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

February 2009 NEWSLETTER

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

This has been a very exciting couple of months with great news and success regarding the Center, our students, alumni, advisory boards and faculty. In the space of one week the Center was chosen as the 2009 Model Entrepreneurship MBA Program and Weinert Center Hall of Fame member Carol Bartz was named CEO of Yahoo, one of the biggest and most challenging jobs in Silicon Valley.

In addition to our students' success at the Venture Capital Investment Competition and Network Marketing Competition, our first-year students challenged and defeated the Real Estate students in the Polar Plunge helping raise a record amount for Special Olympics in the process.

It has been a very exciting couple of months in a wide range of fronts. As always, we thank our friends of the Center for all of their contributions, be they financial or time. It makes a huge difference and allows us to continue to expand and improve the programs.

Table of Contents

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


USASBE Weinert Center winning National Award for MBA

The MBA program in Entrepreneurial Management at the Wisconsin School of Business has been named the 2009 “National Model MBA Entrepreneurship Program” by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).

The MBA in Entrepreneurial Management is offered by the business school’s Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial Management is one of 12 career specializations offered in the school’s full-time Wisconsin MBA program.

The award was presented at the USASBE conference, held Jan. 8-11 in Anaheim, Calif. Professor Ramon (Ray) Aldag, executive director, presented the Weinert Center materials to a panel of judges and accepted the award.

USASBE is a national network of entrepreneurship educators, professional practitioners, researchers and government policy makers. The association’s national awards are given to programs that reflect “innovation, quality, comprehensiveness, sustainability, transferability, depth of support and impact.”

Aldag noted that, “I was delighted by the enthusiasm with which information about the Weinert Center was received by the panel of judges and audience. Many individuals requested additional information about the center and expressed surprise and praise regarding the scope and depth of the center’s activities. The award is remarkable recognition for the Weinert Center faculty, staff, students, advisory boards, and alumni as well as for the ongoing support of Dean Mike Knetter, the Wisconsin School of Business, and our benefactor, Jim Weinert. The Weinert Center’s success is due in large part to the tremendous commitment, caring, and contributions of Center Director Dan Olszewski and Academic Specialist Janet Christopher and to the solid foundation provided by former Center Director Bob Pricer.” For further details, check out the following: http://www.jsonline.com/business/37577249.html

Carol Bartz

Carol Bartz, 2004 Weinert Hall of Fame Recipient and UW-Madison Alum, Named CEO of Yahoo

In 2004, Carol Bartz, CEO of Autodesk, was inducted into the Weinert Center 's Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

In January 2009 she was named CEO of Yahoo.

Bartz is a 1971 UW-Madison graduate in Computer Science.

For details, please see http://www.madison.com/wsj/mad/top/432494

First-Year Entrepreneurship Student Wins Graduate Marketing Network Challenge

Justin Hajny pictured with others, acknowledging his winning

Justin Hajny, pictured on the far left, (Class of 2010) and his team of fellow MBAs won the Graduate Marketing Network Challenge held January 21-23. Students had 48 hours to develop a presentation based on a Kingsford Charcoal case and present their recommendations to a panel of judges. The top two teams were given a new wrinkle to the case, revised their presentation and presented again to all of the judges in the Final Round, receiving some great feedback.

Venture Capital Investment Competition

Carol Bartz

Congratulations, Winners!

Miles Gerson (SMILES), entrepreneurship students Tom Carmona, Kavi Turnbull, Loren (Erik) Snyder, and Marcel Petrutiu (1st year entrepreneurship student) competed in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) in Boulder, Colo on February 13. The team won the Entrepreneur's Choice award. For a complete list of winners, please see http://www.vcic.unc.edu/

Students Volunteer to Support Polar Plunge 2009

The entire first-year entrepreneurship class chose to support the local Special Olympics athletes by jumping or running into Lake Monona at the Olin Turville Park on Saturday, February 21. Students collected a record number of funds to support this event and won an internal challenge with the Real Estate department. The weather was reported to be close to 20 degrees and there was 6 inches of snow falling to the ground. Congratulations to our team!

Students participating in the Polar Plunge

Entrepreneurship Association

Election for new officers was held this semester and the following entrepreneurship students will be officers for 2009-2010:

President -- Justin Hajny

VP of Finance -- Marcel Petrutiu

VP of Marketing and Event Promotion - Ananda Chandana Nallapu

Co-VP of External Relations -- Duncan Basson

To watch for upcoming events, please go to http://www.uwea.com/index.php

Seeking Your Expertise in Selecting Future Entrepreneurs

We are off to a great start with many strong applications to the programs for next year. Once again, we would like to ask for your help in recruiting excellent students to the Entrepreneurship and SMILES programs for Fall 2009. The final deadline for admission is May 27, however we highly recommend that interested parties apply early. If you know of any potential students, please refer them to our websites:

http://www.bus.wisc.edu/weinertcenter, http://www.bus.wisc.edu/SMILES, or have them call Dan Olszewski at (608) 265-3959.

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 role. 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.


Make Mine a Million $ Business Race

Two years ago board member Laurie Benson led the initiative to have Wisconsin be the first state to ever host a "Make Mine a Million" statewide competition. Based on the great success of the competition, an online "Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE" was launched earlier this year. The program's goal is to assist female entrepreneurs break the million $ in sales mark. For the complete Wisconsin State Journal article, please see http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/438890. Registration can be done online at www.makemineamillion.org. Prizes and national recognition for crossing your personal finish line as well as the chance to win the Grand Prize of $100,000 cash are waiting for you.

Dan Neely, CEO and Founder, NetworkedInsights, was featured in the Business Watch Magazine. Networked Insights, mines 3.5 million conversations a day, totaling over 1 billion annually. Using proprietary software, they are monitoring our online social lives and using what we read, rate, share, link to and write to help businesses make informed decisions on who and what we like … the signal in the massive amount of e-noise. Read the full story here: http://www.businesswatchmagazine.com/Article_CoverStory.html


Featured Alumni

We would like to begin a new series in our newsletter that features information about our alums. If you would like to be included as a "Featured Alum," please send your information to WeinertCenter@bus.wisc.edu. This month, we are pleased to feature Tim Gill, a 2006 alum of the Entrepreneurship program.

Image of Alumnus

Tim Gill

2006 Graduate

"To me entrepreneurship has primarily been around the Internet. Google's success has had a tremendous impact on my career. They have left a wake of creative destruction that has radically shifted how people access information. After the Weinert Center MBA program, I worked as a consultant with a number of companies on their marketing presence. As I was consulting different companies on their web presence everyone wanted more traffic. With the advent of low-cost web analytics programs in 2006, site owners could finally see where their traffic is coming from. The search engine optimization business has since exploded as small business webmasters and CEOs are now aware of what their top search terms are and how much revenue they get from Google. In 2006, I partnered with Tony Escarcega to market a nutritional supplement targeted toward endurance runners called PR1pak. One year after starting the business, we are cash-flow positive. While reaching runners the Nike way would have been cost prohibitive using search engine marketing we have steadily attracted runners from around the world using Google to PR1pak.com.

In 2007, I joined Netconcepts, a Madison company with a sister office in New Zealand, one of the nationwide leaders in search marketing consulting. We would consult with companies on how to be ranked higher in Google. I had the opportunity of consulting with world-class online retailers such as LLBean, Cabelas, REI, Kohl's and Target.

I currently manage the search marketing channel for an Amazon subsidiary, Bop LLC. While search marketing manager is a job title that didn't exist four years ago at Amazon, it is held accountable for a revenue target. The site is Shopbop.com, a leading online women's boutique retailer. My responsibilities there involve getting customers to the web site. Some of you who went to school here may remember Bop near Pizzeria Unos at the corner of State Street and Gorham Street. It was started in 1999 when I was an undergraduate and acquired by Amazon.com in 2006. To this day, the Bop store on State Street is the only Amazon retail store! Bop was a real entrepreneur in finding their market, both in Madison and nationwide via online marketing. Since 2000, they quickly became THE online destination for women's designer jeans. Since then, they have expanded to designer shoes and purses. Despite the recession; Amazon just had their best year ever. There is definitely a shift underway in consumer's comfort level with online shopping. With that comes many new opportunities as old business models are disproved for new models. As an online marketer I tend to see all entrepreneurship challenges through a web centric lens. Getting a site up and testing out your business model without investing a lot of money is the way I would approach any new venture. The web will give you the cruel harsh feedback of the marketplace without risking much initial capital. The 'Four Hour Work Week' has a formula for testing out your venture in Google Adwords to see whether or not your entrepreneurial ideas have traction. This book is a must read for anyone interested in quickly seeing if their business model has legs. For any would be entrepreneurs, I would strongly suggest getting to know your keywords and your industry terms. See who ranks for them in Google and see who your competitors are."

Other Alumni News

Scott Daigger (2007) and Todd Wendrick (2007), Sandbox International founders, are seeking a Series A angel investment for Phase II development of Sandbox’s online marketing research software.

Shailesh Ghimire (2003) and his wife announced the birth of a second daughter in November, Sarina Joie Ghimire. He is currently Director of Interactive Marketing, AIR Marketing, working in social media developing innovative interactive marketing programs across a range of industries. New blog: http://www.socialmediawiz.com/.

John Halter (2006) is pleased to announce his company, JH Trading LLC, has escaped the credit crunch, paid off all its debts, and is looking forward to future success.

Sandy Horowitz (2007) is now running Martina McBride's new publishing company, Little Champion Music, starting it from the ground up!!!

Lance Mikus (2004) has been promoted to Head of Invitrogen Brand Strategy, responsible for sustaining the leadership position of Invitrogen™ platform and sub-brands. In this role, Lance will lead the brand aesthetic and architecture framework for the IVGN portfolio of product and technology sub-brands; ensure consistency in both internal and external communications across our broad spectrum of media channels.

Boris Nenide (1999) and Robert Suesse (2000) of FINTEL recently released a new (and much improved!) version of their Business Scorecard tool (found at https://secure.fintel.us/scorecard). As a scaled-down version of their flagship product, Business Analyzer, it's meant to provide quick benchmarking and analytical capabilities to small business owners and managers. Since its release, it' has been reviewed very favorably by several prominent blogs for entrepreneurs such as http://www.kerryedwardslinks.com/analyze-your-business/170/

Whitney Robertson (2005 SMILES, PhD 2003) is now the Director of Commercialization at Sanford Health, an integrated healthcare system and medical center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sanford Health, formerly Sioux Valley Health System, made headlines in February 2007 when it became the recipient of the largest-ever gift to a U.S. health care organization, $400 million from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford. Whitney's position centers on building a framework for technology commercialization as well as assisting in the development of the Sanford Project, an initiative that aims to cure or make significant advances in treating/preventing type 1 diabetes.

Chad Sorenson (2002), President, SoloGear went national with Flame Disk and was featured in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. For complete article, please see http://www.jsonline.com/business/38840702.html


Nine Business Faculty Receive Graduate School Research Grants

Nine Wisconsin School of Business faculty members have been chosen in the UW-Madison Graduate School Fall Research Competition for the 2009-10 academic year. Faculty from throughout campus competed for the grants. The grants to business faculty members total $214,314. Last year, five winners received a total of $124,758 in support. This year's winners are: Xia Chen, Qiang Cheng, Jonathan Eckhardt , Anne Miner, David Schweidel, Robin Tanner, Ann Terlaak, Mary Triana, and Youchang Wu. Each September, the Research Committee of the Graduate School invites proposals for supplemental funding for the following fiscal year. Funding for this program comes from an annual gift from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). Research Committee priorities are to: support creative research and scholarship on campus; open new research areas, including multidisciplinary projects; assist junior faculty in strengthening their research programs; and provide insurance against applications for extramural funding, particularly those involving support for graduate students.

Organization Science, one of the leading journals in the field, has accepted Anne Miner's research paper, “Organizational Learning from Extreme Performance Experience: The Impact of Success and Recovery Experience” for publication. The paper, using data on new banks, indicates that new firms need some threshold level before extreme success and recovery experiences become useful. Combining success and recovery experiences has more value than either alone. The paper is coauthored with UW-Madison alums June Young Kim (Marquette) and Jay Kim (University of California). Miner has previously published work supporting the idea that new firms can learn by observing both the failures and recoveries of other firms in their industry.

Anne Miner recently spoke on Entrepreneurship at a ceremony honoring School of Pharmacy entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial Learning Community Alert!

Incoming freshmen can now choose to live in the new Entrepreneurial Learning Community next year! If you know any UW admits with an entrepreneurial bent, please encourage them to request this housing option sponsored by the cross-campus Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship (INSITE). See http://www.housing.wisc.edu/erlc/index.php for more information.

Miner credits the Weinert Center community members for playing key roles in helping kick off this year's cross campus venture in many different ways including interacting with students at dinners, serving as MBA liaisons, as well as engaging them in academic research projects as examples. INSITE faculty director Anne Miner spearheads the overall program.


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

Andy Albert, Weinert Board Member
Sean Ebert, 2008 Entrepreneurship Alum
Tom Godfrey, 2007 Entrepreneurship Alum
Jon and Lee Eckhardt, Faculty
Cailin Mani, 2007 Entrepreneurship Alum
Michael J. Miller, 2008 Entrepreneurship Alum
Pei Qi, 2008 SMILES Alum
Timothy Staton, 2008 Entrepreneurship Alum
Sara VanderLind, 2006 Entrepreneurship Alum
Todd Wendrick, 2007 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

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