By Brian Mattmiller
A newly-launched advocacy group is aiming to increase the number and success rate of start-up ventures stemming from UW-Madison ideas, building on the renewed commitment in 2013 to campus innovation.
The Advocacy Consortium for Entrepreneurs (ACE) will strive to improve the UW-Madison environment for entrepreneurship and reduce barriers to starting companies. Leading the consortium is Rock Mackie, emeritus professor of medical physics, human oncology and engineering physics and director of the medical devices team at the Morgridge Institute for Research. He was a founder and the scientific force behind TomoTherapy, one of the university’s most successful modern spinoff companies.
ACE will complement the new Discovery to Product (D2P) initiative at UW-Madison, but also differ in key ways. ACE will be established as an independent, nonprofit organization that can lobby and advocate for campus, state and federal policies that support entrepreneurial development. It also will be a third-party source of information and studies on the economic and social impact of UW-Madison entrepreneurs.
Mackie says UW-Madison has come a long way in its view of entrepreneurship from two decades ago, when starting a company typically meant leaving campus for faculty and staff. A centralized conflict of interest committee has improved the consistency of management plans for entrepreneurial academics, but still can improve on how those plans are interpreted, Mackie says. ACE can suggest mentors and promote entrepreneurial instruction, thereby giving entrepreneurs more tools to succeed.
“We embrace a campuswide view of entrepreneurship, which may be one of the great unifying principles across campus,” Mackie says. “We ultimately want to create a point person for entrepreneurship in every department.”
The ACE steering committee already has a diverse base, including music professors Stephanie Jutt and Christopher Taylor; engineering professors Dave Beebe and Max Lagally; medical school professors Richard Burgess and JoAnne Robbins; and business school representatives Dan Olszewski and John Surdyk. Animal sciences Professor Mark Cook and continuing studies faculty associate Sarah Marty also serve on the steering committee for the organization.
Arts and humanities contributions will be an important part of ACE, says Jutt, herself an entrepreneur as creator of the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society.
“Artists are among the original entrepreneurs on campus and around the world,” Jutt says. “We create festivals and book shows and galleries in vacant spaces. It’s the type of skill set that we’ve been developing since Mozart.”
Specific goals of ACE include developing an inventory of faculty, staff and post-doctoral entrepreneurs from campus, helping create a cross-campus entrepreneurship curriculum, and advocating for condo space for campus-generated business activities. It will also establish a one-on-one mentoring program between current and aspiring academic entrepreneurs.
Mackie says the ultimate goal will be to make UW-Madison a national leader in generating businesses and jobs from intellectual property. The raw materials are certainly there: The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) manages an average of more than 350 patent disclosures annually from campus. At ACE’s first public meeting on Nov. 12, more than half of the 80-plus attendees raised their hands when asked whether they have either started or intend to start businesses.
For more on participating, contact Mackie at 608-316-4363 or email@example.com.
Raising money for your startup can be challenging. Learn about funding options including from friends and family to angel investors and venture capitalists and more.
Thursday, December 5, 3 – 5 p.m.
H.F. DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
Mark Reinstra, partner,
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati
Dan Blake, director, Wisconsin Angel Network
Scott Button, partner, Venture Investors
Toni Sikes, general partner, Calumet Venture Fund
Patricia Struck, administrator, Department of Securities, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Joe Kremer, CEO, Isomark
By Brian Mattmiller, 608-316-4332, firstname.lastname@example.org
MADISON — A new service will provide the University of Wisconsin-Madison research community with another checkpoint on ethical challenges that arise across the research spectrum, from study design to the implications of results.
The Research Ethics Consultation Service (RECS), sponsored by UW-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research, is available to all researchers at UW-Madison and affiliated research centers. The service is co-directed by Norman Fost, professor of pediatrics and bioethics in the School of Medicine and Public Health; and Pilar Ossorio, professor of law and bioethics and ethics scholar-in-residence at the Morgridge Institute.
The RECS is meant to supplement a range of existing research oversight groups that deal with human subjects, animal welfare or other research ethics issues, says Ossorio. There are many ethical issues that current regulations don’t address, or that emerge during the research process itself.
“Even the most thoughtful scientists will run into things that they hadn’t anticipated,” says Ossorio. “Some issues may have obvious answers, but there are a lot of areas where the lines are blurrier and you have to make judgment calls, because that’s the nature of science.”
The service may get 20-30 inquiries annually, based on consultation programs Ossorio studied at peer universities. The RECS is almost certain to see questions arise in the area of genetic information, where a host of difficult challenges are coming from whole genome sequencing and genetic markers linked to serious diseases.
“It may not be more difficult to do ethics in this era, but we simply have more data, more researchers and more participants than ever before,” she says.
Many topics can be covered through “curbside consultations,” where the team can identify generally accepted ethical pathways. That may mean passing along a landmark journal article or spelling out a course of action.
On more hotly contested issues, where there is no clear path in the literature, the RECS will appoint an expert panel composed of UW-Madison talent best suited to address the issue. Areas of expertise are likely to include human subjects, animal welfare, intellectual property or conflict of interest. These panels will meet with the requestor, gather the facts, review what others have done, and offer both recommended courses of action and counterpoints. Within the limits of the law, consultations will be kept confidential as the requestor desires.
“The scientist may not always agree with us and have a different weighing and measuring calculus than we do, but that’s okay,” she says. “We are there to help them deliberate and think it through.”
When should researchers consider this service? Ossorio says people should follow instincts when they feel some “uneasiness” about where a project is headed, or the social implications of research results. She says the research enterprise will be stronger if researchers anticipate and prevent ethical problems, rather than attempting to “clean up” after a problem occurred.
By Laura Heisler
Entrepreneurons is a new WARF series focused on bringing the fundamentals of getting a new venture started to the UW–Madison Community. Entrepreneurons brings together thoughtful leaders from across the country and our own backyard to exchange perspectives on core topics ranging from identifying an opportunity to building a startup team to financing and beyond.
The upcoming Entrepreneurons focuses on structure and governance and how to work with governing boards as a company moves from an idea to reality. The keynote speaker is Kevin Conroy, president and chief executive officer of Exact Sciences. His presentation is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, in the H. F. DeLuca Forum in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building. Registration is requested.
Following Conroy’s keynote will be a panel discussion featuring leaders in the field of structure and governance. The discussion from panelists Lorrie Keating Heinemann, vice president and manager at the Brightstar Wisconsin Foundation; Scott Resnick, chief operations officer at Hardin Design & Development; and Paul Wrycha, partner in the Private Equity & Venture Capital and Transactional & Securities Practices at Foley & Lardner. The session will be moderated by Dan Olszewski, director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Business.
The series continues on Thursday, Dec. 5. The topic is early stage financing and the event will feature a keynote by Mark Reinstra, partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Panelists will be Dan Blake, director, Wisconsin Angel Network; Scott Button, partner, Venture Investors; Toni Sikes, general partner, Calumet Venture Fund, and Patricia Struck, administrator, Division of Securities, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. The moderator will be Joe Kremer, chief executive officer, Isomark.
Topics for the spring 2014 Enterpreneurons series will include customer acquisition and development; startup accounting and taxes; business plan, valuation and financial analysis; human resources essentials; unique resources for minority- and women-owned businesses (eWITS) and marketing/PR/communications. Entrepreneurons was created in partnership with the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the Wisconsin School of Business, the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, the Office of Corporate Relations and others on campus.
Filed under: All Posts, Discovery Events, Town Center | Tags: Discovery Challenge
Tools & Techniques to Generate New Ideas & Discoveries
Creativity is not innate, it can be developed!
Presented by Darin Eich
Monday, November 25, 2013
4 – 5 p.m.
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
H.F. DeLuca Forum
Register at: warf.wufoo.com/forms/discovery-challenge-series-november-25
Author of Innovation Step-by-Step and Root Down & Branch Out: Best Practices for Leadership Development Program, Eich specializes in teaching techniques to facilitate creative thinking and breaking down the barriers to innovation.
If you have ever wanted to improve your creativity in your personal life, for your research, when working individually or in a team, within your field or across disciplines, you should attend this workshop.
Eich, an expert in the art of teaching creativity, will teach practical techniques and analytical methods that can be applied immediately to your ongoing work. You will learn to create new innovative solutions and how to apply other research ideas to your own. The workshop will conclude with hands-on exercise to apply the learned skills.
Bring yourself, and even better, bring your teammates to maximize the benefits.