Nora Roughen Schmidt

Executive Director


Nora Roughen-Schmidt is the Executive Director of StartingBlock Madison. She began her professional career with a tech start-up in Madison in 2001 and has worked to eliminate barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses ever since. Nora is a creative leader who loves to problem solve, an entrepreneur and consultant, public speaker, educator and member of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment. She was recognized as a 2017 “40 under 40” award recipient, and her grass roots economic development and small business initiatives have won state and national awards. Nora lives by the mantra that nothing is impossible. When she isn’t working with startups and small businesses, nothing gives her more joy than spending time with her family on their hobby farm in the Driftless Area.


StartingBlock Madison offers community, mentorship, and seeks to eliminate barriers to entry to entrepreneurship via a sophisticated ecosystem of support and reasonable office space and team work solutions.