Jeff and I had the pleasure of keynoting at an entrepreneurs’ conference in Green Bay, Wisc., yesterday. We were struck by how committed they were to fostering startups and growing the small business community.
Met some great entrepreneurs, including Thomas Sausen of www.bonewerksculinarte.com, a really cool gourmet sauce supplier to restaurants. Of course, he showed up in his chef’s garb. He was extremely impressive and was proud to discuss how being aggressive in the tough economy is what he’s all about.
Also met Michelle Zjala Winter, founder of the custom jeweler, www.thegiftitself.com, which allows kids to email a drawing to her and she creates a real piece of jewelry modeled after the drawing for the child, who can then also order the jewelry in volume to sell. CLEVER!
Was very impressed by Christina Paape, who runs www.space-explorers.com with her hubbie. They create outerspace experiences via software for schools to share in classrooms.
Same goes for Tracy Buzell, with www.VenturePort.org, which is in beta but will soon be offering a StartupNation-like suite of services to young entrepreneurs.
I went to Green Bay very excited to visit Packer land, and the stadium itself, of course. I left there really excited about the prospects for this mid-sized, tightly knit, well-run community.