UW–Madison Hosts Campus-Wide Event Celebrating Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Logo that says startup week UW Madison

UW–Madison is hosting a series of free virtual events and programming for innovators and entrepreneurs during Startup Wisconsin Week, November 11 -18, 2020. The weeklong event takes place in communities across the state and aims to energize local startup ecosystems. Events organized by campus partners celebrate and illuminate entrepreneurial activities and resources across the UW–Madison campus, and provide opportunities for innovators on campus and in the community to network and learn.

Fifteen different campus partners are offering over twenty events during UW-Madison Startup Week, and more events are still being added. Key campus partners for UW–Madison Startup Week include organizations such as the UW Makerspace, the UW Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, the student organization Transcend UW, the School of Computing, Data, and Information Sciences (CDIS), the Center for Technology Commercialization, Forward BIOLABS and the Forward BIO Institute, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, the Isthmus Project, the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship, the Office of Business Engagement, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

UW-Madison’s Discovery to Product program is coordinating the campus-wide effort through its Innovate Network initiative. The Innovate Network brings together resources from 18 university and campus affiliate programs actively supporting innovation, tech transfer, and campus entrepreneurship in a full array of sectors, from biomanufacturing to computer and data science, health and medicine, clean tech, food science, and many others at innovate.wisc.edu.

“A key part of D2P’s mission is to serve as the front door for faculty, staff and students to help find and connect with resources,” says D2P Director Andy Richards. “Shared campus-wide events like Startup Week really allow us to showcase the wide range of incredible resources and expertise available right here on the UW–Madison campus, supporting innovators from all corners of the university and in the community.”

Some of the 20+ free, virtual events happening during UW–Madison Startup Week, November 11th – 18th, 2020 include:

  • Distinguished Entrepreneur’s Lunch with Craig Schedler | Nov. 11 @ 12:15pm
    The Weinert Center hosts a talk with Craig Schedler, Managing Director with Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Northwestern Mutual. Since its founding in 2016, Craig has been responsible for managing the company’s strategic venture capital investments in financial technology, digital health, data analytics and client experience.
  • Transcend Alumni Meet | Nov. 11 @ 6pm
    Meet successful graduates and alumni of Transcend UW, a student organization that hosts one of the nation’s largest innovation competitions. The Transcend team is bringing in their old leadership and successful competitors for everyone to meet!
  • Finding a Funding Source for Your Technology | Nov. 12 @ 10am
    The Federal SBIR/STTR program awards over $3.7 billion in high risk R&D funding annually to qualified technologies. Attend this session hosted by the Center for Technology Commercialization to find out more about these programs and how they can provide a source of R&D funding between the initial development of your idea and proof that it has potential in the marketplace.
  • Rapid Prototyping Your Design at the Design + Innovation Lab (Makerspace) | Nov. 12 @ 12:15pm
    Students can build anything at the UW Makerspace – from micro to macro and from virtual to physical. Join Lennon Rodgers for a virtual tour, a brief overview of Makerspace PPE / COVID projects and a Q&A.
  • WARF Entrepreneurons: Entrepreneurship and Venture Funding Post-COVID | Nov. 12 @ 4pm
    UW–Madison CDIS founder and entrepreneur Tom Erickson will host a lively panel discussion with tech industry experts and UW alumni Ram Jambunathan, SVP-Head of Corporate Strategy for SAP and Managing Director for SAP.iO, Venkat Venkataramani, Rockset CEO, and Justin Vandehey,  co-founder of Disco. The panel will share insider perspectives and insights on venture funding in the technology, software, and information space post-COVID.
  • Life Science Labs for Startups: Forward BIOLABS Virtual Tour | Nov. 13 @ 12pm
    Learn how Forward BIOLABS fully equipped and maintained life science laboratories can help launch your startup company.  This virtual tour will provide an overview of the laboratories’ capabilities, how the labs operate, and how their tailored approach helps each company succeed.
  • WARF Essential Topics: Putting our Money where our Mouth Is: Creating Meaningful Networks and Resources for Diverse Inventors | Nov. 17 @ 4pm
    Hear from leaders of programs across the Midwest that have successfully addressed the invention and entrepreneurship gap that all too often finds that women and people of color are under-supported and under-represented.
  • WARF Innovation Day | Nov. 18 @ 2pm
    Get an inside look at UW–Madison products, services, and technologies that will shape the future of our world at this virtual pitch event.
  • Weeklong and Schedule-On-Demand Events
    Several event partners are holding office hours during the week to give aspiring entrepreneurs free access to expert guidance, including Discovery to Product, the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, the Isthmus Project, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at the UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and the Office of Business Engagement. Additionally, the Forward BIO Institute is premiering a series of videos introducing the participants in their Innovators in Training program throughout the week.

To view the full listing of UW–Madison Startup Week events and programming visit: https://innovate.wisc.edu/uw-madison-startup-week/