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The Wisconsin Idea for a new generation

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Jeanan Yasiri Moe, Director of Strategic Communications
[email protected] | 608.890.1491

Mentorship essential to “unleash the creativity of our students,” says new essay published by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin has a surplus of new ideas and entrepreneurial ambitions, but professional expertise is needed to turn those dreams into reality, say Arjun Sanga, president of WiSys, and Zach Halmstad, co-founder of a software corporation in Eau Claire.

Their essay is titled “Tapping into the creativity of our students for the good of Wisconsin: Contributions to the Wisconsin Idea across generations.” It is the latest in a new online series featuring more than 20 prominent leaders on the topic of innovation.

Calling on executives, investors and policymakers, they write, “We need our 22-year-old graduates to believe they can have an innovative startup in our state. We believe that as a community of people committed to young innovators we can help our students achieve and stay.”

The series is called “Innovation and the Wisconsin Idea.” In addition to Sanga and Halmstad, contributors include university researchers and educators, business leaders and entrepreneurs, investors, and public officials who share their views on the crucial interdependence between university innovations and the strength of the Wisconsin economy.

Co-authors represent different regions of the state while sharing a common bond through the field they represent, from agriculture and engineering to health care and policymaking.

Contributors to the series include:

  • Erik Iverson, Managing Director, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
  • Governor Tommy G. Thompson and Professor Mike Sussman
  • Professor Dan Ludois and Cecil Edirisinghe, CEO of Velicon
  • Chris Salm, CEO of Ab E Discovery, and Dean Kate VandenBosch
  • Dr. Alan Kaplan, CEO of UW Health, and Dr. Susan Turney, CEO of Marshfield Clinic
  • John Neis, Executive Managing Director of Venture Investors, and Cory Nettles, Founder and Managing Director of Generation Growth Capital Inc.
  • Dean Ian Robertson and Greg Piefer, CEO of SHINE Medical Technologies
  • Zach Brandon, President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and Tim Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
  • Arjun Sanga, President of WiSys, and Zach Halmstad, Co-Founder of Jamf
  • State Senator Luther Olsen and Dean Robert Golden
  • Chancellor Dean Van Galen and Tom Still, President of the Wisconsin Technology Council
  • State Senator Alberta Darling and Rock Mackie, Professor and Entrepreneur
  • Mike Knetter, President of the University of Wisconsin Foundation

For more information about the series Innovation and the Wisconsin Idea, please visit warf.org/WisconsinInnovates. Comments on the series are welcome at [email protected].

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About WARF
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) helps steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization and investment for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founded in 1925 as an independent, nonprofit foundation, WARF manages more than 1,900 patents and an investment portfolio of $2.7 billion as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit WARF.org and view WARF’s Cycle of Innovation.