBER

Starting, Growing, and Sustaining Your Business: The Importance of Small Business Growth in the Heart of Wisconsin

Panel of Business Owners and Leaders (including): Zach Coleman (owner, Richard’s Liquor), Amy Scheide (owner, Great Expectations), Jaime White (owner, Furniture Studio), Matt Zacher (owner, Express Recycling Solutions, Inc.), Melissa Reichert (president, Hearth of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce), Brian Kopetsky (assistant director, McMillan Memorial Library), and Kelly Ryan (president and CEO, Incourage)
Date: Tuesday, September 26
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

This session is offered through the free Mid-State Speaker Series and officially launches the Entrepreneurship Series. Full details at www.mstc.edu/mid-state-speaker-series.

OCTOBER

Pursuing Your Idea and Leadership for Entrepreneurism (Presentation #1)

Presenter: Diane O’Connor, Owner, O’Connor Coaching LLC
Date: Saturday, October 14
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

Where do great business ideas come from? What does it take to become an entrepreneur? What questions should I ask myself before I jump in? What leadership skills should I develop as I begin to pursue my idea? These are just a few questions that may be running through your head as you think about starting a new business. Join us for a two-hour interactive workshop, and learn what it takes to do the inner work of a leader as you pursue a "seedling idea" and nurture it so it grows it into a thriving business.

Creating a Business Plan (Presentation #2)

Presenter: Jeff Ebel, Mentor, SCORE
Date: Saturday, October 28
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

Great ideas often need a plan of action to become a reality. In this presentation, participants will learn about the major components of a business plan and how they can begin to formulate their own individualized business plan to support their idea.

NOVEMBER

Financially Start, Grow, and Sustain Your Business (Presentation #3)

Presenter: Aaron Hagar, VP - Division of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Date: Saturday, November 11
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

Need some start-up dollars? During this presentation, individuals will explore small business loans, crowd funding, fund forecasting, insurance options, and how to protect your savings while growing your business.

DECEMBER

Legal Issues and Your Own Business (Presentation #4)

Presenter: Carol Vallely, Attorney at Law - Law Office of Carol L. Vallely
Date: Saturday, December 9
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

This presentation will include guidance on legalities, LLCs, sole proprieties, S-corps, C-corps, and how business owners can avoid legal trouble as they start, grow, and sustain their business.

JANUARY

Taxes, Insurance, & Accounting Principles for Your Business (Presentation #5)

Presenter: Bob Smith, Accounting Instructor
Date: Saturday, January 13
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

Taxes, insurance, and accounting are not the most exciting part of running a business, but to be successful, they are critically important. Run your business like a pro with the help of this presentation, including a focus on tax obligations as well as tax opportunities, how to wisely use insurance coverage to help limit some of the risks faced by your business, and knowing enough accounting to help navigate your business in a competitive world.

Accounting: QuickBooks (Presentation #6)

Presenter: Bob Smith, Accounting Instructor
Date: Saturday, January 27
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

The use of technology is an important factor in modern business. For a modest investment in time and money, small organizations can now harness the power of accounting software, such as QuickBooks™.  Join us to explore the basics of accounting and how to save time and reduce errors using QuickBooks. We will start by looking at the basics of accounting for small businesses—how complex does it need to be, or can it be pretty basic? Then, we will see how to get started with QuickBooks and how to customize it. Includes a demonstration of the software in action. Accounting background not needed.

FEBRUARY

Building and Developing a Staff for Your Small Business (Presentation #7)

Presenter: Doug King, Owner, Blu Play Café
Date: Saturday, February 10
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

It takes an army! This session will focus on building and developing a staff of employees, including recruitment, professional development, and potential HR-related issues.

Marketing I: Marketing Essentials for Your Business (Presentation #8)

Presenter: Jon Steele, Marketing Instructor
Date: Saturday, February 24
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

Properly marketing a business can take on many different angles, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Just as every business is different, so will be their marketing strategy. However, there are a few basics that can help all entrepreneurs develop a solid foundation upon which to build and plan their marketing activities. This presentation will help you to define marketing in today’s terms, understand what your customers value, clarify your target market, and consider ideas to best manage your product, distribution, promotional, and pricing strategies. The importance of branding will also be addressed. Finally, we’ll end by discussing how to set goals to measure your success.

MARCH

Marketing II: Using Technology and Social Media to Market Your Business (Presentation #9)

Presenter: Debra Wallner, Marketing Instructor
Date: Saturday, March 10
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

Social Media has changed the way we communicate, gather information, and socialize. Navigating and communicating as a business in this social world can be confusing. This presentation will help you craft business messaging that is in line with the way your customers use social media while staying consistent to the messaging you use in other media types. Social media tools will be featured to help you understand which social media platforms would work well for your business. If time allows, measurement tools can be reviewed and discussed to help you set goals and measure the success of your new message.

Sustaining and Reinventing Your Business (Presentation #10)

Presenter: Diana Buss, Owner, Bow Wow Meow LLC
Date: Saturday, March 24
Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon (Final hour is optional networking and Q&A)
Location: Wisconsin Rapids Campus – Room L133/134

So, you made it—you are now a small business owner. How do you “stay” a small business owner? This discussion will include a focus on handling the challenges, embracing the successes, and adjusting to the highs and lows of small business ownership.

APRIL

Idea Pitch Preparation Event

Free Session – Details TBD

MAY

Idea Pitch Event Hosted at Mid-State Technical College

Free Event – Details TBD

JUNE

Entrepreneurship One-Day Conference Hosted by Mid-State Technical College

Register Separately – Details TBD

  • Keynote speaker (8:30 – 9:30 a.m.)
  • Break-out sessions related to series topics (9:30 a.m. – Noon)
  • Lunch (Noon –1:00 p.m.)
  • Resource fair (1:00 – 3:00 p.m.)