Two years, two months, and 16 days after Governor Tony Ever’s first issuing of the “Safer At Home” act, the Morgridge Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (MEB) celebrates the last day of its smashing in-person comeback. Between June 6 and June 10, MEB has hosted a record-breaking 68 students, 15 speakers/instructors, 18 panelists, and the donors of UW-Madison’s largest donation to date, John and Tashia Morgridge. Organized and made possible by the Wisconsin School of Business’ own Dan Olszewski and Lisa Collins, Director and Associate Director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship, MEB coaches graduate STEM students in the vast discipline of startups, in understanding and improving the social values and cultures of businesses, and everything in between.
From students who had never taken any business or economics courses to others already pursuing their own entrepreneurial startup, MEB possessed great diversity of thought in its 2022 class. From practicing elevator pitches like “nanobodies for overdoses” with Professor Emeritus Anne Miner to “Planning to Pivot” in a group entrepreneurial toy building analogy with Professor Russ Coff, this group of students were challenged and in turn challenged one another to think in new dimensions. In accordance with the Wisconsin School of Business’ core teaching methods, MEB 2022 consisted of a case study reading, discussion, and lecture every day. Some of these cases included the E-Ink case, the Study Blue case, and the Four Product Case, in which students engaged with the entrepreneurs’ raison d’etre: giving the best innovations the greatest possible chance to succeed.
MEB is also extremely privileged to have access to its namesake and real-life case study in the form of John Morgridge. Morgridge spoke about making personnel decisions at CISCO, engaging with and creating a Dr. Pepper-filled business culture, annual goal setting and more in his Thursday lecture and dinner speech. A self-proclaimed “simple man,” Morgridge joked he had not bought a T-shirt since he received his last MEB class-signed shirt in 2019. In a way as applicable to life as it is to a gift, fashioning his MEB 2022 shirt over his dinner button-down, he encouraged his audience to always relish in and try on a gift upon receiving it.
The real success of MEB is measured in the students that participate in each year’s bootcamp. MEB alumni startups have raised over half a billion dollars since its start in 2007!
We would like to thank and congratulate the panelists, MEB alumni, instructors, and students for closing in on another future-bending year of MEB success. In accordance with giving back to our UW community, we are greatly appreciative of John and Tasha Morgridge for participating in and supporting MEB. Here’s to many more wonderful years of MEB!