WEB celebrated its 10th anniversary with the class of 2016 that included over 60 graduate students from across campus representing over 45 different majors in the science and engineering fields. The event also provided a great opportunity for returning WEB alumni to talk about the businesses they have started and the key lessons they have learned. WEB is an intensive hands-on week of learning focused on technology entrepreneurship and exploring how business startups can create both economic and social value.
Throughout the program, students learn basic concepts and tools to assess product ideas, form and fund a technology-based startup, and understand and use financial analysis. Case analyses, a site visit to a local business, networking social events, and expert panels help students make links between concepts and practice. The program exposes students to the many resources available in Madison and on campus and helps them learn how to use those resources effectively.
John Morgridge, chairman emeritus of Cisco Systems, joined faculty and industry experts in working with University of Wisconsin-Madison students. Key instructors from the Wisconsin School of Business include Russ Coff, Jon Eckhardt, Martin Ganco, Phil Greenwood, Anne Miner, Page Moreau, Dan Olszewski, John Surdyk and Charlie Trevor.
Top field experts included Scott Button, managing director, Venture Investors; Mark Cook, professor of animal sciences and serial entrepreneur; Bryan Dow, co-founder at Understory; Michael Falk and Carl Gulbrandsen from the Wisconsin Alumni Association Research Foundation (WARF); Brandi Gancarz, scientist II at Luminex Corporation; Heather Gerard from Promega; Dave Linz, consultant for the Center for Technology Commercialization; Greg Robinson, managing director at 4490 Ventures; Chad Sorenson, founder & principal, RedSpark Ventures; Becky Splitt, executive chair and head of strategic initiatives, Study Blue; Laura Strong, president and chief executive officer at Quintessence Biosciences; and Michael Thorson, founder and managing director of Inventure Capital. Community members play a key role in panel and case discussions throughout the week.
Dan Olszewski took a nostalgic trip down memory lane reflecting on the first 10 years of WEB at the dinner on Thursday night at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. The overview included photos from all 10 WEB classes along with quotes and interesting statistics from the WEB alumni survey.
We look forward to celebrating many more WEB anniversaries!