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

Partners in UW–Madison’s new Innovate Network are collaborating to put on a series of events and programming during Startup Wisconsin Week, November 11 -17, 2019. The inaugural campus event aims to celebrate and illuminate entrepreneurial activities and resources across the UW–Madison campus, and to provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and student innovators to network and learn.

Eight different partners in UW-Madison’s new Innovate Network (innovate.wisc.edu) are leading over a dozen events during UW-Madison Startup Week, and more events are still being added. Staff at UW-Madison’s Discovery to Product program are coordinating the campus-wide effort through the newly created Innovate Network initiative.

“UW-Madison has a passion for problem solving and a long history of transforming groundbreaking research discoveries into innovative products and services that change the world. We created the Innovate Network as a framework to connect all of the various people, organizations, and programs on campus that support those activities,” says D2P Director Andy Richards. “One of the key goals of the Innovate Network is collaboration. We are all working very closely together to foster and support a stronger culture of entrepreneurship on campus.  When we celebrate and support faculty, staff, and student entrepreneurs, we’re really supporting the Wisconsin Idea in action.”

UW–Madison Startup Week is part of Startup Wisconsin, an effort founded in 2017 focused on advancing and developing Wisconsin’s tech and startup ecosystems through unique programming, collaborative partnerships, and networking. Several cities around the state will simultaneously participate in Startup Wisconsin Week in November.

“We’re pleased to see UW–Madison joining the Startup Wisconsin network in 2019,” said Matt Cordio, co-founder and president of Startup Wisconsin. “Innovation and technology are vital to growing Wisconsin’s economy and creating new jobs, and the programming occurring during Startup Wisconsin Week this year will continue to develop and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wisconsin and move the state’s economy forward.”

Key events for UW–Madison Startup Week include: 

  • Energy, Waste, and the Circular Economy | Nov. 11 (Monday) 4:30pm @ the Wisconsin Energy Institute
    The idea that human consumption could have a neutral impact on our world is an appealing concept – but how can we make that ideal a reality? A panel of experts from the Wisconsin Energy Institute will discuss the circular economy, the science of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and ways our production processes could thrive as renewable enterprises.
  • Wisconsin as an Innovation Hub | Nov. 12 (Tuesday) 4:00pm @ the H.F. DeLuca Forum in the Discovery Building
    How can we foster a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wisconsin? Aaron Kennedy, the founder of Noodles & Company, shares lessons learned from his decades of helping leaders and entrepreneurs create a better world. Then, hear from local experts Aaron Olver, managing director of University Research Park; Lisa Johnson, CEO of BioForward; Idella Yamben, business development consultant at the Center for Technology Commercialization; and Elmer Moore, executive director of Scale Up Milwaukee.
  • Starting a Startup | Nov. 13 (Wednesday) 6:30pm @ Engineering Hall
    Transcend UW is a student organization focused on connecting innovators across disciplines. Come join the Transcend team to hear from a Matt Howard (founder of EatStreet) and Forrest Woolworth (founder of PerBlu) about what it takes to get a startup running and stay for a Q+A session and networking!
  • 100 Hour Challenge | Nov. 14-17 (Thurs – Sun) @ the Makerspace
    Students are invited to create and pitch a valuable, innovative or socially beneficial product or service using materials from UW SWAP (Surplus with a Purpose). Think like an entrepreneur and keep in mind the three elements of entrepreneurship: having an idea, taking action and creating value.

Several event partners are holding office hours during the week of events to give aspiring entrepreneurs free access to expert guidance, including Discovery to Product, the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at the UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. The full listing of UW–Madison Startup Week events and programming may be found at the link below.
UW–Madison Startup Week Events 2019

Activities during UW–Madison Startup Week 2019 are being hosted by Discovery to Product, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at the School of Medicine and Public Health, the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, Transcend UW, the Startup Learning Community, the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship, the Wisconsin Energy Institute, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.