Innovation is a monthly column in Madison Magazine covering startups, entrepreneurism, and innovative ideas coming out of Dane County, Wisconsin.
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Harnessing Startup Power
The Innovate Network aims to coordinate and amplify startup initiatives on campus.
Madison Magazine monthly Innovation column, July 2020
Over the past decade, as local entrepreneurs were shaping Madison’s startup community into what it is today, many of them read a 2012 book called “Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” by Brad Feld. It provided a handbook for founders outside of places like Silicon Valley and Boston who wanted to drive innovation, create businesses and grow jobs at home.
As Feld laid bare the principles of a sustainable startup community, he argued that if major universities extended their entrepreneurship programs beyond their own business schools and tech transfer arms, they could play an integral role in a community’s startup ecosystem off campus — essentially, the Wisconsin Idea for startups.
The 2019 formation of the Innovate Network appears to be the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s latest attempt to do that.
—Maggie Ginsberg is an associate editor at Madison Magazine and a long-time award-winning freelance writer. Innovation is her monthly column for Madison Magazine focused on startups, entrepreneurism and innovative ideas coming out of Dane County, Wisconsin.