For Noah Ricke, navigating uncharted waters means possibility, not panic.
“What I love about the entrepreneurship experience thus far is that there’s no playbook, there’s no formula. The uncertainty adds a positive pressure that I enjoy feeling and do my best to channel into positive actions.”
His interest in all things entrepreneurial was inspired by his parents—his mom owns a jewelry business and his father is a woodworker—both creative people who were “teachers by day and hustlers by night.”
Noah’s parents provided an early and lasting example of entrepreneurship that he continues to build on today.
Noah arrived at the Wisconsin School of Business in 2019 and hit the ground running.
By 2020, he was already facilitating WSB’s peer-led introductory business course for new students, Personal and Professional Foundations in Business. He led it again in 2021. Noting the lack of entrepreneurial student groups within the school, he launched Badger Future Founders, now a 40-member organization that connects student founders through speaker events, fundraisers, and field trips. Speakers have included C-suite executives and entrepreneurs, and since spring of 2021, Badger Future Founders has raised $700 for World Central Kitchen and visited the headquarters of several Wisconsin companies.
Noah landed a summer internship as an analyst with a real estate startup in Los Angeles, his first time ever visiting the city. At his internship, Noah was the only American on the team. “Working alongside colleagues from all over the world was very exciting because I saw how they would tackle problems completely differently than I would,” he says.
Noah’s background and life experience have made him committed to putting people first and to paying it forward. He is a recipient of Bucky’s Tuition Promise for low-income Wisconsinites, which helped make his WSB degree financially possible.
Noah honed his skills at Leadership at Lambeau, an immersive leadership development experience for undergraduate Business Badgers held at Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.
“Seeing my parents work incredibly hard and have those full-time jobs and a side hustle to make ends meet, I think that’s created a work ethic in me,” he says. “I would like to empower those from a similar background to not only apply to UW–Madison and know that you can create opportunities for yourself, but to know that you can create opportunity for others around you as well.”
As he plans for life after graduation, Noah is reaching out to early-stage startups about full-time jobs and drafting business plans for his own side hustle.
“The great thing about entrepreneurship is that it has incredibly transferable skills. There are so many possibilities and directions you can take. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
What are you reading?
I love biographies. Some of my favorites are “What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence” by Stephan Schwarzman and “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success” by Phil Jackson.
What are you listening to?
I’m addicted to “My Shot” from Lin Manuel-Miranda’s musical “Hamilton.” I had it on repeat the summer I was in Los Angeles.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Camping and hiking. I’ve visited most of the national parks in the West.