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UpStart Program (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation)

UpStart is a free comprehensive business program for women and people of color in Madison, WI where participants gain the necessary skills to launch and grow their businesses.


WARF's UpStart Program is a free comprehensive business program for women and people of color. The 10-week course, offered two times per year, covers the topics essential to planning, organizing, evaluating and financing a business idea. Class-size is limited to no more than 25-30 participants in order to maximize learning opportunities and access to instructors. Sessions are taught by members of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC), as well as area professionals with expertise in fields such as accounting, banking, marketing, and insurance.  Each cohort includes motivated individuals from diverse professional and educational backgrounds.  Participants make meaningful connections with other entrepreneurs, gain confidence, and access vital resources to support the launch and growth of their businesses.


Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting
  • Forming a Business
  • Market Plan Development
  • Market Research


  • One-on-One Counseling

Networking and Associations

  • Demographically Based

Starting a Business

  • Startup Business Counseling
  • Startup Classes

Training and Education

  • Startup Classes
Primary ContactKatie Rice
Address614 Walnut Street
13th Floor
Madison, WI 53726
Phone(608) 960-9817