SHINE Technologies founder and chief executive officer Greg Piefer will set the tone for the in-person return of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, June 1-2 in Milwaukee.

The conference, to be held at the Italian Community Center, returns to the Cream City to celebrate the region’s rise as a startup and scale-up hub. Registration is now open at or linked here.

Milwaukee native Piefer has a 15-year record of leadership in growth-stage tech companies, including Phoenix Nuclear Labs, where he managed development of high-output particle sources used for industrial imaging, and Gillware Inc., a leading data recovery and backup company.

On the morning of June 2, Piefer will describe progress at Janesville’s SHINE, which raised more than $360 million from investors in the last three years alone for its revolutionary, fusion-based technologies. An early application will be production of commonly used medical radioisotopes. 

Piefer holds a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering and related degrees from the UW-Madison. A recent speaker at a White House summit on commercial fusion energy, Piefer has received the UW-Madison Early Career award; is the primary inventor on multiple patents; is author or co-author of many publications; and serves on several for-profit and non-profit board of directors.

Putting early stage pieces together is the theme of the 20th annual conference, where entrepreneurs from around the state will showcase their innovations, services and technologies. Up to nine panel tracks formed under three unique stages of “launch,” “grow” and “succeed” will appeal to entrepreneurs in all stages. Detailed panel information will be posted soon at

Produced by the Tech Council, the Entrepreneurs’ Conference is among the largest events for entrepreneurs and early stage investors in the Upper Midwest. Other highlights will include:

  • Diligent Dozen: Top 12 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest square off on the afternoon of June 1st
  • Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” 2022 award winner, to be announced
  • Governor’s Business Plan Contest awards ceremony on June 2nd
  • Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits from Wisconsin companies
  • A presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin YES! youth business plan contest, and;
  • Plenty of chances to network with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors over food and refreshments, including a June 1st reception.

Sponsors so far are: Aberdean Consulting, Affiliated Engineers, American Family Insurance, AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, DeWitt, Findorff, First Business Bank, Godfrey & Kahn, Health Tradition, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, J.P. Morgan, Madison College, Madison Development Corp., Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY!, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mobile22, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Ogden Glazer + Schaefer, PDS, Perkins Coie, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Ruder Ware, Uber, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Innovate Network, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, UW-Madison Office of University Relations, Venture Investors, Versiti, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WIPFLi, Wisconsin Dept. of Financial Institutions, Wisconsin Technical College System and Zendesk.

To become a sponsor, contact Angela Schlobohm at [email protected]. For more information, visit or call 608-442-7557.