Entrepreneurship Networking

Entrepreneurs, Start Your Engines: Startup Chippewa Valley Week Is Coming

events that boost local startup ecosystem planned Nov. 15-19

V1 Staff |

If you’re a would-be entrepreneur with a great business idea, the best time to start is now – and a good way to start is by taking part in Startup Chippewa Valley Week, which runs Nov. 15-19. The fourth annual event was previously known as Startup Eau Claire, but it has been renamed to encompass the whole Chippewa Valley.

According to organizers, “The weeklong series of in-person and virtual events and programming aims to increase awareness surrounding the local startup ecosystem as well as inspire and equip the community to celebrate and support the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in the area.”

To that end, the week will include more than 20 events – most of them free – “focused on connecting, educating, and celebrating entrepreneurs” through panels, workshops, networking, and virtual events. Notable events include the HATCH Business Pitch Competition (during which entrepreneurs can win cash for their startups through a Shark Tank-style contest), a discussion titled “Start a Business: Step One,” a workshop on using tech for social good, a virtual event on how young adults can be their own bosses, and much more.

“Startup Chippewa Valley Week gives our local entrepreneurs a platform to share their knowledge and successes with our community and come together to learn, network, and celebrate the incredible businesses that exist in our region,” said Adam Accola, co-organizer of Startup Chippewa Valley Week and Programming Administrator at CoLab, a coworking community in downtown Eau Claire.

Startup Chippewa Valley Week is sponsored by Royal Credit Union and is part of a larger effort, Startup Week Wisconsin. You can find a full list of the week’s local events online here. Below are some notable highlights:

Start a Business: Step One

Monday, Nov. 15, 6pm
Presented by Chippewa Valley Technical College – In-Person
CVTC Business Education Center – 620 W Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire

Launching a business can be a scary process and there are many aspects to consider before taking the plunge. Whether you have an idea or not, hear from a panel of local entrepreneurs who got started here at Start a Business: Step One.

HATCH Pitch Event

Tuesday, Nov. 16, 5:30pm
Presented by the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation – In-Person
River Prairie Center – 1445 Front Porch Place, Altoona

The Chippewa Valley HATCH Business Pitch Competition is a chance for entrepreneurs and startups to pitch their ideas to the audience and compete to win $3,000 in capital for their business. Come see what all the buzz is about and join us for Chippewa Valley HATCH!

Food Business Licensing 101

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 6pm
Presented by CoLab & the Small Business Development Center at UWEC – In-Person
Hosted by Forage – 403 S Barstow St., Eau Claire

Join us as the Small Business Development Center guides a panel discussion with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, and other food business operators with the most common questions they get about starting a food business.

Be Your Own Boss, As a Young Adult!

Thursday, Nov. 18, 5pm
Presented by Royal Credit Union – Virtual Event
Note: This event is designed for High School Students

Be your own boss! Yes, YOU can be an entrepreneur! First, let us help set you up for financial success to build a booming business as a young adult.

Small Business Bus Tour

Friday, Nov. 19, 6:30pm
Presented by Chippewa Valley Tours – In-Person
Sponsored by and beginning at Chippewa Valley Technical College – 620 W. Clairemont Ave.

We will visit locations throughout the city where you will learn from local small business owners about their operations as well as get a tour of each of the facilities we visit. The cost of this tour includes your bus fare and light refreshments throughout.

The partners behind Startup Chippewa Valley Week include Royal Credit Union, CoLab, the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation, the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation, Chippewa Valley Technical College, the Menomonie Chamber and Visitor Center, the City of Altoona, the UW-Eau Claire Entrepreneur Program, the Small Business Development Center at UWEC, Chippewa Valley Tours, and Ruder Ware.