A Message from Outgoing MRUN President Allen Dines

Dear Colleagues,

This is to extend my personal invitation for you to join us on Tuesday, October 21 at CATTEC VII in Chicago.  MRUN’s CATTEC meetings have become a tradition for us as they bring together the fuel that enables start-up innovation and research commercialization in the Midwest.  Put more simply: CATTEC brings YOU all together.  You are the entrepreneurs, the investors, the university commercialization managers, the accelerators and the startup-engaged service providers that drive innovation.  But if we do not know about each other the fuel cannot ignite.  CATTEC meetings provide the venue that brings  these different players together to exchange ideas – CATTEC is not a tech transfer group, its not an investor meeting, its not an entrepreneurs’ gathering – its all of those things. Together that mix sparks the connections that foster innovative match-ups.

But there is another reason I’d like to see you all at CATTEC VII – In our Fall Newsletter I announced that this is my last CATTEC as President of MRUN.  I have stepped down from my position with New Ventures at UW- Madison and with that I am turning the reins of MRUN over to Gary Keller who has served admirably as MRUN’s Vice President and Managing Director since 2012. Personally, I am thrilled to see the continued interest in MRUN and the support for dynamic regional relationships.  As MRUN president over the last dozen years I have had the pleasure of witnessing an evolution of startup ecosystems across the Midwest.  Collectively you have all helped orchestrate tremendous changes in the resources available to, and connectivity among, entrepreneurs in you local communities.  I’d like to see you at CATTEC VII so we can reflect on and celebrate our  accomplishments while we re-dedicate ourselves to pressing ahead to  further build the regional inter-connectivity that so amplifies the resources available locally.  Please join me for a CATTEC VII that features a look back at where we’ve been and a look ahead at where we are going.

I will remain engaged in the organization as President Emeritus.   I will also remain active with Midwest start-ups.  You might find me mentoring with MERLIN Mentors in Madison and with 100Health, a new health IT accelerator.  Especially,  I am excited to announce that I have joined WISC Partners as an  Executive Partner.  WISC Partners is Badger alumni-driven strategic operating capital fund.  CATTEC attendees will learn how we are creating a unique investment vehicle by leveraging alumni affinity, talent and networks through a hybrid fund model that borrows from accelerator playbooks and from the private equity investing approach.

More information on MRUN and CATTEC VII can be found at http://mrun.us/cattec-vii/.  The conference will be held at the Illinois Science and Technology Park in Skokie, IL.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Allen J. Dines
President MRUN
Executive Partner
WISC Partners