@1403 aims to foster innovation on UW-Madison campus and beyond

By Jeff Buchanan, Xconomy

@1403Since taking office two years ago, University of Wisconsin-Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank has championed the effort to make more resources available to members of the campus community who have ideas for new companies.

In 2013, Blank, who has previously served as U.S. commerce secretary, told UW-Madison’s news service she sees universities as “idea factories” critical to the nation’s economy.

“I want to make sure that UW–Madison is on the cutting edge of entrepreneurship and technology commercialization,” Blank said at the time.

Joining—or, one might argue, staying in—the vanguard of tech transfer will require UW-Madison to make sure help is available at every entrepreneurial juncture, from honing an idea for a product or service to forming a business around it, to obtaining the capital needed for growth. And it can’t hurt to have sources of help—people with technical, legal, and fundraising expertise—working in close proximity.

That’s why there’s excitement around @1403, a building smack in the middle of campus that’s been rebranded as a center of gravity for startups.

“When people think of entrepreneurship, hopefully they think of this building. Hopefully this is an accessible, entrepreneurial identity across campus,” says Will Robus, a project manager at Discovery to Product (D2P), a @1403 tenant that helps UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff turn ideas into companies.

In addition to D2P, tenants include the university’s Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, where founders can get advice on things like incorporating and filing patent applications, and the Madworks accelerator, whose portfolio includes SmartUQ and Seiva Technologies. Exis, a startup whose software helps programmers establish a secure link between the mobile and Web applications they’re developing and servers in the cloud, has also set up shop at @1403. Read more …

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