Five University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni were honored April 26 for their outstanding entrepreneurial achievements.
The awards ceremony, which took place at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, is designed to recognize the great vision and leadership of UW-Madison alumni who have made a significant impact with their own entrepreneurial pursuits.
“UW-Madison has developed a strong and vibrant culture of entrepreneurship among our faculty, staff and students,” says Chancellor Biddy Martin. “We have created this prize to honor talented and creative alumni who have had great success as entrepreneurs, who have been instrumental in creating jobs and who offer models for our students. These alumni have inspired us, and they serve our students by mentoring them and shaping their aspirations.”
The 2011 recipients are:
– Jim Berbee (B.S., M.S. mechanical engineering, MBA in finance), founder and retired chair of Berbee Information Networks Corp. in Fitchburg. Berbee went on to medical school at Stanford University and is currently a resident emergency medicine physician at UW Hospital.
– Judy Faulkner (M.S. computer science), who founded Epic Systems in 1979. The privately held health care software company, based in Verona, Wis., makes software for mid-size and large medical groups, hospitals and integrated health care organizations in the U.S. and abroad. The fast-growing company has more than 4,100 employees and an expanding campus in Verona.
– Hector DeLuca (M.S., Ph.D. biochemistry), president and CEO of Madison-based Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals Inc., a drug-development company involved in breakthrough treatments for metabolic bone diseases such as osteoporosis and renal osteodystrophy, psoriasis and other disease targets. DeLuca has devoted his research to the understanding of metabolism and mechanism of action of vitamins A and D.
– Chad Sorenson (B.S., M.S. mechanical engineering, MBA), president and co-founder of Sologear LLC, based in Middleton, Wis. The company manufactures and markets FlameDisk, an invention that brings convenience and simplicity to grills. It is based on a new solidified ethanol fuel that the company developed.
– James Weinert (B.A., MBA), who encouraged the idea of teaching entrepreneurship at UW-Madison before it became a national phenomenon. He gave the School of Business support to enable students in the WAVE (Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship) program to invest in promising business ventures and provided funds to endow the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. Weinert remains active in the program by mentoring student entrepreneurs and serving on the boards of several businesses run by former Weinert students.