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

October 2008 NEWSLETTER

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

It is hard to believe that the semester is already half over and as you can see from our newsletter it is a very busy time. In addition to our usual great specialization, alumni and faculty updates, we have some especially good news in this issue of the newsletter. We are pleased to share the exciting news that our MBA program was named one of the top graduate programs in the country by Entrepreneur Magazine/Princeton Review. We are also pleased to introduce our first-year class of MBA students which continue the great tradition of having an amazing diversity of backgrounds and entrepreneurial interests. They are a great addition to the program and bode well for the continued successful results we see from our alumni out in the world.

Table of Contents

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


Top 25 Best Grad Programs of 2008

Weinert Center Ranked #13 in the Nation by Entrepreneur Magazine and Princeton Review

Entrepreneur Magazine and Princeton Review announced their ranking of entrepreneurship programs for 2008 and the Wisconsin School of Business made the graduate program list at #13 overall and #1 in the Big Ten. Read the full story.

Welcome New MBA Students

University of Wisconsin: School of Business
Duncan Basson

Duncan Basson

"After completing undergraduate degrees in Russian and Economics at UW (I'm also a UW law student, graduating in 2011), I spent five years in business development at a leading international development consulting firm. I helped the company to win projects in agriculture and natural resource management around the world. My favorite part of my work experience was working in a new technical area. I played an integral role in securing projects in new fields ranging from avian flu control to orangutan habitat protection. More than anything, I enjoyed the entrepreneurial character of my work. Each new project required learning about a new technical specialty, and these projects were often coupled with new cultural and political operating environments. In my future career, I hope to help a business to open new service lines or markets."

Chandana Nallapu

Chandana Nallapu

"Originally from India, my enthusiasm to learn about the fascinating world of business and the endless opportunities in the developing country are what made me start pursuing a degree in business. After receiving an engineering degree in Computer Science, I worked at Cognizant Technology Solutions, Hyderabad as a Programmer Analyst, which offered me opportunities to work in diverse fields such as Entertainment, Media and Healthcare. After being accepted into the Weinert Center’s program, each day has been equally challenging and enriching, with amazing faculty and staff who provide excellent individual support. I look forward to a fulfilling education and UW experience. After graduation, I hope to work in a socially responsible business where I can employ my acquired business skills and make a difference."

Erin Byrd

Erin Byrd

"I've focused my career mainly on sales and account management working for large organizations such as Xerox and smaller start-up companies such as PayPlanner. Since I was young, I have always enjoyed the entrepreneurial field and was able to start my own company this summer called Mission Volleyball. I also play professional beach volleyball for the Association of Volleyball Professionals. The Wisconsin School of Business Weinert Center will give me many tools and opportunities to not only develop my own company but to also make me a successful team member at an existing firm."

Marcel Petrutiu

Marcel Petrutiu

"A Wisconsin MBA in Entrepreneurial Management was the logical choice for my future career because it will enhance my entrepreneurial background and develop my strategic development skills. I graduated from the University of Economics Bucharest with a concentration in International Tourism. My professional career includes experiences in retail, consulting and tourism with companies acting in the fast changing, high growth Romanian business environment. Also, working with companies from abroad (Italy, Germany, Japan, Africa) I acquired and international perspective over the business environment. Upon graduation I am looking for a business development position inside an existing organization or within my own company."

Ryan Fields

Ryan Fields

"Originally from Lake Forest, Illinois, I received my undergraduate degree from Colgate University as a major in Freshwater and Marine Science. Most recently, I spent two years working for my family’s automotive retail business in Vancouver, British Columbia as a Business Manager at a BMW dealership. I chose Wisconsin’s Entrepreneurial Management program because it fits well with my aspirations to work in the area of sustainable business development. In particular, my interests in marine science have led me to pursue sustainable offshore-marine aquaculture development as a solution to the current world fisheries crisis."

Joe Raffiee-Shirazi

Joe Raffiee-Shirazi

“After graduating from California State University Fullerton with BA in Business Administration concentrating in economics and management, I went to work in the equipment finance industry. At this position I worked with business owners to facilitate financing options for equipment needed to grow and sustain their operations. I then got involved with technology, and was a partner in two internet startups. My experiences with these startups convinced me to increase my knowledge regarding successful venture creation. The curriculum at the Weinert Center at UW-Madison was the exact education I was looking for. I plan to use my MBA to evaluate potential ventures and business ideas as well as explore the world of venture capital.”

Justin Hajny

Justin Hajny

"After graduating from UW-Madison with degrees in Marketing and Management and Human Resources, I spent six years living and working in New York City. Most recently, I worked as the marketing manager for the International Trademark Association (INTA), where I created and implemented a global marketing strategy, with a focus on Europe, China and India, which resulted in increased membership recruitment and conference attendance. I’ve always enjoyed marketing because I feel it allows me to work with every area of an organization, and I believe Wisconsin's Entrepreneurial Management specialization provides the most focused program to expand on my marketing experience and build the skills necessary to manage all aspects of a business. I’m also very interested in environmental sustainability, and know Madison has many socially responsible opportunities."

Chip Seidel

Chip Seidel

"After receiving a degree in Economics from Grinnell College, I took a position with Professionals for Nonprofits, a staffing firm in Washington, DC. PNP specializes in identifying talent specifically for the non-profit sector in the NY, NJ , DC market. I started out as a recruiter and moved through the ranks eventually becoming the Manager of Staffing Services for the DC office. In this role I managed two staffing divisions and seven recruiters. My passion for management led me to Wisconsin to pursue an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management. While at Wisconsin I hope to build on my past experience and further develop an evaluatory skill set that will enable me to both succeed in and contribute to the dynamic business world of today."

Doug Henry

Doug Henry

"In the last five years, I have worked to create viable enterprises in Africa. My time living and working in this context has changed my life on a number of different levels. One of the most fundamental shifts has been my perspective on the role of the private sector to positively influence job creation and growth in developing nations. The prospect of private sector initiatives with the ability to return profits to shareholders, while creating positive social impacts, drew me to the Wisconsin MBA program and the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. I plan to remain involved with the development of emerging markets through socially responsible venture capital and private equity funds."

Heidi Vogel

Heidi Vogel

"After graduating from UW-Madison in 2005 with a BA in English, I spent three years working in New York City - most recently as Client Relationship Manager at Domini Social Investments, a socially responsible asset management firm. I am excited to be back in Madison to continue my professional development at the Wisconsin School of Business. I am particularly interested in the ways that value - financial, social, and environmental - can be created by innovative and responsible businesses and policies. I look forward to developing an expertise in venture creation and management through the Weinert Center program, and am eager to learn from this outstanding community of faculty and students."

To request further information and/or resume books for both internship positions and full-time employment, please go to http://www.bus.wisc.edu/mbacs/employers/resumes/

Entrepreneurship Students Elected to School-wide Leadership Positions

Erin Byrd and Doug Henry were elected by their peers as a member of the Master's Committee and the Graduate Business Association first-year representatives.

Entrepreneurship Association (EA) Kickoff

September 16 marked the kickoff for the Entrepreneurship Association (EA). Students from across the UW-Madison campus attended the first speaker series of the EA at the Fluno Center. Jamin Arn, President, Office Pro, shared his insights about how to turn an idea into a successful business venture. OfficePro was recently featured in Inc. magazine as one of America's fastest-growing private companies.

On October 7 EA members met at Brocach Irish Pub to share a few entrepreneurial experiences with Cliff McDonald, the pub's founder, owner and operator. From the massive renovations made to the building, to the everyday subtleties of running one of Madison's favorite bars/restaurants, Cliff's story was invaluable to all who attended.

The EA will continue to bring in new entrepreneurs throughout the year and additional information can be found at http://www.uwea.com/


Advisory Board Members in the News

Dan Neeley

Dan Neely, CEO and Founder of Networked Insights has joined the WAVE Advisory Board. Dan is an expert in customer intelligence and has his hands-on experience with the challenges companies face in gathering relevant, real-time insights about their customers in a Web 2.0 world. He has been involved in multiple internet start-ups. Dan holds a BBA from the University of Georgia. For a complete biographical sketch, please see http://bus.wisc.edu/_lightbox/bus/boardmemberbio.aspx?guid=%7B4F83263E-B701-44C2-A827-91916C4EF231%7D

Kay Plantes

Kay Plantes, Ph.D. and Founder of Plantes Company, has also joined the WAVE Board. Kay has authored "Beyond Price: Differentiate Your Company in Ways That Really Matter," which is available at Amazon.com . She founded a successful business consulting firm and has taught and written on the subject of social entrepreneurship. She has her Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and her BS from Penn State. For a complete biographical sketch, please see http://bus.wisc.edu/_lightbox/bus/boardmemberbio.aspx?guid=%7B96886B8A-77F6-4F91-B079-DFB691DC592E%7D Please join us in welcoming Dan and Kay to the WAVE advisory board.

Laurie Benson, CEO, Inacom Information Systems, was named one of the most powerful women in the technology channel! For full article, see http://wistechnology.com/articles/5043/

Joe Boucher, Neider & Boucher, S.C., cited the success that Exchange Hut undergrads realized through the sale of the company. For full article, please see http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/310413

Weinert/WAVE Board Meeting


We are pleased to announce a record turnout for the joint Weinert/WAVE Advisory Board meeting on October 23.. Weinert Board members in attendance included: Laurie Benson, Inacom; Aaron Kennedy, Noodles; Chris Hornung, Next Testing; Jack Lavin, Arrow Financial Services; Mike Smith, Avelle, the new Bag Borrow or Steal; and Andy Albert, Svoboda Capital Partners. WAVE Board members included: Scott Braucht, Scott Braucht & Associates; Laura Francis, Promega; John Komives, Lakeshore Group Ltd.; Greg Lynch, Michael Best & Friedrich; Mike Mathews, Ruedebusch Development & Construction; Dan Neely, Networked Insights; John Neis, Venture Investors of Wisconsin; Bruce Neviaser, Continuum Investment L.P.; and Paul Reckwerdt, TomoTherapy.

During the meeting, Dan Olszewski, Director, shared a review of the Weinert Center's activities. Second-year entrepreneurship students presented their start-up plans. Tom Carmona, presented City Dictionary.com and Kavi Turnbull, presented Drive Alternatives. The advisory board provided them with very useful feedback and insights. Following the meeting everyone was invited to hear Mike Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, speak to students, Dean's Advisory Board members, faculty and staff regarding his on-line retail company, Avelle, the new Bag Borrow or Steal, and the marketing benefits and challenges of being mentioned in a Hollywood movie (Sex and the City).


Scott Daigger and Todd Wendrick (2007), co-founders of Sandbox International, were featured in the October 2008 InBusiness Magazine. "What's the connection between funny socks and qualitative research? The start-up Sandbox International." They used the tagline to introduce their start-up. The firm finds highly creative customers for client-based panels. For Scott and Todd, it's all about generating innovation from fun. For more information, check out http://www.sandboxintl.com

Tom Godfrey (2006) has been promoted to Director, Mobile Strategy, at Frank N. Magid Associates.

Joe Kremer (1997), Director, Wisconsin Angel Network, is proud to announce the Early Stage Symposium, November 5-6 with the Wisconsin Technology Council. Please see http://www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/Events/win/index.aspx?ID=391

Scott Longua (1998) started a new business in April of 2008, Amanti Art (http://amantiart.com/) which is a full-service art consulting and framing business. They specialize in designing wall art packages for corporate environments, hospitality and healthcare facilities in the upper Midwest. In addition, they do work for many art museums, retailers, websites, and catalog companies.

Ankur Malhotra (2001) is currently teaching undergraduate technology entrepreneurship for the Wisconsin School of Business in addition to his position at Matador Consulting fall 2008-spring 2009.

Boris Nenide (1999) and Robert Suesse (2000) of FINTEL signed an agreement with First Research, a division of Hoover's Inc., to provide industry financial data for the use in First Research's main products, Industry Profiles and Industry Prospector.

Orlando Rivera-Sostre (2004) has returned to construction. He is currently building the College of Education and Human Services for the University of North Florida. This is a $22MM LEED Silver building (green construction) consisting of 3 levels and about 100,000 square feet of classrooms and faculty offices. He shares: "This is my 3rd year in remission after battling Leukemia (AML)... and going strong! In 2007 my wife gave birth to our son Diego who is now 16months. He's already running and behaving just like a boy... fun."

Troy Rost (2000), Founder Silver Plum Properties, LLC, recently purchased three income properties in downtown Madison. His goal is to renovate/gentrify and rent out properties to the young urban professional market.

Chad Sorenson (2002), Sologear, LLC, has completed the test market of its first product, FlameDisk, and is pleased to report sales exceeded expectations. The product is a replacement for charcoal. The company is transitioning into its national expansion phase and has already secured distribution with national Ace, TrueValue, DoItBest and United Hardware stores, SuperValu, Roundy's and Meijer - over 17,000 stores of distribution potential have already been secured. The product received the prestigious Member's Choice Award for the best new product at the national DoItBest hardware show. Sologear just launched its second-round of financing.

Harsha Tipirneni (1998), Aryabhatta Ventures (India) made a stop to say hello to all of us in the Weinert Center on October 23.

Elizabeth Wewerka (2001), aka Lady Moxie, made national news. She made the cover and was featured in the fall 2008 issue of Business Asset, published with Inc. For full article, please see attached pdf file here. In addition, she was featured as one of the "Amazing Women in Business" in Business Watch. For full article, please see http://www.businesswatchmagazine.com/Article_CoverStory.html.

Brad Woodall (2005) has accepted a position as Director of a new indoor sports facility in Middleton, Hitter's SportsPlex. He said, "This is a dream opportunity for me in that I can further utilize my previous experience as a professional athlete and coach as well as my education in entrepreneurship at UW."

Please make sure to send any news or updates to WeinertCenter@bus.wisc.edu


Professor Ray Aldag, the Glen A. Skillrud Family Chair in Business and Executive Director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship, has completed his three-year elected term as Dean of the Fellows of the Academy of Management, the Academy's honorary society. He has also received the Outstanding Reviewer Award from the Academy of Management Review.

Congratulations to Professor Mason Carpenter for his promotion to the status of Full Professor at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Professor Jon Eckhardt has been chosen to receive a Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He will represent the inaugural class of Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellows. This new program was launched by the foundation to recognize and fund five junior faculty a year who are establishing a record of scholarship that has the potential to make significant contributions to research in the field of entrepreneurship. He will be recognized at the upcoming Allied Social Science Association/American Economic Association annual meeting in San Francisco, CA on January 3-5, 2009. For more information on the program, go to:<http://sites.kauffman.org/kjff/>.

Professor Eckhardt was also recently appointed as an affiliate of the Sloan Industry Studies Program for his research in the software industry. The Sloan Industry Studies program was formed in 1990 to encourage the direct rigorous academic research of specific industries. The Sloan Industry Studies program is is sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information on the program, go to <http://www.industry.sloan.org/index.php>.

Professor Phil Kim's students Brian Gandor (May 2008 graduate) and Ted Durkee are making the news with Powered Green.com. Please see this video. http://think.mtv.com/044FDFFFF0098983400170099392F/

Another outstanding undergraduate student venture makes the news. ExchangeHut was started by Matt Stamerjohn when he was a UW-Madison student to create a market for tickets and textbooks. The company was subsequently purchased by UW-Madison students Nathan Lustig, Corey Capasso, and John Tucker. ExchangeHut was recently acquired by CDI America. For complete article, please see http://wistechnology.com/articles/5135/

Invitation to All

The specializations have completed their move to the East Wing of Grainger, room 4420 and 4410. Pictures of WAVE funded start-ups now adorn the walls. In addition, pictures of all the graduating classes since 1997 are displayed. Please stop by to see the new space for the students and staff if you are in the area.


We would like to thank the following students, alumni and friends of the specializations for their generous contributions.

Jane Bills, 2007 Entrepreneurship Alum
Alexander Ehrnrooth, 2000 Entrepreneurship Alum
Dan & Kathryn Olszewski, Director

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