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Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services hires executive director

June 23, 2011

The Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services (WCEPS) has tapped Matt Messinger as the organization’s first executive director.

Created by friends of the University of Wisconsin–Madison earlier this year, WCEPS will help license and market intellectual property in the field of education created by faculty and staff at the university. Messinger’s hiring follows an extensive search process led by local recruitment consultants.

Messinger brings a dozen years of experience in the educational software industry and nonprofit management, and he joins the organization from StudyBlue, an e-learning startup in Madison, where he served as director of learning.

As executive director, Messinger will lead the day-to-day operations of WCEPS and help build awareness about the new organization and its role in supporting education research and product development. He will work collaboratively with both the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) and UW–Madison researchers to find effective ways to make their ideas more widely available to the marketplace.

“Matt will bring WCEPS a lot of energy and ideas in the education market space, especially given his online experience in delivering K-12 products and services,” says Brad Taylor, chairman of the WCEPS board of directors. “We are excited for Matt to hit the ground running with both opportunities that currently exist with WCER as well as emerging opportunities that will come from UW–Madison and other parties in the research and science of education.”

“WCEPS exemplifies the Wisconsin Idea — the university working to improve people’s lives beyond the classroom,” said Messinger. “I look forward to exposing the innovative educational products and services created at WCER and the entire UW–Madison community to even more people.”

Messinger has extensive experience in guiding business development, product marketing, partnership creation and educational outreach efforts. Prior to his role as director of learning at StudyBlue, Messigner was a founding member of Alkami Technology, an e-learning/banking software startup, and he served in a variety of product management roles at Renaissance Learning and Oracle.

Messinger has also served as a director of college counseling and consultant for educational programs for several California-based schools. He is an alumnus of the UW–Madison School of Business and School of Education, as well as Stanford University.

WCEPS will meet a growing demand for bringing education research and development to the general public, by partnering with research organizations to license educational products and services such as testing instruments, curricular materials and educational software, to state educational agencies, school districts and teachers. WCEPS will then re-direct any proceeds to support further research and development at UW–Madison in the field of education.

A seven-person board of directors governs WCEPS. Julie Underwood, dean of the UW–Madison School of Education, and Adam Gamoran, director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, serve as ex-officio members.

The University of Wisconsin Foundation has provided the start-up funds to cover WCEPS’ first two years of operation. WCEPS is located at University Research Park.

The center was created to develop, protect and market non-patentable intellectual property created by faculty and staff at UW–Madison.

WCEPS education tools are directed — through state education agencies, school districts and schools — to K-12 education. With a focus on products and services in the area of education research and development, WCEPS will invest any proceeds of its efforts to promote, encourage and aid the research and teaching missions of UW–Madison faculty in the field of education.