New Design and Name  

Welcome to EntrepreNews! We have a new name and design, along with the same great information you have come to expect from the Weinert Center. We hope you enjoy reading all about our current students, alumni, faculty, and advisory board members as their contributions to the Weinert Center are immeasurable! We have had a variety of activities and events since the last newsletter that we hope you were able to participate in!


 Center News and Events  

WAVE 2013 Board Meeting

Back row: Neil Peters-Michaud, Jon Eckhardt, John Komives, David Walsh, Tom Pyle, Scott Braucht, Faraz Choudhury, Sarah Wright, Eric Hoffman, Robin Day, Matt Billings, Stephen Jaramillo, Sam Adams, Tao Qu, Dan Olszewski

Front row: Sarah Sandock, Jon Seaton, Rita Jiang, Ed Zhong, Joanna Simpson, Curt Frey, Maya Warren, Paul Reckwerdt

The WAVE board meeting took place on Friday, May 10, with our student business plan presentations to the advisory board followed by our graduation celebration. The event provided a great opportunity for current students, alumni, faculty, and advisory board members to connect and celebrate the accomplishments of the students. The WAVE class of 2013, along with their placements, includes:

  • Matthew Billings, WisconsinMBA in Supply Chain Management, Google, Chicago, Illinois
  • Faraz Choudhury, Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, finishing studies
  • Robin Day, Wisconsin MBA in Marketing Research, Walmart, Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Vikram Dhar, Wisconsin MBA in Risk Management and Insurance, Willis Group, New York, New York
  • Curt Frey, Wisconsin MBA in Operations and Technology Management, Intuit, San Diego, California
  • Eric Hoffmann, MS in Mechanical Engineering, New Eagle, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and continuing with startup
  • Stephen Jaramillo, Wisconsin MBA in Brand and Product Management, Bayer, Morristown, New Jersey
  • Rita Yue Jiang, Integrated Master of Accountancy, KPMG, New York, New York
  • Jason McNulty, Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, finishing studies
  • Tao Qu, Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, finishing studies
  • Sarah Sandock, MS in Biomedical Engineering, continuing with startup
  • Jonathon Seaton, Medical Physics, finishing studies
  • Joanna Simpson, Wisconsin MBA in Arts Administration, Nordic Consulting Partners, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Maya Warren, MS in Food Science, finishing Ph.D. and MYO startup
  • Sarah Wright, Wisconsin MBA in Operations and Technology Management, Oracle, Milwaukee Wisconsin
  • Edward Zhong, Ph.D. in Economics, finishing studies


Student Accomplishments
Graduate student awards that were handed out at the WAVE board meeting included:

Robert W. Pricer Graduate MBA Entrepreneurship Fellowship 2013
Sarah Wright, Wisconsin MBA in Operations and Technology Management

Entrepreneurship Student (voted on by classmates)
Maya Warren, WAVE class of 2013
One student had this to say about Maya: “I will vote for Maya. Throughout the semester, she consistently provided candid, productive feedback. She had lots to say in class (in the moment) and she consistently provided thoughtful comments on the Google doc. I also had conversations with her outside of the classroom where she offered additional suggestions and ideas. She is always kind and respectful, but she is not afraid to provide honest feedback. Her positive attitude is contagious, and I have really enjoyed having her as a classmate.”

Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) Team Competition
The VCIC competition is the preeminent international competition for MBA students, and the Weinert Center was fortunate to take a team to Boulder, Colorado, in February 2013, which proved to be an excellent learning experience for our students. The 2013 VCIC team consisted of Matt Billings, Curt Frey, Richard Magness, Juan Ureta, and Sarah Wright. The VCIC advisor was Phil Greenwood, senior lecturer.

Curt Frey, Juan Ureta, Sarah Wright, Matt Billings, and Richard Magness

Jon Eckhardt congratulates award recipients Wes Schroll and Spencer Uttley.

Undergraduate student awards that were handed out at WAVE included:

Robert Pricer Undergraduate 2013
Wes Schroll, Wisconsin BBA in Management and Human Resources (junior). Currently working on his business, Fetch.

Alan Filley Integrity Mutual Scholarship 2013
Spencer Uttley, Wisconsin BBA in Management and Human Resource and Marketing, founder of JonnyPops. He graduated in May and headed to Intuit in September to work in their RDP program.

G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition Winners

The G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition took place on Friday, May 3 in Grainger Hall and provided yet another exciting opportunity for the students to develop and present business plans for their new and emerging ventures! Listed below are the results.

Top prize winners
Fetch (Wes Schroll and team) (2nd place; $5,500)
Runners up
Checkmate (Sarah Sandock and Matt Billings)
JouleJack (Jon Seaton)
Coachable (Peter Oppermann)

Finalists in the Top 25 Governor’s Business Plan Competition (out of 220 entrants)
Dan Ludois (WAVE 2012) and Micah Erickson (WAVE 2012), C-Motive Technologies, Inc.
Alan Stoffer (Wisconsin MBA in Brand Management 2013) and Braden Bruington (WAVE 2011), Ronin Studios
Wes Schroll (Wisconsin BBA in Management and Human Resources 2014), Fetch, Burrill Winner

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Enterprise Development Fellowship Program

Nine MBA students have been selected to join the inaugural class of fellows at the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. The Enterprise Development Fellowship program is comprised of a comprehensive academic curriculum that explores the startup process spanning venture creation, entrepreneurial management, and startup finance.

Everyone is excited to help shape the direction of the program,” Matthew Bruemmer, an MBA student from the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management, said. “And beyond the classroom, all of us are eager to network with Weinert Center board members and alumni to hear about their experiences in entrepreneurship. Having spent the better portion of my pre-MBA career living and working in the Bay Area, it’s great to join a community here in Madison that shares my passion for startup culture.”

Fellows for the 2013-2014 academic year are:

  • Matthew Bruemmer, Wisconsin MBA in Supply Chain Management
  • Alexandra Buth, Wisconsin MBA in Brand and Product Management
  • Scott Olson, Wisconsin MBA in Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
  • Peter Opperman, Wisconsin MBA in Operations and Technology Management
  • Todd Pilcher, Wisconsin MBA in Operations and Technology Management
  • Zach Schaefer, Wisconsin MBA in Brand and Product Management
  • Adam Sherman, Wisconsin MBA in Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
  • Brent Sugimoto, Wisconsin MBA in Brand and Product Management
  • Lizzy Tomber, Wisconsin MBA in Arts Administration

Entrepreneurship Alumni Event

On Wednesday, July 24, more than 30 alumni and friends of the Weinert Center gathered together on a beautiful evening at the Union Terrace for fun and fellowship! It was a great time to relax, meet new people, and catch up on the happenings of summer.


Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (WEB)

The Wisconsin School of Business’ “Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp” (WEB) ran from June 16-21. 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. The students represented more than 30 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, and G. Steven Burrill, chief executive officer of Burrill & Company, were among the key instructors for this event. They joined top Wisconsin School of Business faculty including Jon Eckhardt, Robert Pricer Chair in Enterprise Development and executive director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship; Russ Coff, Wisconsin Naming Partners Professor of Strategic Management; Larry (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; John Surdyk, Burrill competition director and director of INSITE (Initiative in Transformational Entrepreneurship); and Phil Greenwood, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship.

Top field experts include Carl Gulbrandsen, Michael Falk, and Laura Heisler from the Wisconsin Alumni Association Research Foundation and John Philosophos, partner at Great Oaks Venture Capital. Charles Holloway, Stanford University’s Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers Professor of Management Emeritus and director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies also joined the program. 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 Eckhardt, Hunter, Miner, Morgridge, Olszewski, and Surdyk.

As a follow up to the bootcamp, WEB alumni from the 2007 through 2013 classes got together for their first WEB Alumni Kickoff Event, which took place on Wednesday, September 25, at the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery. There was a panel discussion with fellow WEB alumni and a fireside chat with John Morgridge. It was a great opportunity to network and share business ideas. There was interest in forming a student organization, so any WEB alumni can contact Brian Jarecki at to become involved.


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Entrepreneurship Association/Weinert Center BBQ

Students, alumni, and friends of the center gathered at Tyler Leeper’s (2008) Wingra Boats for fun and friendly conversation at the Second Annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Alumni Association BBQ on Monday, September 23. It was a great way to kick off the fall semester and enjoy a beautiful sunset on Lake Wingra.


UW Entrepreneurship/Alumni Summit

The UW Entrepreneurship/Alumni Summit took place on Friday, October 11. It was an action-packed day with student idea presentations, updates on the Weinert Center and faculty research in entrepreneurship, an entrepreneurship talk by Jeff Sprecher [CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (owner of the NYSE) and engineering alum], and two sensational panel discussions on best practices in building a team and B2B sales. A reception followed where we paid tribute to Janet Christopher, who was recognized for her many contributions to the Weinert Center.

Launch the UW Entrepreneurship/Alumni Summit Slideshow

One of the Weinert Center’s alumni, Troy Vosseller (MBA 2009), co-founder, gener8tor, and founder, Sconnie Nation and Sconnie Beer, received the Young Business Alumnus Award at the Wisconsin School of Business Gala. The Young Business Alumnus Award recognizes a recent alumnus who has achieved notable success very early in his or her career and supports the local community and the Wisconsin School of Business. A plaque honoring Troy’s accomplishments is hanging outside the Alumni Relations office on the fourth floor of Grainger Hall.

Joe Boucher, Board Member, Listed in the Best Lawyers of America

Joe Boucher has been a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for both the Wisconsin School of Business and the Law School since 1980 and joined the WAVE board in May 1998. He co-founded the Madison law firm of Neider & Boucher, S.C. in 1995 which focuses on business law. What people may not realize about Joe is that he has received numerous awards and distinctions throughout the years. He was named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer, a leading business attorney by Madison Magazine, rated AV by Martindale, named a Wisconsin Small Business advocate by the US SBA, recognized as St. Norbert College Distinguished Alumnus, and was just recently listed in the Best Lawyers of America. Congratulations, Joe! We are incredibly fortunate and proud to have someone of your caliber on our board and involved with the Weinert Center.

Mike Filbey, BBA Student, Launches Startup

Mike Filbey, BBA student, was featured in a article in July 2013 on how his company, Camary (formerly known as Cbay), plays an important role in the community by giving back. The full article can be found here.

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 Upcoming Events  

Mark your calendars! The WAVE Board Meeting is Friday, May 9, 2014, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. Please plan on joining us for the WAVE student presentations, great conversation, and networking.

 Faculty/Staff News  

We are pleased to have Mike Williams join the MHR department and entrepreneurship faculty. Mike comes to us from Michigan State University, where he specialized in areas of strategic management/business policy and entrepreneurship. In addition to teaching entrepreneurship courses, he will also be working with the Business & Entrepreneurship Clinic located in the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery. Mike is a UW-Madison alum who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics. He obtained his Master of Arts degree from Walsh College in Troy, Michigan. Prior to joining the faculty of MSU, Mike held various high level positions including chief financial officer, chief operating officer, director of finance, and director of business planning and analysis with high growth and high tech firms. He was instrumental in putting together strategic and business plans that raised over $70M in VC funds and credit facilities; in addition, he was involved in an IPO that generated $120M+ and owned and operated his own consulting firm specializing in strategic, financial, and operational planning for small to mid-sized businesses.

Mike enjoys attending Badger events and is a competitive cyclist. Welcome, Mike!

Jon Eckhardt, executive director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship, was featured in the Forbes article “Innovation and Investment Dollars Turn to a New Region: The Midwest.” The article can be found here.

Dan Olszewski, director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship, moderated the session “Back to the Basics on Lean Startups: Operating at Max Efficiency” on Tuesday, June 4, at the 2013 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Middleton, Wisconsin.


 Entrepreneurship Guest Speakers  

The value of a student’s education is always enhanced by having professionals share their knowledge and expertise of business in the classroom. Over 50 professionals spoke during the past academic year in our entrepreneurship classes. Thank you for your support!

Fall Semester 2012 Spring Semester 2013
Sam Adams, Echometrix Sam Adams, IMANIN
Heidi Allstop, Spill Michael Aguilar, Innocorp
George Arida, Venture Investors Heidi Allstop, Spill
Justin Beck, PerBlue Enrique Barriera,, DaD LATAM
Richie Burke, Justin Beck, PerBlue
Roy Elkins, Broadjam Laurie Benson, LSB Unlimited
Michael Enyart, WSB Library Adam Bock, Author, Investing Entrepreneurs
Charlie Goff, New Capital Management Scott Braucht, Scott Brauhcht & Associates, LLC
Jeff Hanson, Hanson Advisors Jeanine Burmania, WARF Licensing Manager
Nathan Herbst, WTS Paradigm Barry Callen, Creative Consultant/Writer
Matt Howard, U Connect LLC Connor Caloia, Madison Mallards
Mike Knetter, UW Foundation Logan Cascia, Cascia Films
Mike Land, Baker Tilly Capital Mike Ciuchta, University of Central Florida
Kristina Martinez, Atlas Improv Robert Creighton, WindLift
Chris Meyer, Sector67 Gregoire Croidieu, Grenoble School of Management
Claus Moberg, SnowShowFood LLC Mark Daugherty, H2Scan
Laura Petrecca, USA Today Hector DeLuca, Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals
Steve Royko, Royko Enterprises LLC Rafael Diaz, WARF
Becky Splitt, StudyBlue Otto Dilba, Ale Asylum
Keith Streckenbach, PharmacyOneSource Tom Dott, Associated Bank
Troy Vosseller, Sconnie Nation, Sconnie Beer & gener8tor Kristin Ellsworth, Peeps Eyewear
Jason Weaver, Shoutlet Eric Englund, UW Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic
Matt Younkle, Murfie Liz Eversoll, SOLOMO Technologies
  David Gagnon, ARIS
  Kati Goetsch, CUNA
  Dan Gordon, Gordon Biersch
  Erica Gruen, Quantum Media
  Nathan Herbst, WTS Paradigm
  Neil Lerner, Director of UW-Madison SBDC
  Dave Lohrentz, Madison Sourdough
  Max Lynch, Codiqa
  Mike Mathews, Economic Growth Advisors
  Claus Moberg, ShowShowFood LLC
  John Neis, Venture Investors
  Bruce Neviaser, Great Wolf Resorts
  Madeleine Niebauer, Teach for America
  Andy Nunemaker, EMSystems
  Neil Peters-Michaud, Cascade Assets Management
  Jeff Peterson, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  Steve Royko, Royko Enterprises LLC
  Kevin Scharnek, 14 West
  Kyle Schneider, CELSA-Sorbonne
  Linda Schramer, USDA Forest Service Patent Technician
  Rick Searer, Kraft
  Anne Smith, UW Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic
  Chad Sorenson, Solgear; Fluent Systems; RedSpark Ventures
  Ben Sperry, Codiqa
  Nancy Spitzer, Wendt Library
  Janet Stockhausen, USDA Forest Service Patent Advisor
  John Surdyk, Director of INSITE
  Vincent Tauzia,
  David Van Sickle, Asthmapolis
  Troy Vosseller, Sconnie Nation, Sconnie Beer & gener8tor
  Gary Wendt, GE Capital
  Stephanie Whitehorse, WARF IP Operations Manager
  Henry Wilde, Acelero Learning
  Megan Wulff, Amazon
  Matt Younkle, Murfie
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 Alumni News/Updates  

Mike Fourcher (2003) has moved on to his newest entrepreneurial venture in Chicago as vice president of marketing for, a company building a listing service for commercial building energy efficiency retrofits. Read More »

Miles Gerson (2009) is now the managing officer of business development for UCLA's Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research. He is working to promote new technology; identify industry sponsors for research; and expand licensing, spin out, and entrepreneurial activity at UCLA. If any of our alumni are interested in these activities, please contact Miles at

Justin Hajny (2010) and Steve Royko (2001), co-founders of I’m Organic, LLC, have created a new division of their company, Revolve Promotions. Revolve Promotions offers custom sustainable branded merchandise and promotional products. They have received more and more interest from companies in this area, and their expertise allows them to find the perfect tools to promote a company's brand, while also highlighting to customers, employees, and other stakeholders the impact of using the items. Check out their new site at

Joe Kremer (1997), CEO of Isomark, and Senator Tammy Baldwin were shown giving startup businesses a boost in a segment on WKOW (Channel 27) in Madison. For the full story, click here.

Tyler Leeper (2008), president of Brittingham Boats and Wingra Canoe & Sailing Center, was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal and was recognized for his contributions in revitalizing the Monona Bay neighborhood.

David Lohrentz (1999) owns Madison Sourdough on Williamson Street, and on June 19, 2013, the Food Network filmed a segment at his bakery.

Dan Ludois (2012) was featured in Inside UW-Madison, the news and information source for faculty and staff. Dan, along with Justin Reed (2009) and Micah Erickson (2012), co-founded C-Motive Technologies. Dan pioneered a capacitive power coupler that has the potential to make electric motors smaller, more efficient and cheaper. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UW-Madison.

Andrew Maxfield (2012) released a double album of new music that celebrates the work of the poet/novelist/essayist Wendell Berry, recipient of the National Medal of Humanities. This new collaboration, which has been featured on NPR, features choral music by Andrew, new folk-blues songs by Grammy nominee Eric Bibb, and recordings of Mr. Berry himself reading his poetry. On an ongoing basis, Andrew will donate 25% of the purchase price to the Weinert Center when you use the coupon code WAVE at checkout! See for a free song and more information.

Andrew and his musical settings of Wendell Berry poems were also featured at the James Beard Foundation (JBF) Leadership Awards Dinner at the Third Annual Food Conference in New York City. JBF is the country's premier organization promoting American culinary arts and awarding the yearly “Oscars” of the food world. Mr. Berry was an honoree at last year's Leadership Awards. Of the event, Ms. Erica Gruen— JBF trustee and secretary, Weinert Center WAVE board member, friend of the Bolz Center, and all-around amazing individual—reported that "Andrew was a smash hit! I was Andrew's mentor in WAVE last year, and I can't express how very proud I am of him and his accomplishments last night." We are, too, Erica! Keep up the amazing work, Andrew!

Stephen Ranjan (2012) and his wife Karen announce the birth of their son Erik John Ranjan. He was born at 1:34 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, 2013. Erick weighed 8 lbs., 10 ozs. and was 21" in length. Both mother and baby are doing well. Congratulations, Stephen and Karen!

John Surdyk (2003) and Troy Vosseller (2009) were featured in in the cover story in the Isthmus: “Millennials to the Rescue: Young Entrepreneurs Could Save the Local Economy.” Mike Filbey, BBA student and founder of Cbay, was also mentioned in the article that can be found here.

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 Center Support  

We would like to thank the following recent contributors to our programs:
Janet Christopher, former academic program specialist of the Weinert Center and friend of the center
Ryan Colwell, 2013 alumnus
Marcel Petrutiu, 2010 alumnus
Dr. Oliver C. Richards, 2011 alumnus
TOSA Foundation c/o John and Tashia Morgridge, friends of the center
Troy Vosseller, 2009 alumnus

Your continued support of our programs is greatly appreciated. Anyone wishing to financially support the programs can do so by visiting

EntrepreNews is produced by the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship

Weinert Center For Entrepreneurship

Executive Director: Jon Eckhardt
Director: Dan Olszewski
Associate Director: Lisa Collins

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