June at the Weinert Center/INSITE means another Morgridge Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (MEB) is upon us. From June 5 through June 9, MEB welcomed a record-breaking 78 students to its new home, Grainger Hall’s Plenary Room, to gain extensive entrepreneurial knowledge. From graduate majors in dairy science to nuclear engineering and beyond, all MEB student participants learned about how their ideas can grow into successful, socially valuable, and potentially profitable business startups.
From the beginning, students were exposed to a diverse set of entrepreneurial insights presented by veterans of the field, Wisconsin School of Business faculty, and MEB alums alike. Leaving the lab and their research behind for a week, MEB students channeled their inner negotiating skills with Professor Charlie Trevor, learned tips about building a strong company culture with John Surdyk, and harnessed their creativity in giving business pitches with Professor Emeritus Anne Miner. Alongside panels with MEB alums, students read, discussed, and attended lectures on numerous case studies. While case studies are a business major’s bread and butter, it was many MEB student’s first time reading, assessing, and attending lectures based around cases. Case studies give the history, key figures and statistics, and human capital involved in a real-life company for students to put themselves in the shoes of an entrepreneur. Cases like the Cisco case, taught by John Morgridge, who was CEO of Cisco himself, the Wispr Case, and the Flame Disk Case all pushed students to pivot, consider the plans, and inspire ideas as entrepreneurs do.
On top of this, students were invited to a community dinner to network with members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and build deeper bonds with one another and get the chance to speak with local entrepreneurs. The community dinner boasted guests such as the John and Tashia Morgridge, recent winners of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest Katy Jinkins (MEB ‘17) and Victor Fernandes (MEB`22), and keynote speaker Carson Cook (MEB ’13), an alum who inspired dinner attendees with his mathematical-turned-entrepreneurial journey.
A huge thank you to all panelists, guest speakers, alumni, instructors, and students for participating in another wonderful week of MEB. We are also extremely gracious for the many ways John and Tashia Morgridge have given back to the UW community and supported MEB. Cheers to our new alums and the future they will build!