Skip to Main Content

Search NewsCenter

Top Headlines

Focus on the Entrepreneur: Oberstadt Landscapes

Focus on the Entrepreneur: Oberstadt Landscapes

Spring 2012

A Growing Success

When the recession hit, Jerry Oberstadt turned to FVTC’s Venture Center for help.

“As an entrepreneur, it’s hard to find a resource you can really count on,” states Jerry Oberstadt, president of Oberstadt Landscapes in Fremont. “That’s why I consider the e-seed™ and Pro-Seed™ programs at Fox Valley Technical College’s Venture Center to be such good investments.”

Part of the Business and Industry Services division at FVTC, the Venture Center provides professional development training programs for entrepreneurs on a fee-for-service basis. “Our goal is to boost entrepreneurship and build area business to expand employment,” states Venture Center director Amy Pietsch.

Oberstadt Landscapes is a great example of how the Venture Center helps area businesses. “Jerry first went through our e-seed™ program for help in developing management and planning tools,” Pietsch says. “He then registered for Pro-Seed™, a blended program in which students work individually through online modules, and then meet with a personal coach on a weekly basis for one-on-one sessions.”

When the recession hit in 2009, Oberstadt’s clients began cutting back on projects. “My revenue was decreasing and my expenses were increasing,” recalls Oberstadt. “I then looked to the Venture Center to help me rethink my business strategies.”

With the help of the Venture Center, Oberstadt was able to identify his strengths and his weaknesses. “The center’s resources gave me tools that I could apply immediately to my business,” remembers Oberstadt. “For example, my coach helped me boost my financial management skills, which had an immediate impact on how I handled the business on a daily basis.”

Oberstadt also learned that he needed to delegate more. “I now put more trust in my team members by bringing them into new projects sooner so they can work effectively without me,” he says. “I am now the manager of the entire business rather than just the lead designer. I still get involved in design work, but I am finding fulfillment in helping different team members do their jobs well.”

Business has been very good for Oberstadt Landscapes. “Our revenue increased twenty percent in 2011,” Oberstadt says. “When people ask me about the Venture Center, I think that says it all.”

Helping Small Business Every Step of the Way

Launched in 2005, The Venture Center at Fox Valley Technical College has served more than 1,000 professionals, helped launch and/or expand 300 businesses, which in turn created more than 1,000 new jobs.

In addition to the success of new business start-ups, existing small business owners are increasingly finding that the Venture Center is their lifelong partner in improving or expanding operations as well. “We offer customized blended programs, monthly guest speakers, and one-on-one coaching,” says Amy Pietsch, director of the Venture Center.

Pietsch says she’s proud of how the Venture Center has emerged as an invaluable network of business professionals. “Basically, every client who has worked with the Venture Center stays with us throughout his or her journey. Some provide expert counsel to aspiring entrepreneurs, others look to us for additional resources and training, and some help by simply letting people know that business ownership is very doable!”

@FoxValleyTech on Twitter

Student & Alumni Spotlight

People Person: Human Resources

People Person: Human Resources

Nov 10, 2015

An ability to work with people led to a career in Human Resources for Paula Rady.

Tech Driven: Vehicle Refinishing & Repair

Tech Driven: Vehicle Refinishing & Repair

Nov 10, 2015

After losing her job, Susan Butler learned new skills to train technicians in the growing ...

Focus on Alumni: Tom Clark

Focus on Alumni: Tom Clark

Nov 10, 2015

Q&A with Marketing Grad Tom Clark, Executive Vice-President of Preconstruction for Faith ...

FVTC President's Blog

Featured Photos

Featured Videos

Fall 2015 Focus Magazine

Read the latest issue of Focus magazine, with features highlighting students and alumni in IT, Vehicle Refinishing & Repair, Marketing and much more.

Upcoming Events

2 Dec 2015

Resume Review

10 a.m.-2 p.m. or 4-6 p.m. | Appleton Campus

Resume Review

Wednesday, Dec. 2 | Meet with an employment advisor to get assistance developing and preparing your resume, along with posting your resume on Wisconsin TechConnect. 

2 Dec 2015

Speaker Series: World Relief

11:30 a.m. | Appleton Campus

Speaker Series: World Relief

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 11:30 a.m. | World Relief works to provide resettlement to refugees entering the United States.

5 Dec 2015

Winter Commencement Ceremony

1 p.m. | Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Winter Commencement Ceremony
Congratulations, graduates!


«November 2015»
10/28/2015 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Speaker Series: Rich Graham

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 11:30 a.m., S.J. Spanbauer Center, Oshkosh | Col. Rich Graham flew the world's fastest and highest flying aircraft, the SR-71 Blackbird

Read more
11/5/2015 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
11/7/2015 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Money Conference

Saturday, Nov. 7 | Learn about a variety of financial matters including the importance of good credit, budgeting, eating healthy on a budget & much more.


Read more
11/12/2015 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Speaker Series: Craig Culver

Thursday, Nov. 12, 11:30 a.m. | Craig Culver, founder and CEO of Culver's Restaurants

Read more
11/16/2015 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Speaker Series: Cullen Hoback

Monday, Nov. 16, 11:30 a.m. | Filmmaker Cullen Hoback

Read more
11/19/2015 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
11/20/2015 - 11/21/2015

Scandinavian Boutique & FVTC Showcase

Friday, Nov. 20 & Saturday, Nov. 21, Waupaca Regional Center 

Read more
12/5/2015 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Winter Commencement Ceremony

Congratulations, graduates!
Read more

Get Social

Connect With Us banner

FVTC eConnect Newsletter Sign-up

Enter the code shown above: