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Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Showcase Draws More Than 500 UW-Madison Students

by Marguerite Darlington Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the Wisconsin School of Business hosted the Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Showcase, an interactive learning event designed to give students the opportunity to network with industry leaders and learn about careers in entrepreneurship

“This is an event that we host for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in all schools and colleges on campus,” says Jon Eckhardt, executive director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. “Entrepreneurship is a domain that fosters many different types of careers that are linked together by a passion to serve society by introducing products and services. This event helps our students learn about the variety of ways they can build careers in this ecosystem.”

Several game-changing entrepreneurs spoke to a room filled with more than 500 student from nearly every school on the UW-Madison campus: Erica Gruen, media luminary and former CEO of the Food Network; Marc Gardner, founder, president, and CEO of North American Bancard; Craig Culver, founder of the Culver’s frozen custard franchise; Matt Howard (B.S. ’11), Eric Martell (B.S. ’12), and Alex Wyler (B.S. ’11), cofounders of EatStreet

In addition to the featured speakers, more than 35 entrepreneurs, venture investors, and attorneys from across the state sat at round tables with the students for a speed networking event, which allowed students to ask specific questions about how to build careers in entrepreneurship, such as creating and growing successful startups.

"The showcase brings together hundreds of students from throughout the university who have entrepreneurial aspirations and then engages them in a stimulating forum where they hear field-tested insights from veteran entrepreneurs,” says John Surdyk, director of Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship (INSITE). "We gather the students and entrepreneurs together under one roof knowing that together we can deepen and accelerate our students' learning in ways that go beyond the classroom."

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Showcase was made possible by Paul Reckwerdt and Ellen Rosner, the Weinert Center For Entrepreneurship, and the Entrepreneurial Residential Learning Community. Global Entrepreneurship Week is a worldwide celebration of innovation, startups, and the economic growth driven by entrepreneurship.

Are you interested in entrepreneurship? Contact Lisa Collins to find out how to get involved with the Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Showcase.