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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Entrepreneurial Deli, alumni encourage 'food for thought'

troy_vosseller: Troy Vosseller, UW-Madison graduate and co-owner of Sconnie Nation spoke at the first Entrepreneurial Deli on Monday.

Entrepreneurial Deli, alumni encourage 'food for thought'

Aspiring UW-Madison student entrepreneurs sampled food and thoughts from successful business leaders and UW-Madison alumni at the first Entrepreneurial Deli at Memorial Union Monday. 

 

The talk was funded by a $5 million Wiscontrepreneur Initiative grant and co-sponsored by the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations and Madison MAGNET, a youth talent company present at the event.  

 

According to Doug Bradley, assistant director of marketing and communications in the Office of Corporate Relations, the purpose of this event was to bring disciplines from all departments together and build a foundation for young entrepreneurs with great ideas and opportunities.  

 

Our hope is to take what we've learned here out to other campuses in the system and to the rest of the state. We really want Wisconsin to become the entrepreneurial state,"" Bradley said. 

Troy Vosseller, a recent UW-Madison graduate and co-founder of apparel company Sconnie Nation, discussed his success with the student-initiated company he helped develop four years ago.  

 

He emphasized brand distinction and utilizing new media for promotion.  

""Our slogan is 'Sconnie, celebrating Wisconsin lifestyle,'"" Vosseller said, and admitted the company's brand can be associated with drinking, which is a big part of the Wisconsin culture. The group laughed. 

 

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Sconnie.com features an interactive blog, embedded video features and a lifestyle page where people can upload and tag ""Sconnie sightings"" of people sporting the shirts. They also have an up-to-date drink specials page and widget feature available for download. 

Vosseler also discussed the new ""business solutions"" feature on Facebook, which acts as a viral marketing tool. Customers can have their purchases from businesses, such as Sconnie Nation, appear in their news feed, linking back to the businesses profile page. 

 

Sonya Newenhouse, president of Madison Environmental Group, a consulting firm focused on building and living green, and Community Car, Madison's car-sharing organization, also had a station at the deli. 

 

She told future entrepreneurs to save money, take calculated risks, align careers with passions and network with other entrepreneurs.  

Newenhouse said the group's newest project is Casa Kit Homes, a green living housing project that aims to create family homes that are small, money saving, environmentally friendly and beautiful. 

 

MAGNET, a young talent organization targeting and connecting leaders in their 20s, 30s and early 40s - Generation Y - was represented by Executive Director Rebecca Thorman. 

 

She offered advice targeting this age group, including being flexible, making a workplace like a videogame and being a coach, not a boss. 

 

""When you make your workplace better for Gen Y, you make it better for all the other generations,"" she said. ""The same things that we want are the same things generations before us have been trying to get for ages.

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