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Theory meets practice in second annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

July 21, 2008

From new fuel alternatives to embryonic stem cells, the University of Wisconsin–Madison is an international leader in scientific research. This week (July 20-25), the Wisconsin School of Business will direct the second annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (WEB) for graduate students in chemistry, biology, law and engineering, among others. The program is an intensive, hands-on week of learning focused on technology entrepreneurship, meant to help 57 students explore how business startups can create both economic and social value.

Students will have hands-on learning with real-world professionals. Industry experts John Morgridge, chair emeritus of Cisco Systems; G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill and Co.; and Mark Leslie, founding chair and CEO of Veritas Software, will return this year to teach sessions. They join top Wisconsin School of Business faculty and key university and community experts. Promega Corp. founder and CEO Bill Linton will provide remarks as part of a tour July 25 of the global supplier of biochemistry and molecular systems headquarters.

“We are extremely fortunate to have alumni of this caliber who are willing to share their expertise and passion for business with WEB students,” says Michael Knetter, dean of the Wisconsin School of Business. “Through this intellectually challenging program, we hope to increase students’ exposure to concepts that will help them realize their own capabilities in a technology-driven marketplace.”

As part of WEB, students will gain knowledge in three key areas: creating and assessing the viability of technology-based opportunities; building an organization with people and funding; and applying finance and accounting. The program exposes students to the many resources available in Madison and campus, and triggers awareness of the value of both business and universities. This year’s students represent diverse fields, including electrical engineering, organic chemistry, biology, law, and atmospheric and oceanic science.

New this year, six 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 European Union (EU), this experiment will bring a global perspective to the classroom, providing deeper experiences for all the students and honoring a long-standing tradition of student exchange between the universities.

Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (WEB) is a joint venture of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the Wisconsin School of Business and the cross-campus Initiative for Studies in Technology Entrepreneurship (INSITE), both spearheaded by Knetter.