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Four honored with UW Entrepreneurial Achievement Awards 

March 23, 2022 By Kristina LeVan

The 2022 Chancellor’s Entrepreneurial Achievement Awards honor University of Wisconsin–Madison innovators and alumni who further the Wisconsin Idea through outstanding accomplishments in entrepreneurship.

The four recipients of this year’s awards showcase how the university and its alumni are leading innovation in technology and manufacturing, bolstering the local startup ecosystem, and driving economic growth in the state and across the country.

“UW–Madison’s vibrant culture encourages innovation among faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Every day, they change lives through teaching, research, public service, and entrepreneurial activities. We celebrate the outstanding achievements of four UW entrepreneurs who have created incredible value in their communities and beyond. Their work is a shining example of the Wisconsin Idea,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

A ceremony honoring the 2022 recipients was held March 23 at the Discovery Building. See past recipients of the Chancellor’s Entrepreneurial Achievement Awards, which were established more than a decade ago.

Lynn Allen-Hoffmann
Founder, CSO and CEO (retired), Stratatech Corporation

Allen-Hoffmann founded Stratatech to develop a cell-based skin graft to help treat burn victims using a unique skin cell line discovered in her laboratory at UW–Madison. The first woman at the university to start a biotechnology business, her motivation for the product came after watching a burn surgeon operate on a farmer who suffered third-degree burns and recognizing the need for alternatives to the currently available treatments.

Stratatech is an example of how life-saving biotech research at UW–Madison boosts the state’s economy. It was acquired by U.K.-based Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in 2016 and remains based in University Research Park on Madison’s west side.

“It’s a rare event in science when you can see something go from a laboratory discovery to the point of treating patients. She is representing what women can do above and beyond what the traditional roles were prescribed 20 years ago,” Forward Bio Institute Assistant Director Cathy Rasmussen said of Allen-Hoffmann.

Jim Bakke
President and CEO, Sub-Zero Group, Inc.

Since becoming president and chief executive officer of Sub-Zero Group, Inc., Bakke has transformed his family’s business into an industry-leading manufacturer of luxury kitchen appliances. As the third generation of the Bakke family to lead Sub-Zero, he has made investments in the latest technologies and manufacturing processes, innovative cooking products, and new product lines. In the future, the company plans to continue its focus on emerging technology, science and design.

Bakke is committed to keeping production facilities in the United States and ensuring the best possible design and quality. Sub-Zero recently completed its Design Center, a 324,000-square-foot research and development facility in Fitchburg — a $70 million project expected to create 100 jobs.

“Sub-Zero went from humble beginnings to having showrooms in over 40 countries all over the world. My grandparents would be thrilled at all the success Sub-Zero has seen due in large part to Jim,” said Debbie Schwartz, a Sub-Zero board member and Bakke’s sister.

Valarie King-Bailey
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, OnShore Technology Group 

King-Bailey is the founder and CEO of OnShore Technology Group, a Chicago-based consultancy specializing in testing computer systems used by global pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, chemical and health care companies. OnShore’s first-of-its-kind independent validation and verification software — ValidationMaster — helps life sciences companies as they work to meet FDA regulatory mandates. Last year, King-Bailey led OnShore to its first listing on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies by achieving 71% growth during the pandemic.

With more than 40 years of international experience in engineering and life sciences technology, she is recognized as a pioneer in the STEM fields and a leading advocate for women and underrepresented innovators in the industry.

“Valarie had the drive and the passion to grow her business, but like many diverse founders, she ran into roadblocks,” noted Kim Folsom, founder, chairperson and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners. “Less than 1% of capital goes to businesses founded by African American and Black founders, and significantly less of that goes to Black women. To grow her business to the level that she has is significant.”

Scott Resnick
Chief Operating Officer, Hardin Design & Development

Resnick is an entrepreneur, civic leader and prominent player in Madison’s collaborative startup ecosystem. Along with a fellow UW–Madison alumnus, Resnick co-founded Hardin Design & Development, where he is the chief operating officer and oversees business development and operations. The company builds web applications for companies like American Family Insurance, FedEx, Coleman Campers and Mercedes-Benz. Resnick is also a senior advisor for Biobot Analytics, an early-stage MIT spinout that was the first company in the U.S. to detect COVID in wastewater, and founder of Capital Entrepreneurs, a grassroots organization to connect and grow the entrepreneurial community.

Resnick was instrumental in the formation of StartingBlock Madison, Wisconsin’s largest community of entrepreneurs, startups, investors, accelerators and entrepreneur support organizations.

“Scott was always a big thinker, but the Madison environment, the university, and the classes he took opened his mind even further,” Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic Director Anne Smith said of Resnick. “He is energized by the work that he does, by the people he gets to work with, and by taking ideas and helping people make them a reality.”