Every Tuesday afternoon during the Fall semester, fourteen MBA students gathered in the Weinert Center to discuss entrepreneurial ideas and business plans. These fourteen students are part of the Wisconsin Fellowship in Enterprise Development program, a one-year applied training program for second-year MBA students interested in pursuing entrepreneurship as a career path. Aside from enrolling in such entrepreneurship classes as Venture Creation and Entrepreneurial Management, one part of program is the Fellows Career Seminar.
The Fellows Career Seminar is led by Dan Olszewski, Director of the Weinert Center, and takes place every Tuesday over lunch. Throughout the course of the Fall semester, every Fellow had the opportunity to pitch a business idea to his or her fellow classmates. Each Tuesday class period was spent evaluating one of the Fellow’s venture plans, which allowed the students to gain experience not only developing and communicating their own business ideas, but also applying business frameworks to and evaluating other’s ideas.
Another benefit of participating in the Wisconsin Fellowship in Enterprise Development is the ability to connect with the broader entrepreneurship environment in Madison. In October, the Fellows were fortunate to receive a private tour of the Discovery Building, which houses two interdisciplinary research institutes: the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the Morgridge Institute for Research. The tour was led by Professor Thomas “Rock” Mackie, who currently serves as the Senior Relationship Liaison of the Morgridge Institute for Research, after a storied career in medical engineering, entrepreneurship, and academia. Mackie taught the Fellows about the scientific research and entrepreneurial efforts that take place at the Discovery Building, while leading a tour of the facility. The building itself is impressive, housing such features as a virtual reality room, massive scientific laboratories, and motion-sensing walls. The tour ended when the Fellows joined other Madison entrepreneurs at the Fall networking happy hour at @1403, an entrepreneurship community that is part of University Research Park.
The Fellows are excited for another great semester in the Spring. They will enroll in classes to complete their Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship, visit startups and accelerator programs in other cities such as Milwaukee or Chicago, and even have the chance to start their own businesses as part of the Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship (WAVE) class. The Fellowship has certainly been a highlight of the Fall semester, and the Fellows are looking forward to continuing the program in the Spring.
If you are a full-time MBA student looking to start a new business now or in the future, or take an existing business to a new level, consider signing up for the Wisconsin Fellowship in Enterprise Development program: https://wsb.wisc.edu/centers-and-initiatives/weinert/applied-learning/fellowship.