Weinert Center and Strategic Management in the Life and Engineering Sciences (SMILES) E-Newsletter


To: Alumni and Friends of the Weinert Center and Strategic Management in the Life and Engineering Sciences (SMILES):

The Entrepreneurship and SMILES students had a very busy spring semester that culminated in a series of job searching, internship locating, as well as the launching of several start-up companies. Success was garnered on all three pathways. Details regarding the current pursuits of our students can be found under Center News & Events.

Table of Contents

Center/Specialization News and Events
WAVE and Weinert Advisory Board Updates
Alumni Updates
Faculty/School News


WAVE Class of 2007:

Congratulations to the WAVE Class of 2007. The graduates have taken the following positions:

Entrepreneurship students:

Jane Bills, CEO and Founder, Italian specialty food retail concept (name TBD)
Scott Daigger, Co-Founder, Sandbox International, WI
Tom Godfrey, Consultant, Frank M. Magid & Assoc., CA
John Halter, Quantitative Analyst, CUNA Mutual, WI
Jung-Eun Hong, Assistant Planning Department Manager, Hi-Mo, Korea
Bob Kilzer, Venture Capital Investment Analyst, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, IA
Andrew Kotila, Project Engineer, Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp., WI
Jason Loughrin, Assistant Marketing Manager, Land O’Lakes, MN
Cailin Mani, CFO and Co-Founder, Italian specialty food retail concept (name TBD)
Andy Strunk, President and Co-Founder, Insight Methods, LLC, Washington, DC and India
Todd Wendrick, Co-Founder, Sandbox International, WI
Eugene Yang, continuing in law school

Strategic Management in the Life and Engineering Sciences students:

Rob Creighton, CEO and Founder, WindLift, LLC, WI
Agnieszka Nasalska, Strategic Marketing Manager, Abbott Vascular, CA
Eric Olson, seeking

Internships – Summer 2007
Our current students are completing internships this summer as follows:

Entrepreneurship students:

Heidi Drews, Abbott Vascular, CA
Werner DuToit, Lomotek Polymers, NY
Sean Ebert, Kegonsa Partners, WI
Sandy Horowitz, Environmental Defense League, Bentonville, AK
Tyler Leeper, Wingra Canoe, WI
Mike Miller, Wisconsin Tech Council, WI
Dan Rice, Northwest Airlines, MN
Tim Staton, Copenhagen Graduate School of Business

Strategic Management in the Life and Engineering Sciences students:

Pei Qi, Bloomberg, NY
Theresa Gresl, Heller Ehrmann LLP, WI

Incoming Classes of 2009:
The incoming classes of 2009 are almost complete. Seven Entrepreneurship students and 2 SMILES students are enrolled for 2007-2008. Due to the construction of the new Grainger Hall addition, the sizes of the classes were limited. Thanks to all for helping recruit these outstanding students. You will see their information posted on the websites shortly after the beginning of the semester.

Additional Center/Specialization Highlights:
An internship with Google that was a part of the Big Badger Auction, an online event sponsored by the Wisconsin Alumni Association, was named in honor of retired School of Business professor Robert Pricer. With a bid of $8,500, an anonymous donor won the online auction and the right to underwrite the internship. UW-Madison junior Caitlin Krois was selected from a pool of marketing, business, and journalism students for the paid summer internship with Google, Inc.

Current E-Ship student and Entrepreneurship Association President, Tyler Leeper, (2008) made the news with his company, Wingra Boats. Tyler hopes to offer corporate team-building outings as well as day camps for children to learn about the practice of boating. For full article: http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=/wsj/2007/05/17/0705170033.php

On Friday, May 11, 2007, the Entrepreneurship Association hosted its final event for the semester and welcomed UW-Alum Kris Dressler, founder of Laminar Technologies, as the speaker for an event held at Wingra Boats. Laminar Technologies, known for its flagship product, the TurboTap, is a world-leader in leveraging the fluid dynamics of draft beer. The mission is to provide breweries, beer wholesalers, concessions operations, and on-premise retailers with advanced products that make draft beer sales more profitable. With over 20 million TurboTap beers poured worldwide and clients such as Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs) and Alpine Valley Music Theater, Laminar Technologies is a great example of turning your passions (beer and engineering) into a profitable business! Please visit the Entrepreneurship Association website at http://www.uwea.com/ to watch for upcoming events.

Entrepreneurship Guest Speakers – Spring 2007
One of the programs' greatest strengths is the ability to combine the teaching of academic theory with the lessons of real-world application. We extend a thank-you to all of the speakers who visited the various Entrepreneurship classes this past semester.

Devon McGlenn, NeoClone
Eric Brown, Strategic Consultant
Charlie Flad, Sun Prairie Police Dept
Sue Alt, Kitchen Hearth
Heather Hilleren, GreenLeaf Market
Brent Newport, (2006) a.K.a Card
Pat McGraw, AmCore Bank
Mark Bennett, Total Training Solutions
Khaja Din, a.K.a Card
John Kidwell, UW Law School
Dave Casimir, Medlen & Carroll
Andy Cohn, WARF
Craig Christianson, WARF
Ralph Kauten, Quintessence Bio
Anthony Escarcega, Ratio
John Neis, Venture Investors
Devon McGlenn, NeoClone
Mohan Warrior, Alfalight
Scott Button, Venture Investors
Joan Gillman, SBDC
Michelle Collins, founder Svoboda Collins
Judy Faulkner, Epic Systems
Rimas Buinevicius, Sonic Foundry
John Schuster, YS&M
Jay Loewi, QTI Group
JJ Vosskamp, Cascade Asset Mgmt
Chuck West, UWEX
Rich Lepping, Taco Bell Franchisee
Kathy Marsh
Iain McFarlane


This past spring, InBusiness Magazine brought together a panel to speak on trends and drivers of change for construction and development in Dane County. WAVE Board members, Mike Mathews, Rudebusch Construction; and Dan Nichols, Anchor Bank; provided valuable insight in the June issue of InBusiness, p. 41-52.

Paul Reckwardt has been making the news as TomoTherapy’s initial public stock offering became one of the largest in Wisconsin history. Congratulations to Paul and TomoTherapy’s successes. News releases can be viewed at the following:
And in addition, TomoTherapy employees give back and radiate kindness with creation of nonprofit group, please see:

John Neis was quoted in the Capital Times regarding the major league returns of Venture Investors: http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=/tct/2007/07/09/0707090229.php

Bruce Neviaser’s Continuum Investment Partners was noted recently for its upswing in early-stage investments. For full article, please see: http://www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/newsroom/?Id=449

Retired Board Member Jan Eddy was presented with the “Seize the Day” award on June 13 at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. Please take the time to watch Jan Eddy’s amazing stories on both a professional and personal level. http://wan.mediasite.com/wan/Viewer?peid=b5ca5da9-1265-4405-bffc-e4c84f4d7445

Weinert Center Board Meeting

Weinert Center Board members Laurie Benson, Steve Jacobson, Aaron Kennedy, Irwin Smith, and David Walsh attended the April 26 Advisory Board meeting along with Jack Lavin via teleconference. Board members provided very useful brainstorming ideas regarding the Entrepreneurial Management MBA. In addition, Entrepreneurship student, Andy Strunk (2007) gave a presentation regarding his Insight Methods start-up business plan, and Jane Bills and Cailin Mani (2007) presented their Italian specialty food retail concept. Food samples provided by Jane and Cailin were enjoyed by all in attendance. They clearly created customers for life.

WAVE Board Meeting

WAVE Board members Joe Boucher, Scott Braucht, John Komives, Greg Lynch, Mike Mathews, Bruce Neviaser, John Neis, Dan Nichols, Chuck Oehler, Neil Peters-Michaud, Terry Sivesind, and Chris Hornung (Weinert Center board member), attended the May 11th end-of-semester presentations at the Fluno Center.

The Board reviewed the following student presentations:

Cosmo’s Frozen Custard, John Halter
Hi-Mo, Jung-Eun Hong
Strategic Business Unit for Foster Jacobs & Johnson, Inc., Andrew Kotila
SonoPalp, Eric Olson, Eugene Yang, and Aga Nasalska
10H, Tom Godfrey
Sapori, Jane Bills and Cailin Mani
Insight Methods, Andy Strunk and Bob Kilzer
3Amplified Innovation, Scott Daigger
FatGopher, Todd Wendrick and Jason Loughrin

A reception followed the presentations, with awards given to:

MBA Class of 2007 Representative, Todd Wendrick

James J. Weinert Outstanding Graduate Entrepreneurship Students, Jane Bills and Andy Strunk

Outstanding WAVE Student, Eugene Yang


The long-term success of our Entrepreneurship graduates was confirmed in a recent survey from our Wisconsin MBA Career Services Office. According to the results, the median base salary for those Weinert Center Alumni seven years after graduation was $130,000, compared to $107,500 for all UW-Madison School of Business Master level alumni seven years post-graduation. Detailed information can be found here.

For a full article on the entire placement of the MBA class please click here.

Craig Heim (2000) is now the Licensing Manager for Start Up Companies at WARF. It is worth noting that he found out about this opportunity from a Weinert Center email. If you are looking for talent, we are happy to send out the job description to our alumni database.

Brent Newport’s (2006) GetIPIC, last year’s winner of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest in the Information Technology track, is undergoing a name change in the hopes of better serving its customers. The plan has evolved into a ground-breaking company under a more consumer friendly name, the a.K.a Card. Brent feels the new name explains the value of the technology: “We’ve found that consumers seek privacy and the a.K.a Card name really speaks to that consumer need.” For detailed information: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=93269

Susan Pschorr (2001) is now Director of Human Resources at Suttle Straus in Waunakee, WI.

Sara VanderLind (2006) has accepted a position as Associate Product Manager at Fiskars Brands.

Governor’s Plan Competition: Extract Systems (a 1998 WAVE start-up) won the Information Technology category at the 2007 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. Other finalists with WAVE ties included: Tom Godfrey (2007) 10H Inc. (microscope sample handling), and Robert Creighton (2007) WindLift LLC (wind energy for pumping of water). For a complete list of winners: http://www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/Newsroom/index.aspx?ID=443

We would like to keep you posted on other alumni news. Please let us know if you see other Weinert Center or SMILES alumni in the news and we will include the information in future updates. Please send any updates or story links to: WeinertCenter@bus.wisc.edu


Phil Kim's class pays off! An undergraduate student project with a fledgling local company dealing with fishing lures received results and made the news. For full article, please see: http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=/wsj/2007/05/27/0705270269.php

Anne Miner co-led a special UW Entrepreneurship Research Conference in May with researchers from around the world all looking at how different institutions affect entrepreneurial behavior and unintended outcomes of entrepreneurship. Jon Eckhardt presented a paper on how inventions given away may actually help for-profit inventors.

Miner and Entrepreneurship doctoral students presented a paper on the chances that a university spin-off will tend to produce additional spin-offs. The World Affairs and Global Economy program at UW sponsored the conference.

Entrepreneurship doctoral student Yan Gong successfully defended his dissertation and will join the University of California-Irvine in September as an Assistant Professor in Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Doctoral student Anthony Sadler successfully defended his dissertation proposal related to immigrant entrepreneurs in May.


We would like to thank all of you who have once again given of your time, treasures, and talent to support the specializations. The specializations’ successes are driven by your efforts. We would especially like to thank those listed below for providing financial support over the past several months:

Craig Andler (2003 Weinert Center Alum)
Adam Bock (1999 Weinert Center Alum)
Bruce Milne Family (Friend of the Center)
Brent Newport (2006 Weinert Center Alum)
Whitney Robertson (2006 Strategic Management in the Life and Engineering Sciences Alum)

Your continued support for our programs is greatly appreciated. Anyone wishing to financially support the programs can do so at the following:

Entrepreneurship Program: http://bus.wisc.edu/centers/weinert/give
SMILES Program: http://www.bus.wisc.edu/SMILES/support

Best Wishes,

Dan Olszewski
Director, Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
Director, Strategic Management in the Life and Engineering Sciences
Director, Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship (WAVE) Fund
4429 Grainger Hall
975 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-3959

Ramon (Ray) J. Aldag
Executive Director, Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
Glen A. Skillrud Faimly Chair in Business
3112 Grainger Hall
975 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-3711

Anne S. Miner
Executive Director, Strategic Management in the Life and Engineering Sciences
Executive Director, Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship
5252 Grainger Hall
975 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-4143

Janet Christopher
Academic Specialist
Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
4425 Grainger Hall
975 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-2882