Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

The Entrepreneurship Science Lab is located on the fourth floor of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is a research institute that advances frontiers of knowledge, accelerates the development of solutions, and engages the State of Wisconsin through interdisciplinary research conducted by a vibrant community of diverse researchers. WID faculty and staff improve the world through the advancement and application of science.

Method and Implementation

Central to our methodology is a close integration with entrepreneurship practice. For example, Jon Eckhardt is a cofounder of gener8tor, the leading business accelerator in the Midwest and one of the top accelerators in the United States.

In addition, we work closely with entrepreneurs, investors, those who provide services to entrepreneurs, and corporate innovators to develop and implement our findings. If you are a practitioner interested in getting involved, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a student entrepreneur?

For the purposes of our work, student entrepreneurs include:

  • Individuals enrolled in postsecondary education including graduate students and individuals pursuing degrees in professional schools with an interest in entrepreneurship.
  • Individuals who have recently graduated from such programs with an interest in entrepreneurship.

An interest in entrepreneurship ranges from student founders to those individuals with a desire to start a company at some point in their career.

Why is it important to study student entrepreneurship?

  • Students who form companies while in school gain first-hand experience in leadership, business building, and markets.
  • For many student entrepreneurs, forming a company while in school, even if the venture is modest, provides them with a launchpad into a career in entrepreneurship.
  • Individuals who study entrepreneurship learn how to bring new ideas to market through forming new companies, a process that is essential to the economic vitality of regions.
  • Companies formed by students include some of the largest, innovative companies in the United States including FedEx, Microsoft, and Google.
  • Universities and private sector organizations have invested significant funds and effort in building programs to foster entrepreneurship. We contribute to this work by collecting and analyzing institutional-wide data to seek new ways to foster and support student entrepreneurship.

How is the Entrepreneurship Science Lab different from other entrepreneurship programs at UW-Madison?

The focus of our work is scientific. We use research to generate insights and develop evidence-based interventions for the purpose of improving student entrepreneurship. We work with program operators within and outside the university to develop and implement insights.