University of Wisconsin–Madison

UpStart Extras

UpStart Extras is a free, virtual 4-part entrepreneurship class for women and people of color.

Who can apply for UpStart Extras?

  • Applicants self-identify as a woman and/or person of color
  • Applicants reside in or near Madison, WI and surrounding communities
  • Business ideas considered a legal business in Wisconsin
  • Applicants supportive of an inclusive learning environment

Class Information & Schedule

For Fall 2020, in light of the constantly changing environment surrounding COVID-19, we will be accepting applications for UpStart Extras – a virtual four-part series of classes with timely and valuable topics to help entrepreneurs explore starting new ventures or re-imagine existing businesses as a result of these evolving times. Given this unique time, this course has a different curriculum than the traditional UpStart multi-week course.

Please note that this program is different than the traditional UpStart program, and participants must attend all 4 sessions. 

NIGHT 1: SEPTEMBER 29, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Michelle Somes-Booher, SBDC at UW-Madison

Starting a Business in a Time of COVID

Disruption creates opportunity. This class will help you navigate the uncertainty as you look to build and grow your business. We’ll introduce you to the concept of the Business Model Canvas and you’ll create your own as a key business planning tool, whether you are just starting out or considering how you can pivot your business.

NIGHT 2: OCTOBER 20, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Brian Lee, Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media

Starting a Business Online Part I

Facebook and other social media platforms are important tools for communicating with your current customers as well as reaching new ones. Brian Lee will provide best practices for managing your social media accounts, and he will demonstrate how to advertise on Facebook and LinkedIn.

NIGHT 3: OCTOBER 27, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Brian Lee, Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media

Starting a Business Online Part II

Description: Building a website is not as hard as it may seem. Brian Lee will cover step-by-step instructions for building your own website from scratch, including finding an available website name, setting up web hosting, setting up email accounts and creating a mobile-friendly website.

NIGHT 4: NOVEMBER 10,  6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Anne Inman, SBDC at UW-Madison

Key Financial Indicators for Starting your Business

Good financial record keeping can make or break a business. We’ll define key terms, walk through cash flow statements and discuss various sources of funding for small businesses.


Location: Online

Fees: No cost for accepted participants; this program is funded by general support from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. For more information and to apply, visit the WARF UpStart page.

Class Schedule (participants must attend all 4 sessions): 

  • NIGHT 1: SEPTEMBER 29, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
  • NIGHT 2: OCTOBER 20, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
  • NIGHT 3: OCTOBER 27, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
  • NIGHT 4: NOVEMBER 10,  6:30 – 8:00 p.m.