The last few months have been very busy and eventful ones for the UW and the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. Each spring we have to say goodbye as our graduating students launch the next phase of their professional career. It is great to see the exciting opportunities they have at large companies as intrapreneurs or in joining small firms or even launching their own startup. We are always sad to see them leave campus but continue to wish them well and are very happy to promote them to ‘alumni’ status. As alumni we look forward to keeping in touch and welcoming them back to campus when their travels bring them back to Madison. Alumni play a critical role in the success of the current students, our program and the UW. Being a Badger is something special and is a perspective we hear from both recent and earlier alumni. In this newsletter we have great examples of this from both an interview with recent alumna Sarah (Wright) Van Caster where she talks about her exciting career journey and from the story on the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (WEB). This later program celebrated its 10th anniversary in June. UW alum John Morgridge (former CEO of Cisco) was a key partner and supporter in getting it launched in 2007 and he still returns each summer to teach in the program. In celebration of the success of the program and as a way to thank alumni John & Tashia Morgridge for all they have done for the school, a group of over 50 individuals & groups donated the funds to continue the program and honor the Morgridges by renaming it the Morgridge Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (MEB). This surprise gift was announced at the celebratory dinner for the students and was a very joyous event for them as well as the many alumni, faculty and members of the entrepreneurial community who were in attendance. Great examples of Badger alumni who are having an impact.
The last few months have also included the school’s relaunch of the Business Plan competition, the hosting of a nationwide conference on entrepreneurial learning communities and the induction of Joe Boucher and Paul Reckwerdt into the Weinert Center Hall of Fame. The newsletter has stories on all of these very noteworthy events. It was especially fun to honor both Paul and Joe. Beyond being successful entrepreneurs in their own right, they have been wonderful supporters of the Weinert Center and the students over the years (more details about both amazing individuals can be found in the newsletter).
We are also very pleased to announce that we have had additional members join the Wisconsin Forward Partners Fund. This is a group of supporters who have made significant multi-year commitments to fund entrepreneurship programs operated by the Wisconsin School of Business. Over the past few months we have had Thomas & Barbara Stevens, The Goldberg Family and John Neis join Andy Boszhardt and an Anonymous Donor in this recently created initiative. Their support is critical to our ability to provide the high quality experiences to entrepreneurially minded students from across the campus. Thank you!
Director, Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship