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

August 2008 NEWSLETTER

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

The students are starting to arrive back on campus and we are only days away from the start of classes. It is exciting to meet the incoming class and in our next issue we will be telling you all about their interesting backgrounds and goals.

As you can see from many of the articles in this newsletter, it has been a busy summer for the Center, our students and our alumni. It is especially great to see the wonderful impact and difference all of those groups are making in the community.

Table of Contents

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


Wisconsin Center for Entrepreneurship

Our offices have moved to the East Wing of Grainger. The office suites are 4420/4410 Grainger Hall.

Please stop by for a tour if you are in the area.

Grainger Hall

Current Students

Tom Carmona's business made the news. It is an online website that aids people new to an area and is just pain fun if you enjoy learning local vocabulary and trivia. It can be found at CityDictionary.com. Please read http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/295530

Kavi Turnbull's start-up, DriveAlternatives, was featured in a podcast with Joan Gillman and Jody Glynn Patrick on their program "On-Air with In Business Magazine." To download the podcast and/or listen to the interview online, please go to http://podcast.loyalears.com/wtdy.php?task=browse&file_id=2757

Governor's Business Plan Competition Winners

Top-notch entries were obvious at the Governor's Business Plan competition but current students Troy Vosseller (MBA) and Keith Agoada (BBA) did well with Sky Vegetables and finished second in their category. For full story, please read http://www.bus.wisc.edu/news/0253.asp. In addition, one former WAVE project, Echometrix, received a third. The company is using UW research and was a WAVE student project in 2007. A full list of all the winners can be found at http://www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/newsroom/?Id=591

Full-Time Placement

Recent graduates are spending their days in a variety of ways. Check out the list below:

Heidi Drews, Seeking in Chicago
Werner DuToit, Managing Director, Proplas
Sean Ebert, General Manager, Therma-Stor
Theresa Gresl, Patent Specialist, Heller, Ehrman, McAuliffe & White, LLP, and UW Law student
Sandy Horowitz, Seeking
Tyler Leeper, Owner, Wingra Canoes; Founder, ProactiCare
Michael Miller, Founder, Nxt Mile
Pei Qi, Senior Analyst, EPM (Engineering Planning and Management, Inc.)
Dan Rice, Program Manager, EMTEQ Family of Companies
Tim Staton, Marketing Manager, Schwinn Bicycle


Returning second-year students have had a busy summer working at places round the globe. Check out the list below:

Tom Carmona, City Dictionary
Miles Gerson, Dag Dvergsten AG, Oslo Norway
Ryan Palmer, Lands' End
Prabhu Ramamoorthy, iLink Systems
John Ribolizi, Lands' End
Erik Snyder, National Guardian Life
Kavi Turnbull, Kegonsa Partners; DriveAlternatives.com
Troy Vosseller, QUALCOMM
Jenny Zhang, Third Wave Technologies (Hologic)


Advisory Board Members in the News

Neil Peters-Michaud (1999 Weinert graduate), CEO of Cascade Asset Management, was recently featured in the Madison newspaper with Cascade being one of the 50 best places to work. The article is featured at http://www.madison.com/tct/business/292857

Cascade Asset Management was also named to the INC 5000 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. http://www.cascade-assets.com/documents/PRInc5000AnnouncementCAM.pdf

Mike Smith's successful Bag Borrow or Steal is opening a division in downtown Madison. For article please see: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-179521589.html


Several of our alums and current students were selected to be part of the August 2008 InBusiness Magazine's 40 Under 40. They include: Scott Daigger (2006) with Sandbox International; Heather Hilleren (2005) with Grean Leaf Market; Chad Sorenson (2002) with Sologear; Elizabeth Wewerka (2001); as well as current students Kavi Turnbull with DriveAlternatives and Troy Vosseller with Sky Vegetables.

Rob Creighton (2007), co-founder of Windlift LLC, is moving ahead with his new renewable energy source. His wife accepted a medical residency at Duke so moving to North Carolina (home of Kitty Hawk) should help Rob produce the right kind of kite. Please read the complete article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=762340

Tony Escarcega (2005) and Tim Gill (2006) started Cega Nutraceuticals LLC earlier this year. They began selling their first product, PR1pak, a dietary supplement for endurance athletes. Their product is sold almost exclusively online, opening our product up to the world and boasts about several international sales. See http://www.pr1pak.com/

Ilya Firman (2004) moved to Silicon Valley in June to be a Software Engineer at Google, Inc.

Joe Kremer (1997), Director, Wisconsin Angel Network, sponsored an event encouraging angel activity by educating wealthy individuals about how to make early-stage investments. For full article, please see press release in INC.com at http://www.inc.com/magazine/20080801/who-needs-silicon-valley.html

Boris Nenide, (1999) COO, FINTEL LLC, was recently joined by Robert Suesse (2000). FINTEL LLC, with its history rooted in the Weinert Center, has just released some new products and a new website. He states " we were founded in 2000 out of the research led by Professor Pricer who was actually a co-founder. Back then the Kauffman Foundation contracted us first to run some research using a sample of a large financial database they had assembled and then to clean all their data and prepare it for academic research. After that in cooperation with the Foundation we built some first industry benchmarking tools. Since then we've worked hard to develop those tools further, mostly based on the analytical techniques developed by Dr. Pricer. Our clients mainly include service providers (CPA's, consultants, bankers, etc.) to small and medium sized businesses, private investors and the businesses itself. Our tools are web-based and the company is still spearheaded and supported by Weinert alumni (although, unfortunately, Dr. Pricer can't actively participate anymore, as you know - he's still our major adviser and inspiration). More info on our history can be picked on our new site here http://www.fintel.us/aboutFintel/FINTELHistory.html

Brad Ricker (2001) joined Flad Architects in Madison this summer as Director of Project Development for the Science & Technology group. Flad is a nationally recognized planning and design firm based in Madison. Recruited because of his knowledge of public and private sector organizations involved with scientific R&D, Brad will be identifying and qualifying leads for new building projects and developing and maintaining long-term relationships with prospective clients and partners. You can reach Brad at bricker@flad.com or 608-232-1260.

Tim Staton (2008 Weinert graduate) makes the news with his joining Schwinn. See http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/1467.html


Summer WEB (Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp) Offers Second "Crash Course in Entrepreneurship"

WEB Participants

The Weinert Center and INSITE (Initiative for Studies in Tech E-ship) helped run the second Summer WEB Bootcamp July 20-25. This camp is aimed at UW's grad students in engineering, the sciences and law. Fifty Ph.D., Masters and Post Doc students from several departments across campus attended the 12-hour-per-day camp. In addition, 6 students from the Netherlands attended along with 3 of their advisors. They are planning on rolling out a similar program this fall. The program introduced the students to tools, information and concepts about how to initiate and sustain a technology-based start-up.

Dan Olszewski (Wisconsin School of Business) and Anne Miner (Wisconsin School of Business) acted as Masters of Ceremonies as well as instructors, along with Cisco's John Morgridge (UW Alum) playing key roles in the overall program designs.

  • Session leaders included:

G. Steven Burrill, Burrill & Co.
Mason Carpenter, Wisconsin School of Business
Michael Falk, WARF
Phil Greenwood, Wisconsin School of Business
Carl Gulbrandsen, WARF
Laura Heisler, WARF
Chip Hunter, Wisconsin School of Business and
Mark Leslie, Veritas Software Emeritus

  • A panel on start-ups featured:

Gabby Cezar, UW College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Barb Israel, UW School of Veterinary Medicine
Loyd Smith, UW College of Letters and Science
Chad Sorenson, UgoGrill

  • An additional panel on funding included panelists

Ayla Annac, Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Network
Scott Button, Venture Investors
Nick Mischler, Wisconsin Investment Partners

  • Other key speakers included:

Pat Farrell, Provost
Mike Knetter, Business School Dean
Bill Linton, Promega
Mary Ozers, WEB Alum
Paul Reckwerdt, TomoTherapy

For complete biographical sketches on the above, please see http://www.bus.wisc.edu/weinertcenter/WebSessionLeaders2008.asp

For press release please see http://www.bus.wisc.edu/news/0261.asp. You can also find photos of the event at http://www.bus.wisc.edu/weinertcenter/web/photos.asp

Professor Phil Kim is proud to announce that Brandon Gador (BBA '08), 2008 recipient of the Alan Filley Award, has launched his business, Powered Green (http://www.poweredgreen.com/), which sells renewable energy credits for laptop computers.

For more than 20 years, Anne S. Miner has researched entrepreneurs' ability to improvise. Her work on improvisation has been attracting national attention. Please see http://www.bus.wisc.edu/news/0258.asp for details.


We would like to thank all of you who have given of your time, treasures, and talent to support our specialization. The program's success is driven by your efforts. The Center would like to thank the following contributor for his generous monetary contribution to help support the Center and expand entrepreneurship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

WEB Participants

James Weinert, Friend of the Center

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