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Theory meets practice at Entrepreneurial Bootcamp

Friday, March 19, 2010

From new fuel alternatives to embryonic stem cells, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is an international leader in scientific research.

During the week of June 20, the Wisconsin School of Business will direct the fourth annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for graduate students in physical and life sciences, law, and engineering, among others. The program is an intensive, hands-on week of learning focused on technology entrepreneurship. The program is meant to help students explore how business startups can create both economic and social value. Due to generous donations from program sponsors, there is no cost to participants.

Students will receive an immersive experience with interactive learning led by real-world professionals. Industry experts John Morgridge, former chair and chief executive officer of Cisco Systems, and G. Steven Burrill, chief executive officer of Burrill & Co., will be returning this year to teach sessions. Both are Wisconsin School of Business alumni. They will join top Wisconsin School of Business faculty and key university and community experts.

"We are honored to have distinguished alumni, faculty, and community leaders excited about sharing their knowledge of the entrepreneurship process with students from all areas of campus," says Michael Knetter, dean of the Wisconsin School of Business. "Through this weeklong intensive program, we strive to provide students with the inspiration, knowledge and resources to put their enterprising ideas to action."

Students will 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.

"The 2009 bootcamp was a transformative experience," says Laurie Hartjes, a student who participated in last year's program. "I have a new perspective, new vocabulary, and a new network with which to approach my future work. It was a privilege to attend."

Several students from Wageningen University, a top agricultural research institute in the Netherlands, will work in teams with UW-Madison students. Supported by a grant from the Dutch Agro-Food Network of Entrepreneurship, these students will bring a global perspective to the classroom.

The program is open to students enrolled at UW-Madison. Deadline for applying is Monday, April 12.

Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp is a joint venture of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the Wisconsin School of Business and the cross-campus Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship (INSITE).

Program contacts include Anne Miner, executive director of INSITE, 608/263-4143,, and Dan Olszewski, director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship, 608/265-3959,