WAVE/Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship E-Newsletter

July 2012 Newsletter

Dear Alumni and Friends:

We keep hearing that summer is a quiet time but, given all of the activities since our last newsletter, it is clearly not the case for our alumni or entrepreneurship students at the University of Wisconsin. In May, we had our WAVE graduation celebration, which followed the student business plan presentations to the advisory board. The event provided a great opportunity for current students, alumni, faculty, and advisory board members to connect and celebrate the accomplishments of the students. In addition, we thanked Professor Ray Aldag for his many years of service as the executive director of the Weinert Center as mentioned in our April newsletter.

This June also saw the sixth WEB (Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp) take place, with John Morgridge and Steve Burrill once again joining faculty and local entrepreneurs in working with University of Wisconsin-Madison students. The graduate students came from across the campus and represented over 50 different majors in the science and engineering fields. The event also provided a great opportunity for returning WEB alumni to talk about the businesses they have started and the key lessons they have learned. 

Once again, recent University of Wisconsin-Madison graduates or current students were very well represented at the Governor’s Business Plan Competition. WAVE students included Kendra Hill (WAVE 12) being on the Style Shuffler team that placed first in the Business Services category and Dan Ludois (WAVE 12, WEB), Micah Erickson (WAVE 12, WEB), Justin Reed (WEB), and Brett Hoerz (WAVE 12) working on C-Motive, which placed second in the Advanced Manufacturing category. Given the hundreds of entries, this was a very impressive accomplishment.

Finally, I would like to remind you that we will be holding a University of Wisconsin-Madison/WAVE entrepreneurship alumni summit on October 26, 2012, so please mark your calendars.

Have a great rest of the summer!


Table of Contents

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


2012 WAVE Class Graduates

WAVE Class of 2012:
  • Kendra Hill (MBA Brand and Product Development), associate brand manager, Kimberly Clark and various start-ups
  • Brett Hoerz (MBA Brand and Product Development), master’s rotation associate, Sony Electronics, Inc.
  • Ozcan Ilikhan (Ph.D., Computer Science), finishing program
  • Alexander Kubicek (Ph.D., Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences), finishing program
  • Andrew Maxfield (MBA Arts Administration), director, Influencer Institute
  • Stephen Ranjan (MBA Operations and Technology Management), Experienced Commercial Leadership Development Program, J&J Pharmaceutical R&D, Inc.
  • Stuart Michael Solomon (MBA Supply Chain), seeking
  • Wanjun Zhang (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering), finishing program
  • Dan Ludois (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering), co-founder of start-up, C-Motive
  • Micah Erickson (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering), co-founder of start-up, C-Motive

Students Win Sony Case Study Competition

WAVE student Brett Hoerz was part of the winning team at the Sony Marketing Strategy Case Competition

2012 G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Prize Winners

WAVE students received the following prizes:

2nd Place ($6,000 and VC Mentor voucher)

C-Motive Technologies, a manufacturer of next-generation electric motors and generators: Dan Ludois, Justin Reed, Brett Hoerz, Micah Erickson

AARP Foundation Prize ($4,000)

DriveSense Technologies, a transportation software company servicing older drivers: Ozcan Ilikhan, Stephen Ranjan

Runners Up ($250)

Style Shuffler, a mobile platform for apparel recommendations: Kendra Hill

Center Alums Meet Prior to Board Meeting Discussing Their Entrepreneurial Experiences

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Alumni Association held a roundtable discussion during which attendees shared their entrepreneurial experiences. Professor Jon Eckhardt led a Q&A session during the meeting, and alums offered each other advice and thoughts on questions ranging from securing early-stage funding to tips for consultants.



WAVE Board Meeting May 11, 2012 Recap

Ramon “Ray” J. Aldag Thanked for Serving as Executive Director

At the May 10 WAVE board meeting, Dean François Ortalo-Magné presented Ray Aldag with a plaque highlighting the center’s accomplishments during his tenure. The plaque read:

Ramon J. Aldag

2002–2011 Faculty Director Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship

Selected Accomplishments

USASBE National Model MBA Entrepreneurship Program award recipient for MBA Program (2009)

Top 25-Princeton Review rankings – 2008 & 2009 & 2010 & 2011

Financial Times rankings – #6 in the U.S. – 2010

Named a Kauffman Campus

Creation of campus-wide certificates in entrepreneurship and innovation

Graduated 200+ entrepreneurs*


 WAVE Board Attendees

L-R: Mike Mathews, Chuck Oehler, Paul Reckwardt, Laurie Benson, Andy Albert, Erica Gruen, Tom Pyle, Chad Sorenson, Kay Plantes, Jon Eckhardt, John Neis, Dan Olszewski, Neil Peters-Michaud, Bruce Neviaser, Jim Weinert, Joe Boucher

WAVE Graduating Class 2012 

L-R: Dan Olszewski, Andrew Maxfield, Ray Aldag, Stephen Ranjan, Anne Miner, Jim Weinert, Kendra Hill, Russ Coff, Ozcan Ilikhan, Alexander Kubicek, Dan Ludois, Micah Erickson, Brett Hoerz, Stuart Solomon, Chad Navis, Wanjun Zhang, Jon Eckhardt

Student awards were presented at the board meeting and consisted of the following winners:

  • Quincy Harrison won the Alan C. Filley Outstanding Undergraduate Award. Quincy is a senior triple major (entrepreneurship, marketing, and philosophy). He is a talented musician and music producer (known for his “Teach Me How to Bucky” video and song). He is a sharp thinker and an enjoyable student to have in the classroom.
  • Isaac Sinnott earned the Robert W. Pricer Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Scholarship.
  • Andrew Maxfield received the James J. Weinert Outstanding Graduate Entrepreneurship Student award, which was voted on by classmates.

Joe Boucher Cited Regarding Downtown Madison Growth

In recent articles about the entrepreneurial spirit in Madison, business owners say downtown Madison is key to growth for entrepreneurship. Committee Chairman Joe Boucher was quoted as saying the young entrepreneurs show “there’s much more in this town than life science companies.” Read more at http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/article_1baaa8cb-aa11-539e-bd89-44e40aecb4e1.html - ixzz214jNrwSu.

Toni Sikes Voted into the InBusiness Hall of Fame

The July 2012 issue of InBusiness magazine inducted Toni Sikes into their Hall of Fame, Class of 2012. Please see the Class Acts section of InBusiness at http://ibmadison.com/best?id=1490.

Laurie Benson Credited for Start-Up Success

Heidi Allstop, founder of Spill, an empathy engine for social support, was featured in Inc. Magazine (http://www.inc.com/young-entrepreneur-council/best-advice-i-ever-got-heidi-allstop.html), where she gave credit to Laurie Benson for giving her a reality check by saying “Heidi, you can’t delegate a dream.” Please read the article above for all the details. Heidi’s success story is just one of many in which Laurie has been significantly involved.

Greg Lynch of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year”

Greg Lynch’s firm, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, was proud to announce 13 of the 74 attorneys recognized in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America have been designated “Lawyers of the Year” by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers® for excellence in their legal specialties in certain geographic regions. Only a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each community was honored as the 2012 “Lawyer of the Year.” Gregory J. Lynch received the award for his legal specialty, corporate law. Congratulations, Greg!

SBIR Grants Received by Primorigen

Chuck Oehler of Primorigen is proud to announce that the company has received over $672,000 in Phase I SBIR grants for new stem cell technologies from the National Institutes of Health. The grants make Primorigen eligible to compete for over $2M in additional funding.

$344,715 Grant Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

The last two decades have seen substantial basic and pre-clinical research demonstrating the therapeutic promise of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) for neurodegenerative diseases, spinal cord and brain injuries, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and diseases of the skeleton. In a number of studies, treatment with hMSCs has shown promising results and led to clinical trials. To obtain sufficient hMSCs for clinical use, they must be harvested from the patient and quickly grown to larger populations capable of differentiation to new cell types before transplantation back to the patient. Recent studies suggest that hMSCs grown using standard cell culturing conditions lose their differentiation capacity too quickly for clinical use. To address this problem, the National Institutes of Health is supporting Primorigen to develop a new culturing technology to increase growth rates and maintain capacity for differentiation. The company will demonstrate that the new approach can generate sufficient numbers of such cells for therapeutic use and will collaborate with Dr. Arshak Alexanian of the Medical College of Wisconsin, who will test the cells for therapeutic impact. Dr. Alexanian has developed a proprietary method for transforming hMSCs to neural cells that have been shown to improve motor function in injured rats.

$328,224 Grant Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences

There is a worldwide shortage of primary liver cells for use in both therapeutic and research applications, including drug discovery and toxicity screening. In addition, primary liver cells tend to lose much of their function in tissue culture, exacerbating the problem. While current stem cell culturing methods have succeeded in generating cells that mimic several functions of primary liver cells, they still fall short of retaining all primary cell functions, particularly activity of certain enzymes critical for proper liver function and drug toxicity testing by pharmaceutical companies. The National Institutes of Health is supporting Primorigen to determine whether its new culturing technology can facilitate growth and differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (adult cells reprogrammed to have similar differentiation capacity as embryonic stem cells) into human liver cells that more closely resemble primary liver cell function.

David Walsh Retires

David Walsh, longtime Foley & Lardner attorney, is retiring from the firm. Doug Moe, Wisconsin State Journal, captured the essence of his “retirement” in this article: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/doug_moe/article_8b4eb090-c3ed-11e1-8dfd-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz20zD0F7ii. Congratulations, David, on a well-deserved retirement!


Jon Eckhardt has a forthcoming comment with Scott Shane in the Academy of Management Review on the theoretical underpinnings of entrepreneurship. Eckhardt also attended a conference on entrepreneurship finance at the Kauffman Foundation HQ in Kansas City on July 17-19.

Faculty members Russ Coff, Jon Eckhardt, Phil Kim, Chad Navis, and Ph.D. candidate Joe Raffiee-Shirazi to present 10 entrepreneurial/strategy papers at the upcoming Academy of Management Conference to be held August 3-7 in Boston.

Phil Greenwood appeared on NBC 15’s 5:00 evening news on July 2 to discuss the impact of Europe’s economy on Wisconsin. He also presented an executive seminar with ABS Global Latin American managers about financial analysis in Chihuahua, Mexico on June 1-2. He taught a session for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Small Business Development Center titled “Acquiring Business Financing” on July 16. He was an instructor for the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (WEB) in June and taught a one-day session called “Financial Benchmarking for Supply Chains” to the Wisconsin Minority Supplier Council in Madison on June 14.

Summer 2012 Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (WEB)

, The Wisconsin School of Business’s “Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp” (WEB) ran from June 17-22. More than 60 graduate-level students participated in this intensive, hands-on week of learning focused on technology entrepreneurship and exploring how business startups can create both economic and social value. These 60+ students represented more than 50 majors across the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Through the program, students learn basic concepts and tools to imagine and assess product ideas, form and fund a technology-based startup, and understand and use financial analysis. Case analyses, a site visit to a local business, networking social events, and expert panels help students make links between concepts and practice. The program exposes students to the many resources available in Madison and on campus and helps them learn how to use those resources effectively.

International industry experts John Morgridge, former chairman and chief executive officer of Cisco Systems, and G. Steven Burrill, chief executive officer of Burrill & Company, were amongst the key instructors for this event. They joined top Wisconsin School of Business faculty, including Russ Coff, Wisconsin Naming Partners Professor of Strategic Management; Phil Greenwood, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship; Chip Hunter, senior associate dean, associate dean of the full-time MBA program, and associate professor of management and human resources; Anne Miner, Ford Motor Company Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Management and Human Resources; Dan Olszewski, director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship; and John Surdyk, Burrill competition director and associate director of INSITE (Initiative in Transformational Entrepreneurship).

Top field experts include Carl Gulbrandsen, Michael Falk, and Laura Heisler from the Wisconsin Alumni Association Research Foundation. Charles Holloway, Stanford University’s Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers Professor of Management Emeritus and director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies has joined the program for a second year. Key community members play a key role in panels and case discussions throughout the week.

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp is a joint venture of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the Wisconsin School of Business and the cross-campus INSITE, with a core organizing team of Hunter, Miner, Morgridge, Olszewski, and Surdyk.



Adam Bock (1999) led a seminar “A Critical Look at Social and Sustainable Business Model Theory” for faculty and staff on July 17. The abstract for this presentation stated, “This exploratory presentation and discussion will propose a critical approach to thinking about social and sustainable business models. Multiple definitions for this construct exist across different literatures, which create challenges for developing theory distinct from entrepreneurial business models. Lessons from entrepreneurship in the UK will illustrate these challenges and highlight how these business models are used in different ways between Europe (UK) and the U.S. Future research directions in social enterprises and business sustainability will be suggested as well.”


Sal Braico (2002) is now the chief operating officer of Mallatt’s Pharmacy.

Braden Bruington (2011) and entrepreneur Scott Kohl are working on a gaming startup, http://roninsc.com/. Please visit the website to discover a feel for “games for the real world.”

When done well, we know that games create compelling, meaningful experiences. Let Ronin improve your company’s training, educational materials and processes through games.

Sandy Horowitz (2008) will be entering the ultrasound program in Houston in September 2012. Best wishes to Sandy as she follows her passion.

Shevon Kaintuck (1999) is launching a website on August 1, 2012 at bmoretasteful.com. B-More Tasteful products reflect the love, care, and time that went into preparing and creating family memories and traditions.

Ananda Chandana Nallapu (2010) has accepted a position for a startup based in Hyderabad called 84ideas.com. The company designs websites, manages social media, creates marketing campaigns for businesses, and provides online solutions. She will be doing business development.

Joe Raffiee-Shirazi, (2010), Ph.D. candidate, and Jon Eckhardt received a best paper award. "Does X Lead Me to Infer Y? Distal and Proximate Analogies and the Initiation of Product Markets" was selected for recognition as one of the outstanding student paper awards for 2012.

John Ribolzi (2010) has accepted a position with the Office of Strategy Management at Chicago Public Schools.

Andy Strunk (2007), program director at Innovation Lab (iLab), is proud to announce the sepsis reduction software project that he had been leading for the past year won the Wolters Kluwer-wide Innovation tournament! Nancy McKinstry, Wolters Kluwer CEO and chair of the Innovation Board, let them know about the win through this email message: “The Innovation Board met to select the winners of this year’s Global Innovation Award among the finalists from the previous two rounds that comprised approximately 700 entries; the competition included members from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden.” Their team was one of three winners from the Most Promising Innovation category. Andy goes on to say “The training I received through the entrepreneurship program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison taught me how to navigate the uncertainty of taking a high-level concept, like sepsis reduction software, and to execute and make it a reality. We’re now searching for one hospital pilot site nationally to partner with us over a 12-month period.”

Troy Vosseller (2009) was featured in the bLine Wisconsin School of Business Magazine. To read the complete “Sconnie Nation” story, please see http://issuu.com/blinemagazine/docs/b.line_14th.

J.J. Vosskamp (1998) sadly passed away May 25, 2012, following a brave and courageous two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. http://host.madison.com/news/local/obituaries/vosskamp-ralph-jj/article_6458ed64-a8f1-11e1-824e-0019bb2963f4.html

Featured Alumnus -- EDIT



Keith Streckenbach


Co-owner with wife Susan, TheChocolateers.com

Educational Background:
1990 Bachelor of Science, Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1999 Entrepreneurship Graduate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Most Outstanding MBA Graduate
Most Outstanding Entrepreneurship Graduate

Keith was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He currently resides in Mercer Island, Washington with his incredible wife Susan and their four children: Hannelore is 7, Kaia is 6, Soren is 4, and Freya is 2 years old. The Streckenbachs also enjoy the company of their seven pets. The family loves the Pacific Northwest and consider it home. Susan and Keith just launched their first business together, The Chocolateers.

1988 marks the year Keith relocated to Madison, to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Pre-Med at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. By chance, a friend said, “Why don’t we take this class in the evenings? It looks like it could be fun.” That class was Business 638, taught by Robert Pricer. Keith quickly took to Professors Pricer, Filley, and Udell, and, of course, Belle! Keith switched his major to economics, and now the rest is history.

Keith launched UMEC (University of Wisconsin-Madison Entrepreneurship Club) shortly after arriving at the university. Noteworthy accomplishments of the club include having Robert Reiss (R&R HBR Case) come speak and the first-ever student book exchange, held at the Memorial Union. While a student, Keith sold books door to door during the summers for Southwestern Company and recruited pharmacists during the school year. He also launched On-Campus Weekly, the first-ever student residence-hall, advertising-supported newspaper.

After graduating, Keith’s first real job was with the recruiting firm he worked at during school. During his tenure with Dunhill Professional Search of Madison, the firm rose to dominate hospital pharmacy recruitment with nearly 80% of the deals involving the firm occurring nationwide. During this time, the firm launched a new business to get a competitive advantage on its competition. This business is still operating under PharmacyWeek, and continues to dominate the hospital pharmacy recruitment advertisement market.

Keith spent time in New Zealand and Hungary under Pricer’s encouragement and guidance. Keith went to Hungary in fall 1995 to buy a sugar beet farm with the intention of converting Hungarian florins into hotel rooms and selling those rooms to tour-travel planners as a way to convert the money into U.S .dollars. It was a Pricer scheme! The deal did not transpire though.

Returning to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998, Keith knew there was only one place for him—The Enterprise Center (not yet known as The Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship). A lot happened with the center in the two years that followed, and a lot happened with Keith. The formation of The Weinert Center, a trip to South Korea to get advice on venture-backed business development, and even teaching 422 and pinch-teaching for Professor Pricer’s 722/727. Keith was also a TA for 422, 722, and 727. Keith even filled in for Professor Pricer, teaching the “Financing The Rapidly Growing Firm in Iceland” course. 

Earning an MBA at the Wisconsin School of Business had immense impact on Keith’s life. Most long-standing are the inspiration, motivation, and confidence gained through interactions with fellow entrepreneurship students, professors, Weinert advisors, and Jim Weinert. Reading these updates also inspires Keith each time.

As important as these experiences are, one thing trumps all. Keith met his wife Susan at the University Bookstore in 1999 and they’ve been together ever since. Truly at the core of Keith’s life in all dimensions is his wife Susan.

Upon graduating in December 1999, Keith entertained roles in venture-backed start-ups, angel-backed start-ups, and going into a partnership with his previous boss/partner from Dunhill Professional Search and PharmacyWeek. Thus, Pharmacy OneSource was born in 2000.

Pharmacy OneSource struggled for three years trying to sell different advertising products and recruiting offers. On all but its deathbed (out of money), a customer asked Keith if Pharmacy OneSource would write some software for his hospital. A few months later, Pharmacy OneSource was cash-flow positive and continued growing.

In 2004, competition conversations with its major competitor lead to the merger of Pharmacy OneSource with HealthProLink. It was mostly a stock merger. The new company, named Pharmacy OneSource, grew from $3 million to $14 million in annual revenue, selling SaaS subscriptions to nine different applications to hospitals in seven different countries. Broadly speaking, the software services helped save money and lives, thus its great appeal. Andy Strunk, Weinert graduate 2007, joined Keith as an intern in early 2010 and he made a solid impact on the organization. 

In December 2010, Pharmacy OneSource was sold a second time, this time to public company Wolters Kluwer (a Dutch company). Streckenbach spent a year post-acquisition as VP strategy and, most notably, along with Strunk, initiated a sepsis reduction program that now is on the forefront of Wolters Kluwer Health initiatives.

Keith and his wife Susan have invested in three local Seattle businesses: Votocracy.com, Rainier Software, and PYCO. Keith also is taking on a board and advisor role to a just-minted technology MBA from University of Washington, which is transforming the way critical information is relayed among healthcare staff. Keith also took a lead role with PYCO to grow the company. PYCO created a technological breakthrough with its proprietary algorithm that determines psychological type of adults and, as a result, has a database of 181 million adults’ psychological type (think Myers Briggs). PYCO serves customers who already use database marketing for highly targeted marketing. It takes out the guessing that every marketer must make when it comes down to the creative around the offer. With PYCO, one-to-one marketing is truly possible because the psychological type of each prospect or customer is known…and the results are quite remarkable. PYCO data is deployed in postal, email, and digital marketing campaigns. It is also used to optimize predictive models involving human behavior. Today, PYCO focuses on the United States, but expects to be worldwide in less than five years’ time.

Keith and Susan hope to someday spend five or so years raising their children in France, with the goal of teaching history and culture by experience. One step in that direction is TheChocolateers.com, an Internet-based business that can be run from anywhere, with no employees.




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

            Troy Vosseller, 2009 Alumnus
            James J. Weinert, Friend of the Center

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