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


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

As you can see by the contents of this e-newsletter we have had an action-packed semester. In addition to the great guest speakers, impressive student and alumni accomplishments, we have a couple very noteworthy events. This fall the Princeton Review/Entrepreneur Magazine rankings of entrepreneurship programs was released and the UW was ranked #11 at the graduate level and #16 at the undergraduate level. This is the highest ranking for both programs. In addition, at our October Advisory Board meeting, we announced a change in strategy to focus resources on broadening the entrepreneurial training across the business school, campus and state.

Thank you again for all of your support in 2009 and we wish you and your family a happy holiday season and successful 2010.


Table of Contents

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


UW Graduate and Undergraduate Programs Make Top Entrepreneurship List for 2009

Entrepreneur Magazine and Princeton Review announced their ranking of entrepreneurship programs for 2009 and the Wisconsin School of Business made the graduate program list at #11 and the undergraduate program was ranked #16. The graduate program climbed from #13 last year and this was the first year that the undergraduate program was ranked. This recognition is in addition to being named Model Entrepreneurship MBA Program by USASBE. In addition "The Union of Town and Gown" featured the entrepreneurship program and the many other activities driving entrepreneurship in Wisconsin.

Additional stories about the ranking can be found at:

Weinert Center's Entrepreneurial Mission Broadens

We wanted to bring you up to date with changes being made to the Entrepreneurship and SMILES programs.

In an effort to spread entrepreneurship across campus, we are in the process of creating an Entrepreneurship certificate that will allow MBA students across all specializations as well as non-business students from all areas of campus to augment their core studies with a solid understanding of entrepreneurship.

In order to meet a growing campus-wide demand for technology innovation courses, a formal certificate in Innovation is being developed for the Strategic Management and Life in the Engineering Sciences program.

We will also look to increase entrepreneurship training for more students by expanding the range of entrepreneurship courses, opening enrollment to more students and expanding the reach of entrepreneurship topics into existing courses.

This broader focus and shift of resources will mean that starting in 2012 the MBA specialization in Entrepreneurship and SMILES will no longer be offered. The Weinert Center will continue to actively work on expanding entrepreneurship and making the capstone WAVE course available to students from other specializations as well as other majors on campus.

Please read the Dean's announcement in the most recent Update magazine here

Several Events Hosted to Honor Global Entrepreneurial Week

  • Kenny Dichter, the Founder and CEO of Marquis Jets, flew in on one of his private jets (his company is the leader in this industry) to celebrate Entrepreneurial Week and to meet with students on November 17. He shared his experience in starting a t-shirt company while at the UW and how serial entrepreneurship lead him to starting Marquis Jets.
  • Jack Lavin, Founder Javlin Partners LLC, addressed entrepreneurship students regarding how to build a sustainable business on November 19. Jack shared his experiences and what it takes to be an entrepreneur and discussed his new ventures in international markets and social investing.
  • Marsha Lindsay, Founder, Lindsay, Stone and Briggs, addressed the Entrepreneurship Association students on November 18. Marsha shared her journey to become a successful entrepreneur and answered several questions from the audience.
  • John Surdyk, INSITE, teleconferenced students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison that were attending WEB in the Netherlands on November 20. This was an opportunity to see them in their role as a "student" studying entrepreneurship. As part of the program, a business pitch competition was held and UW's Ankit Agarwal won 10,000 Euros.

First-Year Student Katie Krueger Featured in Wisconsin Women and the Wisconsin Book Festival

Katie's travels lead to publishing a nonprofit book, Give with Gratitude: Lessons Learned Listening to West Africa. Please read complete article here:
http://issuu.com/ogarapublishing/docs/ww_oct09 -- pages 8-9.

First-Year Student Dan Sarbacker Elected VP of GBA

First-year student, Dan Sarbacker, was voted Vice President for the Graduate Business Association.

Second-Year Student Doug Henry Wins Competition

Second-year student, Doug Henry, along with students Peter O'Leary (CFIB), Chris Strom (ASAP) and Brad Welnick (CFIB) won the Corporate Growth Competition. This team will advance to compete against the winning teams from the MBA programs at Marquette University and University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in Feb in Milwaukee. The work is compressed into one week from distribution of materials to presentation. The winning team will share $5,000 and the two runners-up will share $1,500. Good luck to the team!

Mock Interviews Held for Students

Students participated in a full day of "mock" interviews on December 4th. Special thanks to interviewers Amy Bina (2006 Alum), Mike Miller (2008 Alum), Susan Pschorr (2001 Alum), J. J. Vosskamp (1998 Alum), and Monika Wingate (A. C. Nielsen Alum).

Director and MBA Students Meet with Chamber of Commerce

Dan Olszewski, Director, along with Duncan Basson, 2nd year entrepreneurship student, and Katie Krueger, 1st year entrepreneurship student, addressed the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce on November 19. They discussed entrepreneurship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and various linkages between area firms and the school.

EA Speakers

The Entrepreneurship Association was very active this last semester, including visits from the following guest speakers:

Marsha Lindsay, Lindsay, Stone and Briggs
Pete Zaballos, Frazier Technology Ventures
Jerry Shereshewsky, Grandparents.com
Michael Levin, Titan Steel

Author of Upstarts Visits UW

Donna Fenn, a frequent Inc. Magazine contributor and author of : Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit from Their Success, a book on GenY entrepreneurship was the Business Writer in Residence this fall. She spoke to various classes and groups and an interview with her can be found at http://www.bus.wisc.edu/pressroom/tag/donna-fenn/

Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC)

This year's "dream team" has been selected and includes: Second-year entrepreneurship students Duncan Basson, Erin Byrd, Justin Hajny, Doug Henry and first-year student SMILES Oliver Richards. They will participate in the competition in Colorado, February 10-12, 2010. Phil Greenwood will serve as the Faculty Advisor. Go team go!

Available Full-Time and/or Internship Students

We have several talented students who are looking for the right opportunity. We encourage you to read through their 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 the 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.


Additons to WAVE and Weinert Advisory Board

Toni Sikes

Toni Sikes, Senior Advisor at Gruppo, Levey & Co. as well as Founder of The Guild, has joined the Weinert Center Board of Advisors. Toni received her BS in Mathematics from the University of Alabama and MS in Marketing Research from the UW-Madison.

Chad Sorenson

Chad Sorenson, President and Co-Founder, Sologear, as well as President and Founder of Fluent Systems, has joined the WAVE Advisory Board. Chad earned his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering and MBA in Entrepreneurship from the UW-Madison.

Weinert and WAVE Advisory Board Meeting October 2009

Board Meeting October 2009

October 15, 2009 marked the announcement of a new entrepreneurship program. Along with the board meeting, the new certificate program was announced. The board meeting was followed by students attending the Weikel speaker event and the homecoming gala on the weekend.

Wave Advisory Board Meeting November 2009

Board Meeting November 2009

On December 11, 2009 several board members listened to WAVE students present the projects they were working on for the semester and joined alumni, faculty and staff to celebrate the end of the semester.

Networked Insights Signs Deal with Data Group

Dan Neely's Networked Insights signed a deal with Boston-based International Data Group, the world's leading technology media, events, and research company. For full story please see


Michael P. Ciuchta has received the Robert W. Pricer Ph.D. Scholarship and recently accepted an entrepreneurship faculty position at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He will be teaching the MBA course in technology innovation and the undergrad entrepreneurship course.

Professor Jon Eckhardt and coauthor Marc Junkunc (University of Miami) published an article on the use of secondary shares in initial public offerings in the October issue of the journal Management Science. John Neis and George Arida of Venture Investors and Paul Reckwerdt provided advice on the project.

Jon Eckhardt gave a seminar in November at University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business on the topic of innovation and competition in software markets for mobile devices. Weinert MBA student Duncan Basson, Ph.D. student Mike Ciuchta, and MHR faculty member Mason Carpenter have also worked on aspects of this project.

Eckhardt will be serving as a research mentor in a workshop organized by the Kauffman foundation at the American Economic Association Annual meetings in January. If you will be in Atlanta January 3 - 6, send Jon a note if you would like to get together.

Professor Phillip Kim is pleased to announce that former undergraduate MHR 422 student Mike Jurken (2010) represented the United States as one of 25 finalists for the 2009 Global Student Entrepreneur Award during this year's Global Entrepreneurship Week. Mike is founder and owner of Majic Enterprises, a full-service event production company based in Brookfield, WI.

Current undergraduate MHR 434 student Jeremy Shafton (2009) was a finalist in Google's Android Developer's Challenge 2 (ADC2) for his entry titled "Atmosphere." Jeremy started his mobile phone video gaming business, Door 6 this year.


Jane Bills (2007) launched her food website, Let There Be Bite (http://lettherebebite.com/): a guide to the best ingredients in stores and online. Read about how to make the right food choices at your local store (natural, organic, omega-3, grass-fed, etc.) and discover amazing products from her partner vendors. Learn what to stock in the pantry for a last-minute meal, and check out her collection of personal recipes. Don't forget to sign up for the free monthly e-newsletter! Follow Jane on Twitter for the latest food facts: http://twitter.com/lettherebebite

Tom Carmona (2009), Founder, CityDictionary.com has news to share. Broadcast Interactive Media (BIM) unveiled a new partnership between Social Media Platform, YouNews™ and hyper-local content provider City Dictionary http://www.citydictionary.com/. The two Madison, WI-based companies have combined forces to provide users of the nearly 80 YouNews affiliates across the U.S. an opportunity to experience and contribute to a growing localized dictionary of community terms, slang, “isms” and definitions. Please read entire article here: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=179903

Rob Creighton (2007) is proud to announce that Windlift was one of eighteen companies to receive a North Carolina Green Business Fund Grant. The $82,100 grant will help fund research and development of Windlift's mobile wind power system.

Governor's Business Plan

Once again, alum Joe Kremer (1997) is helping organize the competition.

Deadlines for the 2010 Business Plan Competition are:

Phase 1 -- January 31 -- Abstract submission due
Phase 2 -- March 12 -- Executive summary due
Phase 3 -- April 26 -- Final written portion due

To view the details please go here

David Lohrentz (1999) and Drew Hutchison (head baker) purchased Madison Sourdough Artisan Bakery in August this year. David states, "We have a WAVE team working with us to develop our business plan. They've been doing a great job. We recently added two full time bakers and had over 30 good applicants from all over the country when we posted the jobs. We're expecting sales to be about 30% higher than last year, and are making plans to blow the doors off next year. Several WAVE alums gave us good advice during the acquisition and we appreciate the help greatly. We're looking at putting an advisory board together in 2010, so if anyone is interested or knows of someone who would be a good fit, please contact me."

Ryan Palmer (2009) is very close to opening his start-up, Cultured Kids Immersion School. Watch http://www.culturedkidsofmadison.com/1.html for details.

Jeff Prochnow (2002) and wife Starr welcomed an 8 lb 8 oz baby boy, Finley Allen Prochnow, on December 2, 2009.

Paul Pucci (2005) is working on raising a round of equity financing for Flatt Cola, LLC, a new energy cola company in Madison. The cola can be found at various stores, restaurants and bars. Product information can be found at: www.flattcola.com. For more information, email Paul at paul@flattcola.com.

Orlando Rivera-Sostre (2004) is now in his 11th year within the construction industry. He works in Jacksonville FL as construction manager for Ajax Building Corporation. This is also Orlando's 3rd year in remission from AML (Leukemia) and on November 27 2009 his wife Alexa gave birth to their 2nd son Sergio Rivera.

Chad Sorenson (2002), founder of Sologear, is still getting a lot of press. The state senate was at Sologear with all the news media announcing their new economic initiatives for next year. All three local stations were present. For more detail please see http://dailyreporter.com/blog/2009/11/09/senate-democrats-unveil-job-creation-plan-1120-am-11909/. They also will be distributing through Target systemwide for 2010. Nice hit!

Keith Streckenbach (1999), Founder of Pharmacy OneSource, is growing staff by approx. 50% in 2010, topping 100 employees total to support its continued fast growth in healthcare data services. Keith and wife Susan Scola-Streckenbach joyously await the arrival of their fourth child (third daughter) due in late February. The Streckenbachs, once again, reside in their Kirkland, WA home. Their lovely Shorewood Hills home is for sale, should anyone be interested.

Kavi Turnbull (2009), Founder, DriveAlternatives, recently received WAVE funding. To find alternative fuel stations and carshares, please visit their website at http://www.drivealternatives.com/

Brad Woodall (2005) established Woodall Training, LLC with his wife, Kari. This is a sports and fitness training business focused on Fitness Training, Baseball and Swimming Instruction. One unique and rapidly growing segment of this business is the TRX Boot Camp, a fitness boot camp for adults using suspension training, one of the newest strength and cardiovascular training methods on the market. They use their unique background as professional athletes and coaches to provide sports and fitness instruction to all age groups. They are based in Middleton, WI and can be found at www.woodalltraining.com.

Featured Alumni

Image of Alumnus

Heather Hilleren

2005 Graduate



Heather Hilleren, founder and CEO of Local Dirt, recently received the DEMOgod award when launching LocalDirt.com nationally at the DEMO conference in San Diego, CA. Companies such as Palm, Salesforce.com and TiVo have all launched exclusively at DEMO. Since then, Local Dirt has been in CNET news, Venture Beat, and this month in PC World magazine.

Heather graduated in 2005 after writing the business plan for GreenLeaf Market, an online exchange where farmers could sell directly to businesses such as restaurants, hospitals, schools and grocery stores. In June, GreenLeaf Market was expanded and combined with Local Dirt, its partner site where individuals can buy directly from farmers.


We would like to thank the following recent contributor to the programs:

Amy Bina, (2006 Alum)
Scott and Mary Braucht, WAVE Board
Thomas Carmona, (2009 Alum)
Thomas O. Godfrey, (2007 Alum) and Katelyn Alain
Cailin Mani, (2007 Alum)
Ryan Palmer, (2009 Alum)
Prabhu Ramamoorthy, (2009 Alum)
John Ribolzi, (2009 Alum)
Loren Snyder, (2009 Alum)
Andy Strunk, (2007 Alum)
Kavi Turnbull, (2009 Alum)
Troy Vosseller, (2009 Alum)
Julie Weink, (2000 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

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
(608) 265-3959

Ramon (Ray) J. Aldag
Executive Director, Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
3112 Grainger Hall
(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
(608) 263-4143

Janet Christopher
Academic Specialist
Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
4425 Grainger Hall
(608) 263-2882

Rebecca Buckman
Student Services Coordinator
Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
3340 Grainger Hall
(608) 263-4161