Fourth Annual Meet ‘n Eat with an Entrepreneur features 11 area entrepreneurs

October 31, 2013

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Meet n' Eat with an Entrepreneur 2013

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – One experienced a wild ride on a crocodile. One has a 91-year-old grandmother who plays in a band. Another has met George S. Halas, founder of the NFL. And yet another’s father invented the popular outdoor bean bag game in 1962. This year’s featured entrepreneurs at Meet ‘n Eat with an Entrepreneur were an eclectic group who shared their backgrounds and their stories with some of University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s most entrepreneurial-minded students.

It was a full house at this year’s fourth annual event held on Oct. 23 at the Nohr Art Gallery. Students were able to meet some of the region’s brightest entrepreneurs and network with other students interested in entrepreneurship.  This event was sponsored by the Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement.

This year’s keynote speaker was Carl Babler, principal of Atten Babler Commodities. A self-described “farm boy,” Babler has pursued varied entrepreneurial opportunities beginning at age eight when he set up a roadside stand to sell garden seeds. The seed was planted early; he discovered the joys of selling on commission and the risk/reward associated with running his own business. After completing his agriculture degree at UW-Platteville, Babler went on to ventures in livestock feeding, hormone free beef, bottled water, farm cheese, retail erosion control, soil stabilization geo-textiles, cut flower production, commodity risk management service and equity investments in bio-fuel, prop trading, cattle feeding, water rights, real estate and renewable energy.

Students shared their own entrepreneurial interests with each other and then identified an entrepreneurial opportunity to share with the larger group. Josh Terrill, an industrial engineering student, won the popular vote for “best pitch.” According to Terrill, “Meet 'n Eat with an Entrepreneur was a great program this year. The entrepreneur guests included book authors, artists, doctors, restaurant owners, farmers, engineers and business owners. I really saw how entrepreneurs come from all backgrounds with different missions.” 

Marcia Harr Bailey, assistant professor at UW-Platteville and coordinator of the entrepreneurship minor, was happy with the diversity of students represented. “It’s fascinating to see how students perceive their futures. Many of our engineering, business and agri-business students plan to launch their own enterprises someday. The chance to connect with others who are already out there doing it is so valuable,” she said.

Entrepreneurs joining Babler at this year’s event were Gary David and his 15-year-old son, Tyler of Gary David Woodworking and Design; Dr. Sarah Fox and Julie Stephenson, authors of “Super Snacks for Super Kids;” David Den Herder of Marceco Ltd.; Melissa Pahl, Platteville Area Industrial Development Corp. and Twenty Marketing; Jeremy Patnaude, State Theatres LLC; Lou Schweigert, GroAlliance; Darin Shireman, Badger Brothers Coffee and Adam Weigmann, 4x Innovations. For more information on the entrepreneurs, visit www.uwplatt.edu/entrepreneurship.

For more information about PACCE or upcoming entrepreneurship events, visit www.uwplatt.edu/entrepreneurship or contact Kathy Neumeister, PACCE senior marketing specialist, at (608) 342-6020 or neumeisterk@uwplatt.edu.

Contact: Kathy Neumeister, PACCE, (608) 342-6020, neumeisterk@uwplatt.edu

Formatted by: Alison Parkins, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1526, parkinsal@uwplatt.edu

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