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UW-Madison to host national VentureLab program

Source: UW Communications
March 16, 2012
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Entrepreneurs' Resource Clinic has partnered with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) to bring the VentureLab program to Wisconsin.

VentureLab Wisconsin is a five-day immersive program designed to assist early-stage entrepreneurs in preparing to take technology products to market.

The program will host 20 teams of business partners, including a mix of Wisconsin entrepreneurs and NCIIA grant recipients from across the United States. Online applications will be accepted through May 15, with VentureLab Wisconsin scheduled for Aug. 13-17 at the University Research Park in Madison, Wis.

Students, faculty and business community members working in the following areas are invited to apply to participate in the program:

• Clean/green tech: Green materials, green chemistry, energy, packaging, water, waste reduction/management;
• Biomedical/global health: Capital-efficient medical devices, monitoring systems, procedure-related devices, world health technology; and,
• Advanced computing sciences: Platform technologies, high-growth technologies with a social benefit.
If accepted, the cost is $100 per team, which helps to defray the costs of the course materials and meals. Accommodations are not included in the fee but will be available at an additional cost.

Program instructor James Barlow, program manager for outreach at NCIIA, has worked in university entrepreneurship since 2002 and has been commercial advisor or commercial director for 16 start-ups as well as consulting internationally on start-up strategy, enterprise education and training.

"In five intense but fun days, VentureLab takes teams through a process to learn how to rapidly iterate their business models, to map out a plan that allows them to see the holes in their strategies and fix them cheaply on paper to avoid costly mistakes in the real world," says Barlow. "They leave with a practical action plan of what they need to do to move their ventures forward."

Law instructor Eric Englund is co-director of the University of Wisconsin Law School's Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic; he led the committee responsible for VentureLab Wisconsin.

"This is a fantastic way for entrepreneurs who are ready to launch new business go from zero to 60 in only five days," Englund says. "This is a process that could take months or even years if undertaken alone, but VentureLab Wisconsin provides the expert assistance, the structure, the education and the motivation to jump-start your enterprise much, much more quickly."

VentureLab Wisconsin is sponsored by the partners of the UW Entrepreneurs' Resource Clinic and by University Research Park.

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