“I saw an opportunity to create a brand,” says Troy Vosseller (B.A. ’06, MBA ’09, J.D. ’10), speaking of Sconnie, the apparel company he co-founded and launched while an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Though this company had a small start—selling its first 100 t-shirts out of Vosseller’s dorm room—it marked the beginning of this WSB alumnus’s hugely influential career.
Vosseller was recently recognized as a 2017 recipient of UW–Madison’s annual Entrepreneurial Achievement Award. The award honors alumni for their entrepreneurial success and commitment to encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs.
“Troy is a very entrepreneurial individual,” says Dan Olszewski, director of WSB’s Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. “He was able to successfully build a business while [still in school]. And he’s gone from being his own entrepreneur to helping other entrepreneurs.”
Since launching Sconnie, Vosseller went on to become the co-founder and managing director of gener8tor Madison and Milwaukee, an accelerator for high-growth startups. Gener8tor has helped launch more than 30 companies and secured millions in venture capital for Wisconsin companies.
With three UW–Madison degrees to his name, Vosseller has deep ties to the institution. In addition to earning his degrees, he also served as an assistant clinical professor/supervising attorney at the Law School’s Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic.
His work at both gener8tor and the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic is widely recognized as instrumental in shaping Wisconsin’s startup scene.
“He’s changed the whole ecosystem. There are a lot more successful startups; companies are being more innovative,” says Anne Smith, director of the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic. “He’s impacting so many areas. The breadth of his influence is what makes him so unique.”
Hailed as a “tremendous asset to to our university” by Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Vosseller remains connected to the Wisconsin School of Business by supporting students in their own entrepreneurial endeavors.
“If we ever have a student who we think could especially benefit by getting some mentoring from him, he is always quick to respond,” adds Olszewski. “Whatever the School asks of him, he is always one of the first people to say ‘yes’ and help give back to the university and the students.”
Chancellor Blank presented the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award to Vosseller and fellow awardee Michelle Boal at a ceremony on May 4.