Allen Dines, who has started companies, mentored entrepreneurs and helped instill a startup spirit in university students and faculty alike, will receive the 2017 “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award at the Nov. 15-16 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.

Dines will be honored Nov. 16 during the second day of the conference, which will be held at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison. Visit to register.

The “Triple E” award, sponsored by Concordia University, was established by the Wisconsin Technology Council to highlight the importance of entrepreneurial education.

The selection of Dines by the 2017 conference steering committee was based on:

  • Delivering outstanding quality in teaching entrepreneurship and/or mentoring entrepreneurs, in or out of the classroom
  • Stimulating innovative methods for teaching or mentoring entrepreneurs
  • Promoting entrepreneurial education and mentorship among scholars, policymakers, practitioners and others
  • Providing a significant contribution to the development of best practices in the field

Previous winners of the “Triple E” award are Tim Keane, an investor and entrepreneur who was one of the first college-level educators in Wisconsin to design courses around entrepreneurial studies; Thomas “Rock” Mackie, a scientist, entrepreneur and educator who has helped build an entrepreneurial culture on the UW-Madison campus; and Jan Eddy, tech company founder and a tireless mentor of startups through her work on and off campus.

Dines has been a fixture in the Madison startup scene for two decades, first working for or founding three early stage companies and later joining the UW-Madison to focus on commercialization of campus technology and building student and faculty interest in startups.

He has been a part of the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, the Wiscontrepreneur program, MERLIN Mentors, the Early Stage CEO Roundtables, the Badger Startup Summit, the Midwest Research University Network and many more endeavors that have created opportunities to learn and live entrepreneurism. He is currently an executive advisor with WISC Partners, a strategic operating capital fund founded by a group of UW-Madison graduates.


“While some younger entrepreneurs in Wisconsin may not know it, they owe a lot to Allen Dines and his hard work over time,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council. “We’re proud that his efforts have intersected with those of the Tech Council so many times over the years.”

The Triple E award is one of many conference features. Other highlights unveiled so far:

  • Remarks at the Wisconsin W·O·M·E·N reception the evening of Nov. 14 by Toni Sikes, the CEO of CODAworx. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. at The Madison Club. Register here for this separate event.
  • An un-keynote presentation on Nov. 15 from Tamara Kleinberg, founder of LaunchStreet, on innovation and getting ahead of the competition.
  • Nov. 16 plenary panel discussion entitled “Outside looking in: Thoughts on Wisconsin from investors in other states.”
  • More than 40 investor groups set to meet with emerging firms in “Investor Intros” on Nov. 16.
  • The 2017 Investor Hall of Fame dinner, where BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation founder Tom Shannon will be inducted before invited investor guests.
  • A line-up of panel discussions that include a number of industry experts.
  • Day Two luncheon speaker Dan Rashke, owner and CEO of TASC.

The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: 100state, Aberdean, Accuray, ACS, Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, Affiliated Engineers, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, BMO Harris Bank, Boardman & Clark, Bunker Labs Madison, Carroll University, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University, Cresa, CUNA Mutual, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, DXC Technology, Enbridge, Findorff, First Business Bank, Fluno Center, Functional Biosciences, Godfrey & Khan, HealthX Ventures, Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Madison Central, Husch Blackwell, Madison College, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Medical College of Wisconsin, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, Morgridge Institute, Murphy Desmond, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Northwestern Mutual, Omni Resources, Perkins Coie, Promega, Red Arrow Productions, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, River Valley Bank, Skyward, Smith & Gesteland, Square 1 Bank, Susan Healy (Tech Council board member), SWIB, TASC, University Research Park, UW-Green Bay, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy, UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, Venture Investors, WCMP, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WERCBench Labs, Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi, Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Wisconsin Hospital Association and Ziegler.

Learn more and register at