See our executive director's interview with Startup Wisconsin

WSC Origin Story

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, a small group of entrepreneurs, venture investors, community builders, and policy advocates began a conversation centered around the question “why isn’t Wisconsin performing better in national rankings for startup activity?”

What emerged was the vision for a new organization driven by early-stage startup founders and focused on how to improve the regulatory environment for founders and their companies. WSC’s Board of Directors set a goal of doubling the number of “first fundings” in Wisconsin by 2026.

Launched in the fall of 2020, WSC soon grew to nearly 100 members, the vast majority of whom are startup founders. As a non-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group, WSC is changing the conversation about startups at the state capitol, engaging legislators and agency leadership with common sense ideas, told through the lived experiences of our members.

Over the next decade, WSC will help to unite stakeholders to push Wisconsin from the back of the pack to become a leader in supporting startups.

WSC Executive Director


Peter Welch

Executive Director, WSC

Peter Welch is a strategy and operations expert in the non-profit and issue advocacy space. For the last decade, Welch has built collaborative partnerships with major corporations, non-profits, universities, and the government. Currently the COO of a Public Affairs firm, Welch oversees the management of multiple professional associations, while lobbying on issues related to startups and healthcare. Outside of work, Welch applies his strategic and operational mind to his garden, his golf game, and the perfect Old Fashioned -- with mixed results.

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