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Celebrate Entrepreneur Week 2015

UW-Eau Claire's College of Business is building on the exciting culture of entrepreneurship in the Chippewa Valley. Catch the excitement!

Join us Oct. 5-8 for a week of activities as we listen to stories from entrepreneurs that inspire us, network with others, and share dreams and ideas for future ventures. All events are held in Eau Claire and are open to the public. Please attend as many events as your schedule will permit.  Please RSVP for an event here.

For more information, contact Ann Rupnow, coordinator, UW-Eau Claire Heyde Entrepreneur Program and College of Business economic development programs.


Monday, October 5

Startup Stories: Seattle's Best Coffee & the search for the best beans
5-6:30 pm, UW-Eau Claire Haas Fine Arts Lobby, 121 Water St.

Join us for a cup of Costa Rica farm coffee as we listen to UW-Eau Claire alum Jim Stewart and his wife, Luz Marina Trujillo, tell us how Seattle's Best Coffee evolved from an ice cream and coffee shop in the '70s to a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks in 2003. Stewart's search for the best coffee beans took him to Costa Rica where he met Trujillo, who was managing the family's coffee farm.The couple will share insights as to what it takes to start and run a business in the U.S. and Costa Rica. They will also discuss the difference between direct trade and fair trade. Sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Heyde Entrepreneur Program.

Tuesday, October 6

Startup Stories: From retail to real estate: Lessons from a lifelong entrepreneur
5-6:30 pm, UW-Eau Claire Davies Center, Ojibwe Ballroom C (330C)

How do you come up with a business idea? We will pose that question to Eau Claire area entrepreneur Dick Larson, founder and chairman of Larson Companies, a multi-disciplined, performance driven organization that operates throughout the Upper Midwest. Larson started Northwest Fabrics, his first business, in 1963. Since then he has owned shopping centers, hotels, apartment complexes, raw land development companies, office buildings and warehouses. Larson will share his story as well as the lessons he has learned during his 50+ years as an entrepreneur. Refreshments and beverages will be served. Sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Heyde Entrepreneur Program.

Wednesday, October 7

Ignite Wisconsin's Kick-Off Event: How do you eat an elephant?
5-7 pm , Acoustic Café, 505 S. Barstow St.

Does the challenge of starting a business seem too large to you? Try Banbury Place on for size. Hear Jack Kaiser, president/owner of Banbury Place, Inc. and partner/general manager of Cigan Properties, discuss how Banbury Place went from a $1.9 million Uniroyal/Goodrich tire plant into a multi-use real estate development with over 150 tenants. Learn how Kaiser and his father overcame barriers to create an Eau Claire landmark. Sponsored by Ignite Wisconsin, an effort designed to help encourage, inspire and connect prospective entrepreneurs. Learn more here.

Thursday, October 8

Startup Stories: Finding your niche & going for it
5-6:30 pm, The Volume One Gallery, 205 N. Dewey St.

What do designer fashions and award-winning Marieke Gouda cheese have in common? A lot more than you think. Learn how area entrepreneurs Mickey Judkins, CEO of Details, and Marieke Penterman, owner of Holland's Family Cheese, created very different but highly successful businesses by filling specific market niches. Join us for Marieke Gouda cheese, hors d'oeuvres and beverages. Sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Heyde Entrepreneur Program.

Shoot the breeze with us
7:30 pm -?, The Brewing Projekt Taproom, 2000 N. Oxford Ave.

Grab a beer and meet other like-minded people at an informal gathering.  


Photo caption: UW-Eau Claire alum Jim Stewart, founder of Seattle's Best Coffee, and his wife, Luz Marina Trujillo, will speak Monday, Oct. 5, as part of the university's Entrepreneur Week series.