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At UW–Madison, startups thrive — and win

June 13, 2023 By Kristina LeVan

The University of Wisconsin–Madison continues its streak of entrepreneurial excellence as five startups developed at the university received recognition as part of the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, a statewide competition for early-stage tech-based businesses.

Five of the final 13 companies participating in the pitch-based competition began at UW–Madison:

  • Chocolate Rescue for Dogs: Provides a quick and safe at-home remedy for chocolate ingestion in dogs.
  • Flux XII: Builds sustainable batteries for renewable long-duration energy storage.
  • Güd Medical: Develops a syringe adapter that allows medical professionals to administer medications with increased accuracy and comfort.
  • IQDecide: Brings quantitative information to cancer treatment, optimizing patient benefits and minimizing risk.
  • SixLine Semiconductor: Commercializes breakthroughs in carbon nanotube processing for the next generation of high-performance, cost-effective semiconductor devices.

Middleton, Wisconsin-based SixLine Semiconductor took home the Grand Prize, and Chocolate Rescue for Dogs, located in Germantown, Wisconsin, received the Bright New Idea award.

The awards and the wide-ranging industries each company represents are among the many examples of how UW–Madison uplifts innovative, forward-thinking ideas that can change the way people live, work and even receive healthcare through its campus-spanning entrepreneurial ecosystem.

These five companies, like the hundreds of others that got their start at UW–Madison, have access to programs and organizations — comprising the UW–Madison Innovate Network — specifically designed to help support the transformation of an idea into a product or service that’s ready for market.

UW’s Innovate Network is made up of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Discovery to Product, University Research Park, Morgridge Entrepreneurial Bootcamp, Center for Technology Commercialization and more aimed at growing businesses that not only solve modern-day challenges but also boost Wisconsin’s economy.

“As Wisconsinites channel their innovative ideas and energy into new products and services, they create new jobs and invigorate our state’s economy, keeping it fresh and competitive,” says Andrew Richards, director of UW–Madison’s Discovery to Product.

Since 1990, the university has helped create more than 400 startups that generate an annual economic impact of $10 billion and more than $320 million in state and local tax revenue. UW–based startups have produced nearly 43,000 jobs in Wisconsin during the same timeframe.

UW also helps prepare students for a future in the startups by offering foundational skills needed to start companies after — or even during — their time in college. The university has seen a 486% increase in students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes since 2010, with some going on to establish businesses right here in Wisconsin.

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