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Inventors and Entrepreneurs Clubs

Do you have an idea for an invention or new product? Would you like to start your own business?
Inventors and Entrerpeneurs Clubs can help you explore your idea and turn it into a product or business. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come early to meet other creative people, and browse the resource table. Bring your ideas!

About Inventors and Entrepreneurs Clubs

The Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club provides a safe environment to help people explore their ideas and turn them into products or businesses.  It’s a place where people can take risks, learn from their mistakes and try something new with support from their peers.  All are encouraged to come early to network and learn about local resources.  Club meetings focus mostly on networking and also provide education, based on subjects of most interest to members.

Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month  at the Food Enterprise Center, 1201 North Main Street in Viroqua. Networking starts at 5:30 p.m., the program  begins at 6:00 p.m. The meetings are free and no reservations are required.  Everyone is welcome! 

Meeting Archives

2010 – Prairie du Chien Meetings

  • Wednesday, February 3 Quest Industrial – Robotics Integrating Innovation & Industry
    Don Wickstrum, Founder of Quest Industrial Monroe, Wisconsin
  • Wednesday, March 3 Understanding & Researching Your Markets Sarah Arendt, Marketing Coordinator AVS Group Integrated Marketing Consultants
  • Wednesday, April 7 Starting from Scratch: The Prairie Peddler Marty Larsen, Founder of the Prairie Peddler Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
  • Wednesday, May 5, 2010 Being Successful on Purpose – Building Customer Service, Leadership & Communication in Your Business Ray Saint, former bodyguard, martial arts instructor, author of “Its Great to Be You!”
  • Wednesday, June 2 You Got “IT” Going. Now What? Employee Retention, Retirement, and Ideas to Keep Your Business Strong and Plan for the Future James Jens, Financial Advisor

2009 Crawford Vernon Meetings (Viroqua)

  • Wednesday, December 2 Prairie du Chien “Social Networking Tools and Tricks – How to be recognized in the Social Network World” Tim Puyleart, Business Development Consultant, Environmental Health and Safety Professional
  • Wednesday, December 9 Viroqua Building A Business On Your Values Richard de Wilde, Owner Harmony Valley Community Supported Agriculture
  • Wednesday, November 4 Prairie du Chien “Growing A Culture of Innovation: Finding Opportunity in Tough Times
    Terry Whipple, Executive Director of Juneau County Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC) and President of the 7 Rivers Region
  • Wednesday, November 11 Viroqua Holiday Party – What Makes An Idea “POP” Brad Biddick, Entrepreneur, Owner Rural Route 1 Popcorn
  • Wednesday, October 7 “See Jane Grow: How ECOpreneurs are Leading America’s Rural Renaissance” Lisa Kivirist, Owner of Inn Serendipity Bed and Breakfast and co-author of “Ecopreneuring”
  • Wednesday, October 14 Viroqua “Cooperatives” As A Business Model Margaret Bau, Cooperative Development Specialist United States Department of Agriculture

View Margaret Bau’s Powerpoint Presentation (4 pages, pdf, 310 KB)
Read about the Mondragon Cooepratives 10-09 (4 pages, pdf, 399 KB)

  • Wednesday, September 9 Viroqua “Branding Your Business Or Product
    Lois Federman, Marketing Consultant – Something Special From Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Agriculture

2008 Meetings (Gays Mills)

  • Tuesday, August 12 Using Innovation to Grow Your Business Dave Franchino, President Design Concepts, Madison
  • Tuesday, September 9 Keys to Success & Resources to Get You There Greg Wise, Community Development Specialist Center for Community & Economic Development
  • Tuesday, October 14 Licensing & Marketing: Getting Your Invention Sold Chuck Sara, Patent Attorney – Dewitt, Ross, & Stevens Madison, Wisconsin
  • Tuesday, December 9 Business Etiquette for Entrepreneurs Sue Marino, Director The Etiquette Center Richland Center
  • Tuesday, April 8, 2008 – “ The Serial Entrepreneur” with Al Waller, Out of the Box Publishing Learn how Waller, President and co-founder of Dodgeville based Out of the Box Publishing (and a self proclaimed “Serial Entrepreneur”) turns simple ideas into the county’s leading companies.  Out of the Box developed and published the game Apples to Apples, which was sold to Mattel last year.
  • Tuesday, May 13, 2008 – “Making the Right Connections for Your Invention or sahringinfoBusiness” with Julann Jatczak, Vice President, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation Julann will share her perspectives on how to make a plan for networking based on your strengths and weaknesses, tools of the networking trade, business resources, and strategies to make networking easy and fun.
  • Tuesday, June 10, 2008 – “How to Survive as a New Business” with Bob Starks, Vernon Vineyard-Learn how Bob Starks took his idea to fruition as vineyard specializing in cold climate grapes and became VernonChuck sara County’s first winery.
  • Tuesday, July 8, 2008 – “What Makes A Good Business Idea?” with Jan Gallagher- Director, La Crosse Small Business Development Center Jan Gallagher talks about what evidence you can use to decide whether to take your idea to the next level.  Prior to directing the SBDC, Jan was a co-founder of the La Crosse area business magazine “Commerce Now”, and served as the interim director of the Coulee Region Business Center, a small business incubator.
  • Tuesday, February 12, 2008 – “Star Valley Flowers…Sharing Their Story” with John Zeher and Phil Mueller Learn how John Zeher and Phil Mueller turned a small 2 acre farm into the largest field-grown cut flower producer in the Midwest.  Located in rural Soldiers Grove, the 165 acre agri-business has been often featured on Martha Stewart Living and ships products to customers as far as Chicago, Boston and Honolulu.
  • Tuesday, March 1, 2008 – “Growing your Online Business”  with Ivan Davis Download Ivan’s E-Bay book here!
    jan rasikasWhether you’d like to improve your web presence or get started with a new business website Roger Peck will provide tips and inspiration.  Roger’s successful business supplies software for small business owners to develop a presence on the internet and affordably manage their own websites.

For More information Contact

Community Development Educator
Crawford County – UW Cooperative Extension
225 N. Beaumont, Suite 240
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
Phone: 608-326-0224
Fax: 608-326-0226