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

September 2007 NEWSLETTER

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

It was a busy summer for the E-ship and SMILES students and staff. Read all the details below!

Table of Contents

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


Incoming Students:

We are very pleased to welcome seven Entrepreneurship and two SMILES students into this year's incoming class:

Tom Carmona--Tom received his undergraduate degree from UW-Madison with majors in History, Hispanic Language and Literature. He joins the program after two years with the Peace Corps in Costa Rica as a project consultant for the Rural Community Development Program. One of his noteworthy projects included designing a web page for the Santa Fe Women's Group http://www.ruralcostarica.com/.

Miles Gerson--Miles received his BA and MA in Neuroscience and Behavioral Studies from Wesleyan University. He is a candidate for a JD from UW-Madison. He is hoping to apply his passions for law, science and business towards a career in biotechnology business development and strategic intellectual property asset management. Miles will serve as 1st year representative on the MBA Honor Board this semester.

Ryan Palmer--Ryan has a BS in Finance from Brigham Young University. He spent three years working in real estate covering leasing, contracts, managing staff in property management software and increasing efficiency within the office telecommunications systems. Ryan is also the proud father of two children, MariElena and Henry. He received the James J. Weinert Entrepreneurship Scholarship.

Prabhu Ramamoorthy--Prabhu received a BE in Electrical Electronics Engineering at Birla Institute of Technology & Science in Pilani, India. In addition to a wealth of IT experience, he has developed a website on entrepreneurship. You can learn more about him at http://www.raghavendraprabhu.com/. He received the Grace Michaud Fellowship.

John Ribolzi--John received his BA in Political Science at Fort Lewis College. Upon graduation, he began work with Enterprise Rent-A-Car's management program and has eight years of management experience in many different roles. He joined the Wisconsin MBA program to pursue his own entrepreneurial dreams of becoming a leader in the field of sustainable business. John is a Project Assistant for the MHR Department.

Erik (Loren) Snyder--Erik received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University. Erik has 3 years of work experience as a research engineer at the Institute for Advanced Technology working on projects involving electromagnetic launch experiments. Erik received the Robert Pricer MBA Fellowship.

Kavi Turnbull--Kavi received his BS in Entrepreneurial Management at the University of Minnesota. He has been involved with many entrepreneurial ventures including the conversion of automobiles to biodiesel and selling them on eBay. Kavi is a project assistant for the MHR Department.

Troy Vosseller--Troy received his BA from the UW-Madison in Political Science, Economics, and History and is a candidate for the JD in May 2009. As an undergraduate student, he launched and continues to operate Sconnie Nation, a t-shirt and apparel company that celebrates the Wisconsin lifestyle.

Jenny Zhang--Jenny received her BS in Biology from Wuhan University, China and an MS in Botany from South China Botanical Garden, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Jenny has several years of management in retail and significant biotech lab experience. She has a strong interest in botany genetics and her life goal to provide leadership in the international horticultural industry. Jenny received a Project Assistantship from the Milne Family Foundation.

Please visit websites for profiles on each of the students.
Weinert Center Students
SMILES Students

Semester Kick Off

Fall 2007 officially began with the MBA Experience and Orientation held during the last two weeks in August. On Thursday, August 30, a semester kick-off for the specializations was held at the Union Terrace Theater Deck. Perfect weather and camaraderie were celebrated by the incoming students, second-year students, alumni, board members, faculty and friends of the Weinert Center and SMILES. (http://www.bus.wisc.edu/weinertcenter)

Grainger Rendering

The student offices moved from 2020 to 2294 this year due to the Grainger Hall addition construction. Next fall we will be relocating to the 4th floor of the new addition. Please feel free to check out details on the Grainger Hall addition and take a virtual tour here.

Overview of Summer Internships:

Second-year students presented their internship experiences on September 14 to first-year students, faculty and staff. The internships included social entrepreneurship studies in Denmark, work in medical devices, Angel network, venture capital, sustainability in retail, airlines, legal, financial services, and their own start-ups.


Mike Smith, Bag Borrow or Steal, has been making some serious headlines! The company was recently featured on Donny Deutsch, Fashion Fanatics and also featured on the Martha Stewart show on September 14.

David Walsh, Foley & Lardner, had the law firm post an auction on eBay selling its use of the firm's Camp Randall Stadium suite and will give the proceeds to charity. Click here for more details on this generous endeavor.

Paul Reckwerdt, TomoTherapy, has sold its first radiation therapy system in China. They launched the system during the recent governor's trade mission to China and Japan. Read here.


Craig Andler (2003), Director of Emerging Media at Jellyfish.com, an online discount shopping site, will have a lot of activity in the near future. Jellyfish is being acquired by Microsoft. Read the latest news release, quoting Ray Aldag and Dan Olszewski here.

Sal Braico (2002), CEO of Conjugon, Inc., and Joe Kremer (1997), Director of the Wisconsin Angel Network, were recognized in the August 2007 issue of In Business in the "40 under 40" list.

Kristin Branch (2002), accepted the position of Director for the A. C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at the UW-School of Business on August 1, 2007.

Tony Escarcega (2005) was featured in the news "Taking the sting out of drug application" taking his start-up company Ratio to the next level. Please read article here.

Heather Hilleren (2005) is setting up an online purchasing system to distribute local goods to grocers. In addition, she was recently awarded a contract to set up an e-commerce site for the Dane County Farmer's Market. After participating in the "Wisconsin Eat Local" challenge, she had an interesting story to tell, read here. In addition, the online Farmers' Market is featured here.

Elizabeth Kremer (2001) celebrates Lady Moxie's one-year anniversary. The Office of Corporate Relations invited her to be a panelist on "Making Your Passion Your Profession." She shared her story on October 2 at 6:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union, serving on a panel to discuss how "Money, Marketing and Mentors" have been key to her success.

Naim Sula (1997) has founded and runs xSQL Software, and recently launched a new, free listing service for colleges, http://www.TradeInMyZone.com, which allows students and staff from the same school to buy, sell or trade text books, music, movies, electronics, furniture etc; announce meetings, parties and other events; look for and/or offer services; find roommates or places to rent and more. Please support this effort by passing this information on to students in your circle.

John Schuster (2006), Young, Schuster & Maslowski LLP, has become very busy providing legal advice to keep businesses moving in the right direction. Please visit John's webpage here.


Summer WEB Bootcamp Offers “Crash Course in Entrepreneurship”

The Weinert Center and INSITE (Initiative for Studies in Tech E-ship) co-sponsored a novel five-day, total immersion summer boot-camp aimed at UW’s own grad students in engineering and the sciences. Forty-five (45) Ph.D. and Masters students from several departments attended the 12-hour-per-day camp. The program introduced the science students to tools, information and concepts about how to initiate and sustain a technology-based start-up. Dan Olszewski and Anne Miner played Master of Ceremonies, with Mason Carpenter and Cisco’s John Morgridge playing key roles in the overall program design. Most participating students were sponsored by member of UW’s science research faculty.

A star-studded cast of members of our entrepreneurship community interacted with the students. Session leaders included G. Steven Burrill, Randy Dunham, Michael Enyart, Michael Falk, Carl Gulbrandsen, Phil Greenwood, Laura Heisler, and Mark Leslie. In addition, Chancellor John Wiley and Business School Dean Mike Knetter spoke at key events. Paul Reckwerdt and Fred Roberston made guest presentations. A funding panel included Lauren Flanagan, Dick Leazer, Phil Matthews and John Neis. Entrepreneurs Gabriela Cezar, Barbara Israel, Tony Escarcega (2005 Alum), Lloyd Smith and Chad Sorenson (2002 Alum) offered views on their own experiences in a panel organized by John Surdyk. Top UW research scientists Robert Hamers, Laura Kiessling and Richard Moss and Grad School Associate Dean Sharon Dunwoody helped advise on the program goals. Entrepreneurship grad students Mike Ciuchta and Yan Gong TA'd the course. Weinert staff Janet Christopher and Mike Van Roo and consultant Jeanan Yasiri tackled event planning and many novel logistics questions. The week included networking events with community members and ended with a trip to TomoTherapy. Please see the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article here. You can also find photos and a program description here.


The Wisconsin Technology Council's "2007 Early Stage Symposium" will be held November 14-15 at Monona Terrace. Start-up companies are encouraged to present to potential investors. Click here for details.


Once again we'd like to thank all who have given of their time, treasures, and talent to support our specializations. We would especially like to thank those listed below for providing financial support over the past few months:

Grant Thornton Foundation for matching Craig Andler's (2003 Weinert Center Alum) gift.
Linda Li (2006 Weinert Center Alum)
Dan and Kathryn Olszewski (Weinert Center Director and family)
Julie Wienk (2000 Weinert Center 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

Rebecca Buckman
University Services Program Associate
Wisconsin School of Business
3340 Grainger Hall
975 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-4161