The inaugural class of InventureXcel graduated from an intensive three week startup bootcamp on Sunday, November 22, 2015.
During this event, four companies presented their business ventures to a distinguished group of Fox Valley community members. The four pitching companies included Constructed By, CUBES, Smart Pit, and SPEF Turbo Systems.
Constructed By delivers content to millennials aspiring to work in the creative class. They interview entrepreneurs, artists, engineers, educators, and more to gain insight into their creative process and to solve issues millennials face when creating a career for themselves.
CUBES is a versatile, customizable cabinet and furniture system. CUBES consists of multiple sized cube-shaped units that are easily assembled by the customer. CUBES can be connected in various ways to create a cabinet or furniture solution that fits the customer’s exact needs.
Smart Pit designs and manufactures innovative, easy to use tracking devices. Smart Pit’s RFID-enabled stickers can be put on any personal item to help locate your everyday valuable. By pushing a corresponding button, the lost item located within 160 feet will start beeping for easy traceability.
SPEF Turbo Systems
SPEF engineers custom turbocharger systems and develops new turbocharger technologies for automotive, marine, and motorcycle applications. SPEF offers the technical expertise to provide individualized turbo systems to performance enthusiasts and engineering services to OEM engine suppliers.
InventureXcel is a business bootcamp designed to help Wisconsin startups launch their business ideas through expertise, mentorship, networking opportunities, and feedback. The three-week curriculum covered how to write an executive summary, designing and implementing customer discovery surveys, and perfecting an elevator pitch.
Name: John Depies
Company: University of Wisconsin-OshkoshTitle: Marketing Faculty
Board member since: 2012
John has been a long time chair of the Marketing and Communications Committee and recently joined the Strategic Planning Committee.
John got involved with Business Success Center Board of Directors because he deeply believes in the BSC’s mission of helping small and medium sized companies within our region grow.
Johns involvement on the Board of Directors, in addition to participating in BSC consulting projects has allowed him to remain current on market trends and business needs. This has allowed him to bring this insight into the classroom making it a more valuable learning experience for students.
In his free time, John enjoys playing guitar, traveling both in the US and internationally, and spending time at his family cottage. His favorite local restaurants in the Fox Valley area are Carmella’s, Mark’s Eastside and the Stone Cellar.
Name: Jared Weil
Current internship: Marketing Intern, Business Success Center
Year in school: Senior | Graduation Date: December 2016
Major: Marketing | Emphasis: Sales
Hometown: Whitefish Bay, WI
Current Involvement: Marketing and Sales Club
My journey at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh started out completely different from the track that I am currently on. I began my career at UWO as a Kinesiology major, hoping one day to be a Physical Therapist working in the health and fitness industry. I stay in touch with my passion for fitness by doing Crossfit and Olympic lifts. Although I work very hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I came to the conclusion that Kinesiology was not the correct career path for me.
Through past internships, college and life experiences, I decided to pursue a career in Marketing and Sales. I am currently a member of the Marketing and Sales club, and plan to be an active member until I graduate in December 2016. UWO has provided me with the opportunities that I need to grow as a student and a professional. I am confident that my experiences at the Business Success Center will help shape me into a distinguished and qualified marketing professional.
Although I was born and raised in Milwaukee, I plan on pursuing a career north of the Fox Cities. My dream job would be to be the Director of Marketing for a company within the health and fitness industry. One of my greatest passions in life is helping others. This showed through my countless years as a camp counselor. Along with my dream job of becoming a Director of Marketing, I wish to pursue a career that truly helps others. I am excited to learn more about the Marketing industry and how my individual skills work within the Business Success Center.
Name: Jeana King
Current Internship: Marketing Research Intern
Year in school: Year 6 but graduating this December
Major: Human Resources with a Psychology minor
Hometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Current Involvement: Society of Human Resource Management
Why I chose UW Oshkosh:
I immediately fell in love with the campus when visiting.
Typical day in my role:
I call people and ask them to take surveys on behalf of local organizations to gather market research and gauge consumer responses.
What am I learning that I find interesting and rewarding at my internship?:
I’ve been learning how to manage dealing with angry customers and make them happy before they hang up the phone.
How has the BSC prepared me?:
It has opened my eyes to the bigger picture of what I want out of my life; Intern Operations Manager, Chad Kopitzke has been especially helpful throughout this entire process.
Pursue a career in Human Resources and I plan to start a business one day.
Owner of my own store.
Best part of experience:
Getting to meet new people and expand my skills. The BSC has given me a lot of useful resources that I can use to get a great job.
Vice President of HR, Silver Star Brands
Margie Harvey has been a BSC board member since 2010 providing a rejuvenating spirit to the board. Her experience and expertise has brought tremendous value to the organization. She is very passionate about lifelong learning. Building strong leadership teams and an empowered culture of leader and employee development have been key responsibilities in her positions throughout her career.
The Fox Cities Chamber partnered with the UW-Oshkosh Business Success Center (BSC) in early March after learning that many local employers were struggling to fill positions in areas such as engineering, IT, and computer science. These positions were identified as crucial to employer growth, and for that reason the chamber looked to the BSC to help promote their event, Talent Upload. Talent Upload is an all-expense paid event held to bring talented students within these disciplines to the Fox Valley to meet with potential employers, tour the area, and have fun while doing so! The goal is to retain these students post-graduation to drive company and economic growth within the region.
Twenty-two universities were targeted for promoting the event to students, all of which were in driving distance. To reach these students, an abundance of preliminary research was necessary in order to identify student organizations and professional contacts in appropriate university departments, as well as the development of social media pages use to increase awareness of the event. From this research the Business Success Center identified approximately 65 contacts. These efforts of continued outreach, despite a lack of response rates, made the event a great success. There were 71 students from 15 of the targeted universities registered for the event; 41 of these students being from an IT and computer science background and 30 of them were engineering majors. Hannah Kuenzi, a marketing intern at the BSC who took lead of the project was delighted to see such a great event turnout:
“I thoroughly enjoyed working on the project for the Fox Cities Chamber. I believe Talent Upload is such an amazing opportunity for those entering into those fields, and I was ecstatic to hear that event had such an amazing turnout and so many positive reviews.”
The event began on Thursday April 16th and ran through Saturday April 18th. During the duration of their stay within the Fox Valley, students had the opportunity to attend many company tours, a Timber Rattlers game, as well as participate in a “Talent Race” which gave the students the chance to explore the area in greater detail. At the end of the weekend, students were asked to rate their experience, giving the event an overall rating of 4.31 out of 5. Students were also asked if they would be open to living as a young professional within the Fox Valley. At the beginning of the event, the students had given an average rating of 2.8 to this question. After attending the event, their rating was then increased to 4.33. The 18 employers whom were in attendance were also surveyed, asking if they were planning to pursue placement opportunities with the students in attendance at the event; of which the rating of 4.08 out of 5 was given.
Based upon the turnout of overall registered participants, as well as overall ratings provided by both students and employers, the event is being considered a great success. The Fox Cities Chamber plans to hold the event annually to further develop the area economically, as well as provide great opportunities to generations to come.
The BSC is delighted to introduce our summer interns Hallie, Hannah, and Griffin!
Hallie is a junior at UW Oshkosh majoring in marketing, with an emphasis in sales. She dreams of city life, having lived in Oshkosh since birth, and hopes to someday work within the fashion industry. For many years, Hallie worked for Gap, and believes she would be happy returning to Gap within their corporate office, or join a similar major retailer. Hallie joined the Business Success Center in April, and has loved it ever since. She enjoys the diversity of the job, as well as the various responsibilities she gets the opportunity to take on.
Hannah is also a junior, majoring in marketing at UW Oshkosh. While her emphasis is in business analytics, Hannah also enjoys working in creative outlets within marketing, such as graphic creation, writing, social media marketing, and event planning. Hannah has a passion for health and fitness, and hopes to someday apply these passions to her career, working for a company within the health and fitness industry. Since joining the BSC, she has come to find that her favorite aspect of working here is the value of the work, the team atmosphere, and the camaraderie between both full time staff and interns.
Griffin, a senior marketing student at UW Oshkosh, also has an emphasis in business analytics. Coming from Milwaukee, Griffin dreams of returning to the fast pace of city life, potentially in Chicago or another highly populated metropolitan area. He loves sports, and believes he would most enjoy marketing for an NBA franchise; ideally in a position that allows him to use his creative talents and love for art. Griffin boasts about the networking opportunities that the BSC has provided with him upon his start at the beginning of May 2015.
We would like to welcome our summer interns with open arms, and have the utmost of confidence in the value that they will bring us in the months to come!
Steven R. Schmudlach
President, Fox Valley Savings Bank.
Steven Schmudlach, recently promoted to President of Fox Valley Savings Bank, has been a BSC Board Member since May 28th, 2013. He joined the board after being referred by a friend whom he had served on other business oriented boards with. Before joining our board, Steve had heard of the BSC and “the value it brings to local businesses.” Since joining the board, Steve commonly utilizes BSC services as a “value-added referral” to Fox Valley Savings Bank’s banking customers and prospects.
In his spare time, Steve likes to spend time with his grandchildren, golf, play softball, and spend more time with his grandchildren! Some of his favorite restaurants include Cedar Lodge, The Vintage, and The Roxy.
Name: Max Kramer
Current internship: Finance intern at Outlook Group Corp.
Year in school: 5th
Hometown: Oshkosh, WI
Current Involvement (Activities, sports, clubs, interests): None
Why I chose UW Oshkosh: I always knew that I wanted to go into business I just didn’t know what avenue in business I wanted to go into. Their business school is very good and it’s cheaper than most of the other colleges I was looking at.
Typical work day in your role: My major role is to categorize their fixed assets so I spend a lot of time on excel updating their database.
What are you learning that you find interesting and rewarding at your current internship? The importance of networking has never been more prevalent than once I started my internship. The people there are very nice and willing to help me in my career path whether it be at Outlook Group Corp. or elsewhere.
How has the Business Success Center prepared you for the work force? They’ve given me the tools and confidence in myself to succeed in any role offered to me.
What are your career plans after UW Oshkosh? I want to go into financial advising, and do budgeting for low income families.
What is your dream job? My dream job is to own my own financial advising firm and help people reach their financial dreams.
What was the best part of this experience? The best part of the experience was the support and resources I’ve received from the BSC, I was skeptical at first because I didn’t know anything about them and now I consider it a very valuable resource that all business students should be aware of.
We announced the director of AeroInnovate and Aerospace/Aviation Initiatives April 6.
Audra Hoy takes on the new role; Hoy is a private pilot with more than ten years of marketing, business development, communication and events experience.
Prior to joining AeroInnovate, Hoy held the position of Chapter Relations Manager at Women in Aviation, International. Raised in a passionate aviation family, she has always been deeply involved in the aviation industry and strongly believes in continuing to move aviation forward.
Hoy graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication with an emphasis in public relations/advertising and a bachelor’s degree in history.
She currently holds the position of president in the Oshkosh Chapter of Women in Aviation, International; sits on the board of the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship pageant; spent three years as co-chair for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Women Soar You Soar camp for teenage women interested in aviation careers; as well as other various volunteer roles with EAA and the International Aerobatic Club (IAC).
As the Director of AeroInnovate and Aerospace/Aviation Initiatives, Hoy is responsible for developing and directing strategic and financial plans for educational and economic development initiatives related to both our accelerator program and our aerospace/aviation program; including AeroInnovate, VenturXcel and the Wisconsin Aerospace Cluster Network. While leading awareness efforts and creating a constant stream of new partnerships related to the industry, Hoy is also responsible for developing strategic relationships with and among organizational and government leaders across the globe.