New businesses are popping up all over Madison in a variety of industries. Passion and past experience go a long way when launching a new venture but having resources to turn to when starting out can be invaluable. The Business and Entrepreneurship Clinic (B&E Clinic) provides Wisconsin-based entrepreneurs a boost with free advice and services.
In collaboration with the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the B&E clinic helps entrepreneurs navigate the many business issues that arise when starting and growing a new business. The clinic was founded in 2013 by gifts from the Wisconsin School of Business and WARF. Under the direction of Michael Williams, director of the clinic and a faculty associate, MBA students and senior level undergraduates undertake various projects throughout the school year to help early-stage entrepreneurs.
“The clinic provides real-world consulting opportunities to students while directly benefiting the startup community in Madison” Michael said. “The partnership with the university amplifies the resources available to startups while expanding applied learning opportunities for business students.”
The B&E Clinic works with startups in a wide variety of industries at a number of different stages ranging from ideation to growth and maturity. The clinic assists with a variety of services and has helped identify market opportunities, advise on sales strategies, provide best practices for digital and traditional marketing plans, evaluate business strategies, review and prepare financial statements, as well as assist with operations, founders issues, and resource identification. Businesses interested in working with the clinic should visit their webpage and fill out the application for services.
This year the B&E clinic is serving a diverse set of businesses including med tech, brew pubs, consumer products (plant grow kits, retractable name badges, nasal dilator), and two-sided marketplace models. Some of the projects the team is working on this semester are crafting strategies for a successful crowdfunded product launch, financial model analysis to recommend founder transition plan from part-time to full-time employment, identifying strategic customer segments for new products, and providing pricing models and valuation recommendations.
Hannah O’Brien and Nimi Ehr are MBA students working in the clinic this year and provide services through personal appointments as well as online consultations. Both are Enterprise Development Fellows in the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. Hannah specializes in Brand and Product Management and Nimi in Operations and Technology Management.