Racine at 9:30 AM

So You Wanna Start a Business? Legal and Compliance 101

Are you thinking about starting a business? Or have you started one but feel like you need some expert advice? This session is for you. We will have a panel of experts that will discuss legal and compliance issues like permits, taxes, licensing, entity types, and more. After the panel stick around for 1:1 guidance with our panelists.

Speaker names and bios coming soon

Racine at 1:00 PM

Resources for Funding and Growing Your Business

There are as many ways to fund and eventually have a successful exit event as there are types of business. In this session you will hear from a panel of experts about the resources available to you for loans, grants, accelerators, lean startups, and exit strategies.

Speaker names and bios coming soon

Racine at 2:30 PM

Pop Up Wellness Center and FREE Coaching

Come and unwind from your hectic day as Wings of Fire Consulting transforms the Michigan Room at Gateway Technical College's Racine Campus into a Wellness Center. Enjoy the serene atmosphere of relaxing music and aromatherapy while you take the opportunity to try some self-care tools. Take a moment of quiet in our made-for-adults blanket fort. Learn some tips and tricks to keep yourself balanced as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey.

FREE 15 minute coaching sessions will be offered as well by a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach!

Racine at 5:00 PM

Startup Racine Week Kickoff

Startup Racine Week kicks off officially at Uncorkt.  Part of Startup Racine Week is showcasing successful small businesses so we’re excited to start the week at this very cool venue.  Join us for a social gathering and hear from Mayor Cory Mason and others from Racine city and county organizations about the importance of entrepreneurship as we celebrate Racine’s history of innovation and kick off a week of connecting, educating, and celebrating entrepreneurs.  
Light food and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided and we encourage you to purchase wine or beer from Uncorkt since this event is about supporting our local merchants.  



Racine at 9:00 AM

Social Media for Small Business with Cassandra Polzin

Over one billion people use Facebook each month. Millions use Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. Curiously, many businesses still fail to invest even minimal effort in setting up and maintaining a social media presence. Learn about utilizing a variety of digital mediums to build a brand online with Leeward Business Advisors’ Cassandra Polzin.

Cassandra Polzin has been working in the digital marketing space for 7 years, the last 4 of which she spent building Leeward Business Advisors. She co-founded Startup Kenosha Week and helped build it to be the second largest community in the state. Polzin maintains a presence for dozens of brands and has a personal audience of over 2700.

Sales & Marketing
Racine at 10:30 AM

Social Media for the Job Seeker

Did you know most people no longer apply for jobs because recruiters find them? The old way of dropping off a resume or applying for a job online no longer work, you have to have a strong online brand presence to really stand out to today’s recruiting professionals. In this session you’ll learn what recruiters look for in your LinkedIn profile and how to best engage when a recruiter reaches out to you via inmail. We’ll also discuss a variety of niche sites specific to industry where you can showcase your work and get seen and answer the age old question “Does HR really look at my Facebook during the interview process?”

Marie Watkins has 20+ years of experience as a talent acquisition specialist with companies at all stages from startup to global Fortune 25 companies. She has worked for Microsoft, Verizon Enterprise, Expedia, Medallia, and for the last 8 years with Silicon Valley startups. In 2017 she co-founded Polaris Talent Inc and decided to place the HQ in Racine as a way to help give back to the community she grew up in. Marie is passionate about coaching job seekers and hiring managers about talent strategy and best practices.

Talent Acquisition
Racine at 3:30 PM

Tourism is Small Business - with Dave Blank of REAL Racine

Tourism is one of the largest, and most diverse sectors of the economy- and most of it is made up of small businesses! There are plentiful jobs available, with a good chance of rapid advancement into management positions in the lodging, attraction and restaurant categories. These can lead to positions in regional or statewide organizations in planning, branding, and marketing.
This session will be led by Dave Blank of REAL Racine. A thirty five year veteran of the hospitality field, Dave has been the President and CEO of Real Racine, the County‘s official tourism agency, for the past 21 years. His career in tourism has included ski area marketing, campground and canoe livery operations, and destination marketing organization management in California and Utah, as well as Wisconsin.

Locally, he currently serves on the Racine Civic Centre Commission, the MetroGo southeast Wisconsin regional transit leadership council, the Racine Arts Council Board of Directors and the Gateway Technical College Hospitality Management Advisory Board.

He is also a member of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Sports Marketing and International Marketing committees.

Racine at 6:00 PM

First Steps in Staring Your Own Small Business - presented by the WISBDC at UW-Parkside

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside announces "First Steps in Starting Your Own Small Business," a quarterly workshop, held on the first Tuesday of the month that is open to the public. The class is a collaborative effort by Racine Country Workforce Development Center and Kenosha Area Business Alliance. The two-hour workshop focuses on questions entrepreneurs may face when taking the leap. Some topics include business plan development, market feasibility, financial and lender resources, and includes Small Business Administration (SBA) resources.

Class Location: Racine County Workforce Solutions
1717 Taylor Ave
Racine, WI 53404 



Racine at 7:30 AM

Strong Women, Strong Coffee with Marie Watkins - CEO, Polaris Talent Inc.

Fueled by caffeine & passion, this FREE morning networking event is for women focused on achieving something fresh for their business or themselves. Each event features a local strong woman!
Marie Watkins is a seasoned industry leader with deep knowledge in talent acquisition and a passion for mentoring the next generation for entrepreneurs. In her 25 year career that dated back to the first 'dot com boom', she has worked for enterprise companies such as Microsoft, Verizon, Expedia, and Medallia, and dozens of Silicon Valley startups performing various HR and Talent Management roles.

She enjoys the technical aspects of recruiting, but her true passion and talent lie in connecting people. She extends this skill to her other pursuits such as mentoring, speaking, and coaching. She is the CEO of Polaris Talent Inc., a new recruiting company aiming to redefine the hiring experience for both clients and candidate. She also volunteers backstage managing costumes for a children's theatre group, MET2, in four Southern California cities and assisting her daughter backstage at various productions.

In her free time she enjoys strong coffee, good wine, great books, baseball, and spending time with friends and family. 

Racine at 9:30 AM

Intro to Design Thinking

Introduction To Design Thinking 

By Kiran Vedak CTO, DesignsTouch and Sarah Alt President, Triple Ten Consulting

In this short workshop, the participants will get the basic understanding of the Design Thinking Methodology. Many Fortune 100 companies use Design Thinking for designing and improving their products and services. The participant will learn the methodology and tools using a fun exercise of developing a Cocktail Drink. 
Key concepts covered:
  • What is Design Thinking?
  • Understand the problem using Empathy Map.
  • How to ask Open-ended questions?
  • Define the need and articulate it with Innovation Statement
  • Develop many ideas using  SCAMMPER.
  • Expand on concepts using "Yes&."
  • Build a virtual prototype of your drink.
  • Test your Solution, learn to take feedback using "The Six Hat Technique".
  • How to apply what you have learned to your own business?

  If you have an idea for new product/service or want to improve your existing product/ service, this workshop is for you. Due to the interactive nature of the seminar, maximum 24 participants ( no more than 2 per business).
Kiran Vedak
is an Entrepreneur, Innovation Coach, and strategy consultant, and is an active practitioner of  Design Thinking. As VP of Digital Innovation, he has conducted several DT workshops for a Fortune 50 organization.  Kiran is Principal and CTO of Designs Touch, an award-winning Digital Strategy Firm in Racine, and he also operates a franchise of Expense Reduction Analyst, a global consulting firm that specializes in improving profitability through cost management strategies for the mid-size organization. Sarah Alt is a professional facilitator and coach; She has helped organizations transform, adapt and evolve their teams and customers for success. Sarah is the founder and owner of Triple Ten Consulting, holds an MBA in Global Management, and is professionally certified in project management, Lean, Six Sigma, supply chain, change management and inclusion. Sarah is also an adjunct university professor and Fellow in the Office of Servant Leadership at Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Racine at 1:00 PM

Pop Up Wellness Center and FREE Reiki

Come and unwind from your hectic day as Wings of Fire Consulting transforms the Michigan Room at Gateway Technical College's Racine Campus into a Wellness Center. Enjoy the serene atmosphere of relaxing music and aromatherapy while you take the opportunity to try some self-care tools. Take a moment of quiet in our made-for-adults blanket fort. Learn some tips and tricks to keep yourself balanced as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey.

FREE 15 minute Reiki sessions will be offered as well by a certified Reiki Practitioner!

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by laying of hands lightly on participants. It is based on the idea that an unseen energy flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's energy is low or blocked, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high and moving, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The mind exists not only in the brain, but also through-out the body. The nervous system extends to every organ and tissue in the body. Our negative thoughts are not just in the brain, but also collect in various locations through-out the body. If the negative thoughts and feelings are not eliminated, illness may result.
A Reiki practitioner will help move the negative thoughts and feelings through your body in a this non-invasive, healing technique. A massage therapist moves energy through manual release of tension. Reiki uses the mind and body to find the same relief. It is a partnership between practitioner and participant to help take control of thoughts and feelings, moving toward a better life. Participants may feel a release of tension and pain, leaving with a feeling of lightness and relief. 

Racine at 6:30 PM

Stretch and Sip for the Entrepreneur

Join Wings of Fire Consulting in the Beer Garden of Racine Brewing to stretch and sip your way through hump day!

Entrepreneurship can take a lot out of you. Limited time and money can elevate even the lowest blood pressure! Led by Wings of Fire, your local answer to mobile Wellness, participants will learn how to add a few key stretches to your daily routine to reduce stress levels, and keep you ready to crush your goals!

No need to wear workout clothes. Come as you are, and enjoy the beer garden oasis within Racine Brewing! Purchase a hand crafted beer $5 or soda $2 , and find a spot to unwind after a log day. We will lead you through simple stretches that can be done in your home, office, or on the road.

Enjoy this oasis in our own backyard during StartupWI Racine!
Wings of Fire Consulting is a 100% mobile Wellness business that brings fun ans creative Wellness experiences to you! From the private yoga class to chair massage for your entire staff, we have a solution for you!



Racine at 9:00 AM

The Secret Sauce of Entrepreneurship

Join entrepreneurs Marie Watkins of Polaris Talent and Kristina Watanabe of Wings of Fire Consutling as they open a dialogue on the skills of entrepreneurship that no one talks about - the soft skills!

You may have all your ducks in a row with your business plan. You have a website. Your business cards are on fleek! But how do you manage your personal life? What about friends - you had those once right? Is sleeping something you wish you could dream about if you ever got sleep? How do you even talk about your business to your loved ones? Are you finding the need to set boundaries between the personal and professional?

Come enjoy a coffee and a pastry as we have a very candid conversation about your life as and entrepreneur. Build that tool box that will support you on those days when you need them most!

Marie Watkins has over 20 years of talent acquisition in the tech industry and is CEO and founder of Polaris Talent since 2001. In the last 10 years she has hired talent for iPhone apps, Bing, Xbox/Kinect, Verizon's CloudSwitch team, space and avionics companies, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, healthcare IT, automotive companies, and much more. She has served as a mentor on several incubator programs such as gener8tor and Lanch Box's Accelerator through Gateway Technical College.

Kristina Watanabe is a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach, a Certified Wellness Practitioner, ACSM certified in personal training, and a Master Instructor for the Consumer Wellness Advocate and the Professional Coaches Advocate. Through her own personal journey, Kristina has gained an understanding of what is needed to achieve personal and professional Wellness by creating fun ways to crush goals. Her focus is to empower others through empathy and education, sprinkled with humor to become their best self! She is the fiery founder of Wings of Fire Consulting, a wellness consulting firm that creates 100% mobile Wellness experiences for businesses in SE WI and NE IL.

Racine at 5:00 PM

Entrepreneur's Pitch Clinic at George's Tavern with music from Rocky Rose

Practice makes perfect when it comes to pitching your business but just when you think you have it nailed, someone puts a mic in your hand, and you freeze; or your presentation fails, and you freeze. We've all been there.
Join us for a fun evening at George's where they are turning the stage area over to us for an Open Mic night for Entrepreneurs. Practice your pitch. Do stand up. Sing (just kidding). Do whatever it takes to feel comfortable in an uncomfortable environment.
You'll have plenty of time to pitch and pitch again while coached by Heather Lux of WWBIC, Marie Watkins and Marshall Folger of Polaris Talent, Inc, and others who will be on hand during this unique networking event. RSVP in advance to get your name on the list to participate. Bring your family and friends so you have a cheering section!
The pitch clinic will wrap up about 7pm and we'll end the evening with original music from Rocky Rose to cap off our inaugural Startup Racine Week.
George's has a great food menu and good drink prices. Please plan on supporting them this evening by having dinner and drinks while hanging out with us.