Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development

If you are a full-time MBA student looking to start new business now or in the future, or take an existing business to a new level, then the Wisconsin Fellowship in Enterprise Development is the program for you.

The Wisconsin Fellowship in Enterprise Development is an applied training program that integrates foundational business knowledge, award winning academic research, and cutting edge techniques from practice in a rigorous single year program.

Training

The program is comprised of the following:

  1. Mentorship based on your career goals
  2. Rigorous applied coursework that includes projects with local companies and entrepreneurially minded graduate students from across the campus
  3. Co-curricular learning activities such as various competitions, student organizations, and the business & entrepreneurship clinic
  4. Excellent outside speakers

Funding

  • Students who are admitted to the program may be eligible for some or limited employment opportunities
  • Students can apply for up to $50,000 in funding for a startup from the James Weinert Applied Ventures Fund and the Daniel H. Neviaser Entrepreneurship Fund

Eligibility

Only students who have been admitted to the full time MBA program at the Wisconsin School of Business may apply to participate in the program

Application Process

  • The application window is open during spring semester from early January through Monday, February 26
  • Students must complete the application and mail a copy of their resume to WeinertCenter@bus.wisc.edu during the application window.
  • Students are informed if they are admitted to the program in early April

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is eligible for the fellowship?

    Current first-year MBA students (open to all specializations).

  2. When is the deadline to apply?

    Spring semester. Please check the website for the exact date.

  3. How many fellow positions are available?

    The final number of fellows is flexible with approximately twelve in most years.

  4. Is there financial aid available through the fellowship?

    Financial aid is not offered as part of the fellowship. Work opportunities that arise will be passed on to the fellowship students.

  5. How is the fellowship different than the Entrepreneurship Certificate?

    The fellowship is a more intensive immersion program that is only offered to MBA students which includes a more in-depth focus on entrepreneurship and enterprise development through additional coursework and support through Weinert Center events and resources.

  6. When will I be notified of whether I am accepted into the program?

    Admission decisions are made by early April.

Tentative Curriculum 

  Fall Spring
Startup
Coursework MHR 722* & MHR 734 & Fellows Career Seminar FIN 757 or WAVE Startup Seminar
Emphasis Develop idea in MHR 734 Develop idea in WAVE, get feedback on venture idea from WAVE board
Innovation
Coursework MHR 722* & MHR 734 & Fellows Career Seminar FIN 757 or MHR 715 or MHR 741
Emphasis Develop Growth Strategy for Existing Company in MHR 722* Get feedback on technology assessment project in 715

*Some students take MHR 722 in the spring if it is a better fit with other courses 

Events Overview

Fellowship students are given the opportunity to participate in the following events:

Fall Kickoff

An evening of fun and friendly conversation and networking with MHR faculty and staff, Weinert Center board members and alumni to kickoff the new school year. Typically held in early September.

Mentors Assigned

Mentors are typically assigned in late September/early October. Mentors are assigned based on interest and can be reassigned for changing interests.

Distinguished Entrepreneurs Lunch

Distinguished Entrepreneurs Lunches are held weekly throughout the year.

Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Showcase Event

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Showcase Event is typically held in late September/early October.

Partner Up!

Partner Up! allows students to find members or become a new member of a future startup team. Partner Up! is held twice a year, in early October and early February.

Field Trip

The Fellowship students participate in two field trips, one each semester, to visit successful startup entrepreneurs to hear their stories and learn from them.

Various Competitions

Listed below are some of the competitions that graduate students have participated in previously.

WSB Business Plan Competition helps students to develop their venture ideas in a supportive learning environment. Students registering for the event receive targeted entrepreneurship resources to more fully develop their business models and to pitch more effectively. Area entrepreneurs, investors, and nonprofit leaders evaluate students plans and presentations to determine whether teams present a credible plan of action to build an organization capable of providing innovative products or services in the marketplace. Cash prizes and professional contacts can help students act upon their most promising ideas.

New Arts Venture Challenge is a competition where students propose a new arts effort.

MadHacks is an intercollegiate national hackathon in one of the Midwest’s greatest collaborative events.

Hult Prize Foundation is a startup accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities.

Startup Weekend Madison is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.

NEST Software Competition encourages creative software development and a project of one’s choosing (e.g. develop desktop, web, mobile software, or software for a robot) and enters it into the contest. On the Contest day participants present their projects to a panel and everyone walks away with an amazing experience in building something from scratch and seeing it all the way through.

Perkins Coie LLP launched an Innovative Minds competition, offering a $11,000 prize to a University of Wisconsin-Madison student team that produces the year’s most market-ready innovation. The result is a year-end award designed to recognize a student team that has gone to the next level and developed the most viable plan for launching a successful commercial venture:

Transcend Madison Innovation Competition powered by Qualcomm is a campus-wide contest for students to demonstrate their novel ideas and creations.

Graduation Event

Most of the Fellowship students enroll in the Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship (WAVE) course in their spring semester where they work on a startup business idea. On the last Friday of the semester, students present their idea to the Weinert Center’s Advisory Board, which consists of local leaders and entrepreneurs from a variety of industries, for an opportunity to acquire a startup investment from the WAVE fund. Immediately following is a luncheon to celebrate the accomplishments of the WAVE and Fellowship students.