How Did You Do That? What does it take for an entrepreneur to go from an idea to a successful startup? Hosts Kathleen Gallagher and Tim Keane talk with Wisconsin entrepreneurs about how - and why - they've succeeded. Kathleen Gallagher is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the executive director of the Milwaukee Institute. Tim Keane is the director of Golden Angels Investors and an entrepreneur who led his own startup to a profitable acquisition.
How Did You Do That?

How Did You Do That?

From WUWM 89.7 FM - Milwaukee's NPR

What does it take for an entrepreneur to go from an idea to a successful startup? Hosts Kathleen Gallagher and Tim Keane talk with Wisconsin entrepreneurs about how - and why - they've succeeded. Kathleen Gallagher is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the executive director of the Milwaukee Institute. Tim Keane is the director of Golden Angels Investors and an entrepreneur who led his own startup to a profitable acquisition.

Most Recent Episodes

How Mike Harris Jumped From No. 2 Job To Successful Entrepreneur

Mike Harris was a middle-class kid from Racine with no family history of entrepreneurship. He played it safe at UW-Parkside by studying accounting, then got a job as an auditor with Ernst & Young and became a Certified Public Accountant. However Mike's appetite for risk grew when he got a job at Wind Point Partners, the venture capital fund led by the Johnson Wax family at the time. At Wind Point, Mike took on the extra duty of part-time Chief Financial Officer for a built-from-scratch

How CEO Bob Atwell Created One Of Wisconsin's Largest Banks

Bob Atwell's critical career decisions can be summed up in one word: contrarian. Unlike most of his classmates at Yale School of Management, Bob came back to the Midwest to find work. Secure in a coveted commercial lending job at a big Milwaukee financial institution, Bob decided he would rather be in a smaller town at a smaller bank. At that smaller bank in a smaller town, Bob found a stable job with a great deal of responsibility. Then, despite having 10 kids and an 11th on the way, Bob quit.

How Michael Major Grew From Chemist To A Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company Leader

A chemistry whiz who grew up in Poland, Michael Major left his job as a tenured professor when he was in his early 30s to immigrate to Milwaukee for a job as a chemist at Aldrich Chemical. Two years later, in 1992, he moved to Cambridge Chemical, where he rose to vice president of research and development. When Cambridge Chemical's owner passed away, leaving his widow with all the equity in the company, it underlined for Michael what would eventually become a life-changing reality: he needed to

How Michael Major Grew From Chemist To A Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company Leader

How Craig Dickman Used Entrepreneurship To Solve Real Problems

Craig Dickman got his first computer, a Radio Shack TRS-80, in 1977. That purchase, a few coding classes and a lot of self-teaching (combined with two business degrees), sparked a career that landed Craig a job at Schneider National Inc., one of Wisconsin's biggest companies. For some, that might have been enough. But never afraid of taking a risk, Craig left his job as Vice President of Information Technology at Schneider after just a year, to run Paper Transport Inc., a then-$10 million

How Todd Dunsirn Grew His Company From The Ground Up

Todd Dunsirn grew up in an entrepreneurial family. His grandfather, father and brothers have all started and owned their own businesses. So, it was no surprise when, two years after graduating from UWM with a mechanical engineering degree, Dunsirn decided corporate jobs weren't for him. The fourth startup he founded, called True Process, was the one that would lead to a big payday. Todd started True Process in 2004 and after 14 years running the business he sold it in two parts to two different

How Ed Ward Created The World's Largest Celtic Festival in Milwaukee

Ed Ward has experience in the Peace Corps, the military, politics, law and investing, but it's in the not-for-profit world that he made his mark as a successful entrepreneur. In 1981 Ed turned his passion for Irish music into a venture that now requires 4,500 people to run and has 125,000 annual customers. It has been the guiding force in a global movement that he inspired, shepherded, and grew — and it will have a lasting influence on Milwaukee. The venture is called Irish Fest and it's

From Musician To Experiential Marketing: Entrepreneur Gary Reynolds

Gary Reynolds started out as a musician, left for the West Coast to try songwriting, then followed his entrepreneurial instincts back to Wisconsin. His idea of connecting emerging bands with big company sponsors got him his first client, Miller Brewing. His idea of using his band support network of 300 representatives on campuses across the country to market tech products got him his second client, Apple Inc. Today, Gary is considered a pioneer in experiential marketing. He sold his company, New

Entrepreneur Sue Marks On How Companies Can Win In The War For Talent

From a very young age, Sue Marks has valued entrepreneurship and a strong work ethic. After her grandparents immigrated from Germany in 1919 with nothing, her grandfather built a life for them in Milwaukee as the owner of a small printing business. Sue married at 19 and finished college at night, earning a BS in Business Administration from Marquette University. Like her grandfather, she never stopped working. Sue is founder and CEO of Cielo , a fast-growing recruitment process outsourcing firm.

From Health Care To Hospitality: Entrepreneur Kyle Weatherly

Kyle Weatherly took over his mother's compression garment business in 2006, grew it by 30 percent a year and sold it 10 years later — all without a relevant degree. In fact, he started out wanting to be a lawyer. Solaris had five employees when Kyle started and 120 employees when it was acquired by Lohmann & Rauscher International GmbH & Co., a European conglomerate of medical device and product companies. "My thinking at the time was, I'd go to work for my mom's six-person company for

Laurie Benson, Co-Founder of Inacom Information Systems

Laurie Benson was trained as a nurse, but when she recognized in the early 1980s the impending importance of technology to businesses, she co-founded a tech startup. Laurie grew Inacom Information Systems to $80 million of annual revenue and 150 employees before selling the IT systems integrator in 2009 to Core BTS. She has served as a director on seven corporate boards, formed LSB Unlimited to consult with business leaders, and is now executive director of Nurses on Boards Coalition. A common

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