Entrepreneurship in Society Lectures

Photo of student working at a computer.

Photo courtesy of University Communications.

Since 2008 Center for Nonprofit staff have organized the course“Entrepreneurship in Society” for UW undergraduate students.  Students from across campus enjoy this series which includes speakers representing four sectors:  business, social /nonprofit, arts and humanities and the public sector.  Speakers discuss entrepreneurial efforts in each of the sectors often relating to practical and innovative examples within their organizations and communities.  Support for this project is provided through the UW Office of Corporate Relations and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.  Lectures are often included as part of the broadcasts through Wisconsin Public Television – University Channel and are available to viewers across the state.

View the Sessions

Entrepreneurial Thinking in the Social Sector / Nonprofits

April 18, 2012
Andrew Turner
Vice President of Lending for Forward Community Investments
“ Community Finance – It’s Not an Oxymoron"

March 14, 2012
Jennifer Uphoff
Artistic Director for Forward Theatre Company
“The Intersection of Entrepreneurial Thinking and the Arts"

February 29, 2012
Dennis Johnson
Vice President, Forward Community Investments
“Building Capacity is Building Success in Nonprofit / Social Venture Enterprises"

February 22, 2012
Heidi Allstop
President and founder of Spillnow.com

February 1, 2012
Paul Rice
President and CEO of Fair Trade USA
“Using a Market Based Approach to Solve World Problems"

November 16, 2011
Ruth Shelley
Executive Director, Madison Childrens Museum
“Developing New Space: The Only Local Initiative"

October 12, 2011
Bobby Peterson
Executive Director, ABC for Health and Developer of 'My Coverage Plan'
“Developing Revenue Generators to Help Nonprofits Sustain and Thrive”

February 16, 2011
Kaleem Caire
President and CEO of Urban League of Greater Madison
“Exploring an All Male Charter School for Madison”

November 17, 2010
Katherine Rosenburg and Seema Gohil
Grameen America, New York, New York
Topic: "Grameen America and the Microfinance Movement: Past, Present and Future"

October 20, 2010
Ben Weston
Founder, Healthy Classrooms Foundation
Topic: “A Student's Journey to Creating a Nonprofit Foundation”

October 20, 2010
Rick Brooks
Co-Founder - Buy Local Dane
Topic: “Why the Buy Local Movement Now”

October 6, 2010
Mary Burke
Topic: “Promoting Community Change Through Engaged Philanthropy”

April 8, 2010
Thomas Schlenker and Paul Soglin
Schlenker, MD, Director of Dane County / City of Madison Public Health
Soglin, Former Mayor, City of Madison
Topic:  “The Dramatic Decline in African American Infant Mortality in Dane County WI:  How Did It Happen?”

October 20, 2008
Roger Bird
Director of Concept Stores and Retail Services, Trek Bicycles
Topic: “The Story of Dream Bikes”

November 10, 2008
Nancy Christy
Social Entrepreneur, Owner of Meaningful People, Places and Food
Topic:  “Thinking Socially When Building Programs of Purpose”

March 9, 2009
Paige Goldner
Professional Recruiter, QTI Group
Topic: “Preparing Yourself for Careers in Nonprofits”

April 13, 2009
Elizabeth Carey
Chief Operating Officer, The Alliance for Children and Families
Topic: ”Helping Nonprofits Consider Revenue Sustaining Opportunities”

October 22, 2009
Henry Sanders
Founder and President, Propel Wisconsin Innovation and Candidate for WI State Lt Governor 2010
Topic: “What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur – Nonprofits”

October 29, 2009
Emily Curtis
Community Care Manager, Group Health Cooperative of Southern Central Wisconsin
Topic:  “Innovative Solutions to Community Health Issues”

October 29, 2009
Eric Bjorling
Brand Manager, Trek Bicycle
Topic: “LiveStrong (Lance Armstrong) Foundation” 

November 5, 2009
Brenda Gonzalez
Deputy Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Routes to Community Health 
Topic:  “Engaging Immigrant Populations in Building Community Health Solutions”

November 5, 2009
Mike Seifert
Topic:  “AidMatrix”

March 4, 2010
Fred Prehn
DDS, Wausau and Former member of Wausau School Board
Topic: “Community Leadership:  Case of the 1990s Hmong Refugee Resettlement in Wausau, WI” 

March 11, 2010
Deedra Atkinson
Senior Vice President of Community Impact, United Way of Dane County
Topic: “Entrepreneurial Thinking and Community Solutions: Agenda for Change Initiative”

March 9, 2009
Jodi Bender Sweeney
Consultant, Foundation Excellence, LLC
Topic:  “The Movement to Advance Foundations for Public Schools”

March 30, 2009
Sonya Newenhouse
President, Madison Environmental Group, Inc.
Topic: “An Eco Entrepreneur's Story Midstream”

October 22, 2009
Reed Hall
Executive Director, Marshfield Clinic
Topic:  Case Study:  Moving a For-profit Health Organization into Nonprofit:  The Marshfield Clinic”

Entrepreneurs in Business

March 21, 2012
Troy Vosseller
Founder, Sconnie Nation
“The Student Enrepreneur’s Journey:  Founding “Sconnie Nation"

March 21, 2012
Troy Vosseller
Founder, Sconnie Nation
“Establishing Your Own Enterprise – Legal Implications"

March 7, 2012
Richard Lepping
Franchise Owner – Taco Bell, Brueggers Bagels
“Entrepreneurial Thinking in Business – What It Takes to

March 7, 2012
John McHugh
Vice President, Kwik Trip Corporate Headquarters
“Entrepreneurial Thinking in Grocery/ Retail Operations -- Kwik

February 15, 2012
Phillip Hurley
Restauranteur and Co-Owener Sardines and Marigolds Restaurants
“A Conversation with Phillip Hurley"

December 7, 2011
Kevin Hayden
President of WellPoint Insurance
“Entrepreneurial Thinking in the Age of Health Care Reform"

November 2, 2011
Nancy Potter
Founder, Potter’s Crackers
Topic: “Becoming an Entrepreneur After Other Careers - A Family Affair”

October 26, 2011
Dave Anderson
Founder, Famous Dave’s Restaurants
Topic: “How to Succeed in College and Life: Lessons from an Entrepreneur”

October 19, 2011
Jim Carras
McDonalds USA, Chicago
Topic: “Entrepreneurial Thinking in Retail Design”

September 28, 2011
Matt Younkle
Founder of The Turbo Tap and Murfie
Topic: “The Serial Entrepreneur”

September 21, 2011
John McHugh
Vice President, Kwik Trip
Topic: "Today's Entrepreneurial Thinking in Grocery Operations" 

September 14, 2011
Cathy Dethmers
Owner, High Noon Saloon
Topic: "Starting from Scratch and Then Starting All Over Again" 

April 20, 2011
Craig Culver
President, Culver's Frozen Custard, National Franchise
Topic: "The Journey of a Franchise Entrepreneur" 

April 13, 2011
Wendy Bauman
President and CEO
Topic: "Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)" 

April 13, 2011
Professor Uzi de Haan
Israel Institute of Technology
Topic: "The Entrepreneurial Boon in Israel" 

March 30, 2011
Catherine Hooper
Black Umbrella
Topic: "Lessons Learned as an Entrepreneur" 

March 30, 2011
Pat Dillon
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Topic:  "SBIR Federal Granting Program"

March 23, 2011
Keith Baisden
M&I Bank
Topic:  “Presenting your Business Plans and Entrepreneurial
Checklists to Bankers”

March 2, 2011
Kim Schaefer
Great Wolf Resorts
Topic:  “Entrepreneurial Thinking in Family Entertainment: The Story of Great Wolf Resorts”

February 16, 2011
Deb Houden
Family Business Center
Topic:  “Managing Conflict in Entrepreneurial Enterprises”

January 26, 2011
Fred Foster
Electronic Theatre Controls
Topic: "35 Years of ETC: Too Stupid to Quit!"

October 13, 2010
Neil Lerner
Small Business Development Center
Topic: "Developing a Small Business: The Fundamentals"

September 29, 2010
A Panel Discussion:
Kitt Moss, Promoworks
Ed Martin, The Beam Team
Tom Dennis, Prism Retail Services
Topic: "Entrepreneurs in Retail"

September 22, 2010
George Gialamas
President, The Gialamas Company, Inc.
Topic: "A Conversation with George Gialamas"

September 15, 2010
Monty Schiro
Partner, Food Fight Inc.
Topic: "A Conversation with Monty Schiro"

September 15, 2008
Rob Behnke
Co-Founder, Fair Indigo 
Topic:  “Fair Trade Retail:  A Social Approach to Meeting Consumer Needs”

September 22, 2008
Dan Rashke
President and CEO of TASC, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of Year
Topic:  “Serving Small Business Needs: An Entrepreneurs Approach”

September 22, 2008
Tyler Leeper
Owner of Wingra Canoe and Sailing Center, and Co-Founder, Proacticare. 
Former Student President of UW Entrepreneurship Association,
Topic: “Using Your Passion to Drive Your Work and Ideas”

September 29, 2008
Dave Anderson
CEO, American Family Insurance
Topic:  “Generating Entrepreneurial Thinking in a Large, Mature Organization”

September 29, 2008
Laura Heisler
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)
Topic: “Understanding Intellectual Property and Patenting”

October 6, 2008
Neil Lerner
Director, Small Business Development Center, UW Madison
Topic: “Understanding Business Planning and Market Research”

October 27, 2008
Loren Mortenson
Chairman, Mortenson Investment Group
Topic:  “What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur”

November 17, 2008
Milanie Cleere
CEO, Oompa Toys
Topic:  “The Niche Entrepreneur:  Specialty Needs and Meeting the Demand”                                   

February 16, 2009
Carol “Orange” Schroeder
Owner, Orange Tree Imports
Topic:  “The Local Entrepreneur:  Helping Meet Consumer and Community Needs”         

March 2, 2009
Markus Candinas
Owner and Chocolatier, Candinas Chocolates
Topic:  “The Niche Entrepreneur:  Logistics and Challenges of Producing Specialty Products”

March 23, 2009
Laurie Benson
Former President, Inacom
Topic:  “What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur”

March 30, 2009
Tom Still
President, Wisconsin Technology Council
Topic: “Understanding the Financing Behind Entrepreneurial Projects“

April 27, 2009
Chris Klundt
UW Alum, President of Study Blue
Topic:  “Advancing Your Entrepreneurial Idea as a Student” 

September 17, 2009
Michael Levin
Chairman and Founder Newview Technologies and Fellow with the Kauffman Foundation
Topic: “What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur“

September 24, 2009
James Haney
President & CEO, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
Topic:  “Meeting the Needs of Entrepreneurs to Advance State Growth”

October 8, 2009
Gail Ambrosius
Owner and Chocolatier, Gail Ambrosius Chocolates
Topic:  “the Niche Entrepreneur:  Developing and Competing in the Chocolate Industry”

January 28, 2010
Bryon Shannon
Owner, WI Relic T-shirts
Topic:  “Advancing Your Entrepreneurial Idea as a Student” 

February 4, 2010
Brad Hutter
President, Mortenson Investment Group
Topic:  “The Diversified Entrepreneur:  From Real Estate to Restaurants to Community Philanthropy”

February 4, 2010
Finn Berge
Co-Owner, Barriques and Magnus Restaurants
Topic:  “The Entrepreneurial Restauranteur”

February 11, 2010
Jeremy Crane
Partner in “Furnish U” -- Student Entrepreneur
Topic:  “Advancing Your Entrepreneurial Idea as a Student” 

February 25, 2010
Bob Dunn
Developer / President, Hammes Corporation
Topic: “Navigating Community Needs and Development:  The Edgewater Hotel Project”

February 25, 2010
Matt Younkle
Developer of the Turbo Tap
Topic: “Lessons Learned in Building a Better Beer Tap”

Entrepreneurs in the Arts and Humanities

May 9, 2012
Michael Feldman
Host of Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?
Topic:  "What it Takes to Become the Next Michael Feldman"

October 5, 2011
Ben Sidran
Singer, Composer, Music Producer and author of "There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream"

February 9, 2011
John Roach
Motion Picture and Video Producer, JRP Inc.
Topic:  “The Intersection of Entrepreneurship: Building a Business and Crafting the Artist Within You -- Lessons Learned”

October 27, 2010
Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini
Topic:  “Documentary Film Making: A Way to Inform, Educate and Catalyze”

November 17, 2008
Toni Sikes
Founder, Guild.com
Topic:  “Entrepreneurship and the Arts – The Story of Guild.com”

February 23, 2009
Dan Smith
Owner Triangle Media Productions
Topic:  “The Need for Television to Embrace New Ideas to Gain Audience”

April 13, 2009
Meghan Blake-Horst
Gallery Manager, Absolutely Art
Topic:  “Advancing Local Arts Interests”

October 1, 2009
Tim Kelley
WI State Journal, Digital Media Manager
Topic:  “The Need for Newspapers to Embrace New Ideas to Gain Audience”

October 2, 2009
Tom Walker
MidWest Communications
Topic:  “The Entrepreneur in Radio – Building Business and Listening to Community”

November 19, 2009
Mark Schmitz
Principal / Creative Director, ZD Studios – USA
Topic:  “The Entrepreneur in Design”

Entrepreneurial Thinking in the Public Sector

November 30, 2011
Tommy Thompson
Former Wisconsin Governor
Topic:  “Entrepreneurial Thinking in the Public Sector”

April 6, 2011
Kathleen Falk
Dane County Executive
Topic:  “Entrepreneurial Thinking in the Public Sector”

November 10, 2010
Annette Miller
Community Outreach, Madison Gas and Electric  
Topic:  “Promoting Green Power and Sustainability Among Different Audiences”

October 6, 2010
Mike Knetter
President and CEO of the UW Foundation       
Topic:  “Entrepreneurial Thinking in Financing Public Universities”

December 8, 2008
Kelli Trumble
Secretary of the State of Wisconsin Department of Tourism       
Topic:  “Bridging Entrepreneurial Thinking from Business to State Promotion”

March 9, 2009
Jodi Bender Sweeney
Consultant, Foundation Excellence, LLC
Topic:  “The Movement to Advance Foundations for Public Schools”

December 3, 2009
Dick Leinenkugel
Secretary of the WI Department of Commerce
Topic:  “Entrepreneurial Thinking When Leading State Government”

April 8, 2010
Thomas Schlenker and Paul Soglin
Schlenker, MD, Director of Dane County / City of Madison Public Health
Soglin, Former Mayor, City of Madison
Topic:  “The Dramatic Decline in African American Infant Mortality in Dane County WI:  How Did It Happen?”

April 29, 2010
Secretary Reggie Bicca
Wisconsin Department of Children & Families
Topic: Entrepreneurial Thinking & the Public Sector

Quick Links

Communiversity Lecture Series

Entrepreneurship and Society




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