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

December 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 an exciting time of year as all of the students finish up final exams and projects before heading off for break -- a break that will no doubt include time spent on job searches, start-up business plans and catching up on some reading.

We have a lot of updates in this newsletter, but I would like to make special mention of our student resume book. If you are looking to hire an MBA for either a full-time or internship position, please make sure to contact us for the resumes of our great students. (WeinertCenter@bus.wisc.edu)

We would also like to wish you and your family a happy and joyous holiday season.


Becky, Dan and Janet

Becky, Dan & Janet

Seasons Greetings!

Table of Contents

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


Weinert Center Recognized as a Model MBA Program

The Weinert Center has been selected as a United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Finalist in the category of Model MBA Program. Professor Ramon J. Aldag will present the final presentation to a team of judges on January 9, 2009. The USASBE is the leading voice in entrepreneurship research, teaching and application. Their mission is to advance knowledge and business development through entrepreneurship education and research. Learn more about the USASBE here http://www.usasbe.org


Merlin Mentors

Madison Entrepreneur Resource, Learning and Innovation Network (MERLIN) was recently developed to provide a valuable relationship between new entrepreneurs and mentors. Research proves that a start-up venture is far more likely to thrive when supported by multiple mentors with proven skills and experience. To learn about the benefits of this program and to apply as either a mentor or mentee, please see http://www.merlinmentors.org/ "MERLIN Mentors is a new organization created to formalize the mentoring process and to increase the number of entrepreneurs in southern Wisconsin," says Terry Sivesind, director of MERLIN Mentors, co-founder of Wisconsin Investment Partners, Wisconsin's first angel investor network and WAVE Advisory Board member. For complete article, please see http://www.news.wisc.edu/15832


Early Stage Symposium

The Elevator Pitch Olympics was a highlight of the Early Stage Symposium held November 5-6. Second-year entrepreneurship student Kavi Turnbull presented DriveAlternatives, and while not this year's winner, was mentioned in InBusiness Magazine and interviewed on TV for his intriguing offering. Two other alumni start-ups, FINTEL, (Robert Suesse and Boris Nenide) as well as Sandbox International (Scott Daigger and Todd Wendrick) also participated.

Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC)

The Center's VCIC "dream team" has been selected for this year's competition in Colorado, February 2009. The student team includes: Tom Carmona, Erik Snyder, Kavi Turnbull, Miles Gerson (SMILES) and Marcel Petrutiu (first-year).

Governor's Business Plan Contest

Entries are being accepted online for the 2009 competition. They will be accepted through 5 p.m. January 31, 2009. To apply and learn more about the contest, please see www.govsbizplancontest.com. Contestants who advance will be given the opportunity to expand their plan or idea. 60 Judges will score the entries and provide feedback. The competition is managed by the Wisconsin Technology Council. Historically, Weinert Center alumni and students have been frequent winners in the competition.

Entrepreneurship Association (EA)

This year’s keynote event during Global Entrepreneurship Week was the Entrepreneurship Association’s “An Evening with Mark McGuire.” The event attracted nearly 100 students for Mark’s inspiring entrepreneurial story. Mark urged the students to think about “how they will be remembered” and to chase their dreams accordingly. Mark was a co-founder of Nameprotect.com, Jellyfish.com, and recently raised over $5 million in seed capital for his next venture Alice.com. Check out the coverage from the Daily Cardinal: Business success story inspires students to enter job market.

Another speaker encouraging students to follow their passion was Broadcast Interactive Media’s CEO, Timur Yarnall. After graduate school at Stanford, Timur founded Clickability, raised venture capital during the dot.com boom and then successfully managed it through the dot.com bust. Since then Timur has founded Broadcast Interactive Media, a 40 employee firm in downtown Madison.

First-Year Students Mentoring Undergraduates

Erin Byrd

Current first-year students Erin Byrd and Doug Henry spent this semester acting as mentors for the new Entrepreneurial Residential Learning Community (ERLC) in Sellery Hall. Erin and Doug acted as mentors, attended ERLC functions, and made connections with the undergraduate students that make up the learning community. You can learn more about the learning community at http://www.housing.wisc.edu/erlc/

Doug Henry

Marketing Entrepreneurship

We have added a link to podcasts at InBusiness with Jody & Joan at http://bus.wisc.edu/centers/weinert/about-us/newsletter/archive where you can listen to board members, alumni, faculty/staff, friends of the Center, and our current students talk about their entrepreneurial experiences. The complete list is extensive and can be found at http://podcast.loyalears.com/wtdy.php?task=shows&show_id=51.

Available Full-Time and/or Internship Students

Throughout the news you see many stories about difficult economic times and the challenges facing those looking for jobs. Many talented students are looking for the right opportunity. We want to let you look at our students' resumes, get a chance to know them, and take advantage of the talent that could help your firm via either a summer internship or full-time roll. For an electronic copy of these resumes, please email WeinertCenter@bus.wisc.edu. Please also pass this along if you know of anyone who is interested in hiring an MBA -- we'd appreciate it as would our students. Thank you in advance.

Speakers for Fall 2008

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the guest speakers who participated in our entrepreneurship classes this past fall. They include:

Kyle Adams, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)
Pehr Anderson, Metavante
George Arida, Venture Investors
Mark Bennett, Total Training Solutions
Laurie Benson, Inacom
Joe Boucher, Neider & Boucher
Bob Cramer, UW-Madison
Scott Daigger, Sandbox International
Alison Dodge/Lea Wolf, Happy Bambino
Chris Dueringer, US Bank
Tony Escarcega, Ratio
Mike Falk, WARF
Charlie Flad, UW Public Safety
Mark Gehring, Sharendipity
Craig Heim, WARF
Heather Hilleren, GreenLeaf Markets
Chris Hornung, Next Testing
Barb Israel, Platypus
Ted Kanavas, Wisconsin Legislature
Jeremy Kraft, Atlans Improv
Tyler Leeper, ProactiCare
Greg Lynch, Michael Best & Friedrich
Rock Mackie, TomoTherapy
Deven McGlenn, Neoclone
Pat McGraw, Amcore
Neil Peters-Michaud, Cascade Asset Management
John Neis, Venture Investors
Bruce Neviaser, Continuum Investment L.P.
Brent Newport, aKa Card
Jeff Peterson, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Paul Reckwerdt, TomoTherapy
Bill Skeens, Prairie City Bakery
Sarah Smith, Sarah’s HOPE Jewelry
Chad Sorenson, Sologear
Ward Tucker, Biosentenial
Troy Vosseller, Sconnie Nation
JJ Vosskamp, Cascade Asset Management
Todd Wendrick, Sandbox International
Henry Wilde, State of Wisconsin Department of Children and Families


Board Meeting

Advisory Board Meeting

The WAVE Advisory Board meeting was held December 12. WAVE student presentations included a medical device company, a wind power engineering firm, an online data services firm, and an online business services site for start-ups. Alumni/faculty and friends of the Center attended the year-end celebration following these presentations. The event included a review of the Center's accomplishments presented by Dan Olszewski and tours of our new space in Grainger Hall. Many alumni and friends attended the celebration including Professor Robert Pricer and his wife, Jane.

Advisory Board Members in the News

Jan Eddy, retired WAVE Board member, was a judge at the Wisconsin Elevator Pitch Olympics. For full article, please see http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/313249

Neil Peters-Michaud (1999 alum), Cascade Asset Management, was recognized for the environmentally responsible nature of their IT equipment reuse/recycling firm. The company was recently featured in the Wisconsin State Journal http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/316166

Paul Reckwerdt, Co-founder of TomoTherapy, announced his year-end retirement as President and Director to pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities and serves as a consultant for Compact Particle Acceleration Corp. For news release, please see http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=/wsj/2008/12/12/0812120039.php


Jane Bills (2007) is working on the launch of a comprehensive food-related website, which she sums up as "a guide to the best ingredients in-store and online" based on her years of food research. More to come in the next newsletter!

Rob Creighton, (2007) presented his start-up company WindLift at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy Conference -- for full story see http://www.nytimes.com/external/gigaom/2008/10/22/22gigaom-windlift-harnesses-kites-for-off-grid-power-13052.html

Mike Fourcher (2003) and his wife Teresa had wonderful baby boy, Nicolas, on December 10. Mike is continuing to build his political consulting business in Illinois and is representing Democratic candidates from across the state.

Heather Hilleren (2005) was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop an online market to make it easy to buy locally grown products. In October 2008 product was delivered to two Dane County-based grocery stores as a result of purchases facilitated through Greenleaf Market's website (Greenleafmarket.com). Please read http://www.wenportal.org/success/display.aspx?Id=137 In addition, GreenLeafMarket.com was cited in the December issue of Business Watch on Locally Sourced Delicious, Healthy Eats as a resource to many chefs and food experts to buy local. Read the complete article here http://bluetoad.com/publication/?i=8703

Joe Kremer (1997) is proud to announce the 22nd angel group to affiliate with the Wisconsin Angel Network. This group is the Lake Superior Angel Network. For complete article, please read http://wistechnology.com/articles/5288/ Joe has been working on this for more than three years and is celebrating his 4th year anniversary with WAN.

Laurent Crolla (2002) founder of Swiss Cellars was cited in the Wall Street Journal as an outlet for anyone seeking swiss wines. Please read http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB122724431615047571-lMyQjAxMDI4MjI3NDIyNDQ0Wj.html

Chad Sorenson (2002) co-founder of Sologear made the news with his firm's participation in "Beyond Firewood: Exploring alternative fuels and energy technologies in humanitarian settings" taking place in New Delhi, India. His Flamedisk product has been launched in the U.S. as a product for quick and easy grilling. It may also prove useful as an alternative to firewood for cooking in other parts of the world. For full article please see http://wistechnology.com/articles/5251/


Anne Miner was recognized for her role in mentoring UW-Madison women faculty. The award, created to honor rural sociologist Doris Slesinger for her many years nurturing faculty and contributing to the university, has been awarded annually since 1998. It is part of the broader Women Faculty Mentoring Program that seeks to support and retain women assistant professors throughout the tenure process. For complete article, please read http://www.bus.wisc.edu/news/0284.asp

Jon Eckhardt and Anne Miner were recently awarded research funding from the graduate school research competition, which is funded by the WARF endowment. Funds awarded to Professor Eckhardt will used to sponsor tuition and research time for a Ph.D. student to study how founders can maintain executive leadership positions in firms that IPO. Professor Miner and doctoral student Jay OToole will study three ways firms develop lasting capabilities and their impact.


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

Cailin Mani, 2007 Entrepreneurship Alum
Eric Olson, 2007 SMILES Alum
Sara VanderLind, 2006 Entrepreneurship 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

Happy Holidays!

We wish you the happiest of holiday seasons!

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