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

July 2011 Newsletter

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

We finished another year with our WAVE graduates finding many interesting and exciting job opportunities in a wide range of companies. The companies range from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms and the industries include IT, medical devices, and consulting to name just a few. The diversity of interests and pathways taken by our WAVE students is always great to see. The interest in our entrepreneurship courses continues to grow with record enrollments in the foundation course of Entrepreneurial Management. The strong student demand will continue into the upcoming fall semester requiring an additional section to be been added. It has been great to see students from the Business School and the entire campus learning and experiencing entrepreneurship in these classes.

As you can see in this newsletter, the students and faculty had a very busy spring. We hope you have a wonderful summer.


Table of Contents

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


Graduating Students Honored at WAVE Board Meeting

On May 11, our students attended the WAVE Board meeting and made presentations of their business plans to wrap up the semester. At the board reception, several students were recognized with the following awards:

  • James J. Weinert Outstanding Graduate -- Noah Kunin-Goldsmith
  • Outstanding WAVE Student -- Oliver Richards
  • Outstanding MBA Class of 2011 member (voted by classmates) -- Dan Sarbacker

Assistant Professor Phil Kim presented the Alan C. Filley Outstanding Undergraduate award to Joseph Keuler.

Professor Jon Eckhardt presented the Robert W. Pricer Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Scholarship to Ryan Jared Schmukler.

Student Placement

Braden Bruington, DoIT and seeking
Kati Goetsch, Marketing Communications Manager, Credit Union National Association (CUNA)
Chris Herrild, Business Development Intern, Teel Plastics -- returning JD/MBA student
Katie Krueger, Vice President of Business Development, Student SPILL
Noah Kunin-Goldsmith, Investor Relationship Manager, TASCET
Chad Mack, Product Manager, Boston Scientific
Oliver Richards*, Director, Healthcare Practice, The Beacon Group
Dan Sarbacker, Consulting Projects and seeking
Evan Sengbusch*, returning Ph.D. student in Medical Physics
Adam Sorkin, Marketing Leadership Program, Ford Motor Company

*SMILES Studends

WAVE Alum & Center Founder Among Those Honored for Entrepreneurial Achievement

Chad Sorenson accepting award with Chancellor Biddy Martin  Jim Weinert award as he was unable to attend ceremony

The recipients of this award were:

  • Chad Sorenson, (B.S., M.S. mechanical engineering, MBA), president and co-founder of Sologear LLC, based in Middleton. The company manufactures and markets FlameDisk, an invention that brings convenience and simplicity to grills. It is based on a new solidified ethanol fuel that the company developed. Based on his WAVE project, Chad started Fluent Technologies which provided a wireless technology to the agricultural sector. After selling Fluent he started Sologear LLC. Chad is a frequent class speaker and is also a WAVE Advisory Board member.
  • James Weinert, who encouraged the idea of teaching entrepreneurship at UW-Madison before it became a national phenomenon. He gave the business school support to enable students in the WAVE (Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship) program to invest in promising business ventures and provided funds to endow the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. This is in addition to his own very successful entrepreneurial career in the telecommunications space.

To see the video, please see: http://www.wiscontrepreneur.org/eaa.php

Other recipients included Jim Berbee, founder of Berbee Information Networks, Judy Faulkner, founder of Epic Systems, and Hector DeLuca, a UW Professor who has helped start numerous companies. Please join us in congratulating all of the recipients.

Center Funds Start-up

One of the unique attributes of our program is that we have the opportunity to invest in student startups through both the James Weinert Applied Ventures Capital Fund and Daniel H. Neviaser Entrepreneurship Fund. In summer 2010, funding was awarded to Justin Hajny, I’m Organic. Justin is the CEO of I'm Organic, an online provider of promotional and other items that meet various organic, environmental, and green standards.

Student Wins MBA Leadership Award

Dan Sarbacker, Class of 2011, was awarded the MBA Leadership Award at the 2011 MBA Awards Ceremony. See: http://www.bus.wisc.edu/mba/currstu/

Burrill Winners

SMILES students Evan Sengbusch and Oliver Richards tied for 3rd place with Modular Biologics, a bio-engineered coating for orthopedic implants. To view all results, see: http://www.bus.wisc.edu/burrill/.


Students Return from Competition with the Entrepreneur's Choice Award

L-R: Phil Greenwood, Chris Herrild, Katie Krueger, Dan Sarbacker, Evan Sengbusch and Noah Kunin-Goldsmith

The above participants competed in the 2011 Venture Capital Investment Competition in Boulder, Colorado on February 11 and won the Entrepreneur's Choice Award. Congratulations to our award-winning group!

Silicon Valley Trip

L-R: Chris Herrild, Evan Sengbusch, Adam Sorkin, Kati Goetsch, Duncan Basson, Oliver Richards, Katie Krueger, Dan Olszewski, Noah Kunin-Goldsmith, Dan Sarbacker, Chad Mack and Braden Bruington

Our students spent their Spring Break visiting with entrepreneurs and alumni in nothern California. Entrepreneur visits included:

  • BringIt
  • Cisco
  • Google
  • Mina Group
  • Nicholson Ranch
  • Ning
  • Charles River VC
  • Trinity VC

Thanks to everyone for helping make this a memorable trip!

Center Director Leads Panel for The Gilson Bootstrapping Series at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

On April 5 Dan Olszewski, Director of the Weinert Center, and Michael Enyart, Director of the Business Library, Wisconsin School of Business, spoke on best practices on the use of market research in an early stage startup company and described regional resources available to entrepreneurs. The Gilson Bootstrapping Series is designed for faculty, students, staff and alumni.

Undergraduates Sell e-Commerce Analytics Company

In May 2011 Corey Capasso (BBA ’09) and Andrew Ferenci (BBA ‘09), along with fellow UW-Madison graduate Dan Reich, sold their startup company Spinback to Buddy Media for an undisclosed sum. Both Capasso and Ferenci praised the personal attention they received from Wisconsin School of Business faculty, Jon Eckhardt and Phil Kim, during their time in the program. To read complete article, please see http://www.bus.wisc.edu/pressroom/program-recognition/eship-alums-sell-ecommerce-analytics-company/


Steve Jacobson Featured as Executive Q&A: Mortgage CEO focuses on ‘precious present’

Weinert Board member, Steve Jacobson, CEO of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., shared his history and philosophy that guided his business from the past to the present. To read the full story, please see: http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/article_ff2bdd72-9ecc-11e0-b251-001cc4c03286.html

John Neis Joins Novelas Therapeutics Board of Directors

WAVE Board member, John Neis, Managing Director of Venture Investors, joined the board of directors of Novelos Therapeutics, the Newton, Mass., company that recently bought Cellectar, a Madison company working on anti-cancer drugs.

Cascade Asset Management Voted One of the Wisconsin Companies to Watch

WAVE Board member, Neil Peters-Michaud, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Cascade Asset Management, was recently delighted that his company was voted as one of the top companies to have economic impact in the 2011 Wisconsin Companies to Watch Awardees (33 second-stage companies). For complete article, please see: http://wisconsin.companiestowatch.org/index.ctw?page=honorees&honoreeYear=2011

Chuck Oehler's Primorigen Biosciences Update

WAVE Board member, Chuck Oehler, announced that Primorigen Biosciences has signed an exclusive, worldwide distribution agreement with Stemcell Technologies of Vancouver, British Columbia. For complete article, please see: http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/article_449a485a-9c2d-11e0-858d-001cc4c002e0.html


Summer Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (WEB) 2011 Completes Fifth Year of a "Crash Course in Entrepreneurship"

The Wisconsin School of Business, INSITE (Initiative for Transformational Entrepreneurship) and the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship jointly produce this summer bootcamp on behalf of the entire University. The fifth summer bootcamp was held June 19-24. Sixty Ph.D., Masters and Post Doc students from over 30 science, technology and engineering departments across campus attended the 12-hour per day camp. The program introduced the students to tools, information, and concepts about how to initiate and sustain a technology-based start-up.

Industry leaders, UW-Madison experts and top faculty all played key teaching roles in the program. Anne Miner and Dan Olszewski acted as Masters of Ceremonies as well as instructors, along with Cisco's John Morgridge (UW Alum), playing key roles in the overall program design. Other Wisconsin School of Business instructors included Phil Greenwood, Mike Enyart, Chip Hunter, and John Surdyk. The WEB program thanks John and Tashia Morgridge for their support and Electronic Theatre Controls which hosted the tour.

Professor Jon Eckhardt Serves on Expert Panel and Speaks at Research Consortium

Professor Jon Eckhardt served on an expert panel at the 2011 Entrepreneurship Research Exemplars Conference held this year at Ohio State University. The conference is organized to highlight exemplary research in entrepreneurship.

Professor Eckhardt gave a talk at a research consortium held at the Ivey school of business titled "What I do or where I do it, disentangling the effects of opportunity and location on IPO and bankruptcy" that is based on recent research that is underway with Wisconsin doctoral student Mingxiang Li, and University of Miami faculty Marc Junkunc and Marianna Makri.

Entrepreneurship Guest Speakers - Spring 2011

We would like to thank all the speakers who participated in the entrepreneurship classes this past semester and gave students the opportunity to combine the teaching of academic theory with the lessons of real-world application. Speakers this past semester included:

Michael Aguilar, Innocorp
Heidi Allstop, Student SPILL
George Arida, Venture Investors
Michael Arndt, Crain's Chicago Business
Justin Beck, PerBlue
John Besmer, Planet Propaganda
Adam Bock, University of Edinburgh
Joe Boucher, Neider & Boucher
Michelle Collins, Founder, Svoboda Collins
Rob Creighton, WindLift
Mike Ciuchta, University of Central Florida
Jesse Davis, Entrustet.com
Tom Dott, Associated Bank
Eric Englund, UW Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic
Bill Checovich, UW Medical Innovation Office
Mark Daugherty, SolRayo, Inc.
Jan Eddy, Wingra Technologies
Tim Gill, ShopBop
Mike Goetzler, QTI Group
Jennifer Gottwald, WARF
Lorrie Keating Heinemann, DFI
Terry Kurth, Weed Man Lawn
Aaron Larner, VizChart

Neil Lerner, SBDC
Greg Lynch, Michael Best and Friedrich
Pat McGraw, Cambridge Bank
Brent Newport, Sentry Insurance
Clay Norrbom, Geo Investors
Neil Peters-Michaud, Cascade Assets Management
Jeff Peterson, Michael Best and Friedrich
Kay Plantes, Plantes Company
Paul Pucci, WARF
Paul Reckwerdt, Founder of TomoTherapy
Steve Royko, i'mOrganic
John Schuster, YS&M Law Firm
Tim Seifritz, TRS Consulting
Anne Smith, UW Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic
Chad Sorenson, Sologear, FlameDisk
Nancy Spitzer, Wendt Library
Vincent Tauzia, Kizz.tv
Kavi Turnbull, DriveAlternatives
David Van Sickle, Asthmapolis
Troy Vosseller, UW Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic
Henry Wilde, Acelero Learning


Miles Gerson (2009), Controller for Surefire Medical, recently shared the news that the company expects to receive CE mark for the Surefire Infusion System in May 2011, followed later by FDA clearance. The system consists of a micro-catheter and device that is designed to deliver embolic agents to a targeted site, while minimizing any reflux that can damage non-targeted tissues. The system is expected to be used to treat liver cancer, amongst other applications. The company planned to initiate a market evaluation of the system in Europe in June, followed by a formal launch in Europe and the US in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Katherine Himes (2001) will be an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Diplomacy Fellow in Washington, D.C., starting in September. She will be in the Office of the Science Adviser at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), working to promote science in decision-making.

Ankur Malhotra (2001) was recently elected to the Board of Directors of WORT 89.9 FM, Madison's community radio station (voted 14 times as Madison's favorite radio station in the Isthmus polls). He currently volunteers as the on-air engineer and music host for the 8 o'clock Buzz every Friday morning... turn on, tune in.. don't drop out! He has been busy on the music front producing shows here in Madison and India. The week of July 7-9 he is producing a 3-day Electronic music festival (Musique Electronque - http://musiqueelectronique.eventbrite.com/). The festival features Kid Koala, MC Zulu and other notable artists from the electronic dance music scene and is part of the prestigious La Fete De Marquette festival in town. November 26 and 27 he is producing a 2-day desert music festival in New Delhi India (featuring Vieux Farka Toure and several artists from his start-up independent label, Amarrass Records). He hopes alumni and friends of the program can make it to these events!

Paul Pucci (2005), co-founder of Flatt Cola, has secured distribution in 10 counties from Milwaukee to Madison, including the Roundy's chain of grocery stores.

Eric Snyder (2009) is a semifinalist in the CleanTech Open. He will be in California three weeks for the Academy and his start-up is competing this fall for the finals. See more details at: www.cleantechopen.com

Chad Sorenson (2001), president and cofounder of Sologear, recently sold its Middleton charcoal alternative (FlameDisk) to the BIC Corporation. See more details at: http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/article_464b39ba-711d-11e0-99a7-001cc4c03286.html

Troy Vosseller (2009) is working on expanding his "Sconnie" brand by launching a Sconnie Beer this fall. Help by voting for your favorite can design on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150290812209047.381788.23386904046.

Featured Alumnus

Sam Adams


2004 Entrepreneurship Graduate


I am a native of Wisconsin and I happily returned here after completing a liberal arts degree at The Colorado College, volunteering as a construction hand in Latin America and serving multinational clients as an ad man in New York City.

I learned about WAVE when I arrived at UW and feel fortunate to have fallen into this diverse cohort of students, alums and board members who are focused on creating and growing new businesses in their communities.

In the WAVE program, I gained hands-on experiences that I have applied consistently during my business career. My WAVE teams developed a commercialization plan for WARF’s latent intellectual property, designed new a product launch plan for an established startup and evaluated business plans for an angel network.

After graduation from the MBA program, I worked as a product manager for five years in GE Healthcare’s Clinical Systems business. At GE I learned how mature businesses can continue to grow through operational discipline and focus on customer service. I also learned a little about ultrasound, its miniaturization and improvements in image quality, and its potential to be used outside of obstetrics.

In 2009, the founders of Echometrix asked me to take over as CEO of the company. At Echometrix, we are helping companies like GE to realize the potential for ultrasound as a low-cost diagnostic for musculoskeletal conditions, which affect one in four Americans. Our first product, EchoSoft, is breakthrough ultrasound image analysis software designed to improve the management of musculoskeletal conditions for soldiers, workers and athletes by quantifying tissue stiffness changes, which are an indicator for tissue health. EchoSoft is in human clinical studies at three partner sites, and we expect to receive FDA 510 (k) clearance to market in July.

The team at Echometrix and I are very excited about our company’s potential to improve patient outcomes, while lowering musculoskeletal imaging costs through substitution of ultrasound for MRI.

For a startup company in a highly competitive industry dominated by huge multinationals, the Weinert Center network has been a critically important source of support, connections and guidance for me and my team over the past few years. I look forward to staying involved with this unique group of individuals and learning about the continued development of their ventures.


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

Kati & Jeremy Goetsch, 2011 Alum
Dan & Kathryn Olszewski, Director, Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
Marcel Petrutiu, 2010 Alum
Evan Sengbusch, 2011 Alum
Adam Sorkin, 2011 Alum
Troy Vosseller, 2009 Alum

Your continued support for our programs is greatly appreciated. Anyone wishing to financially support the programs can do so at the following: