Dreaming big can pay off — if you are passionate and persistent. That was the message from four University of Wisconsin alumni who told their stories to several hundred students Thursday night at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurship Showcase at Gordon Commons.

Alex Kubicek, co-founder and CEO of Understory, said he was told over and over that his idea for a network of weather sensor stations would not work and could not be funded.

“The feedback was brutal,” he said.

Kubicek was turned down more than 100 times, he said, even after refining his idea at the Bolt accelerator in Boston where his team built a sensor ball with no moving parts and landed its first customer — an insurance company in Kansas City.

The goal of the sensor network: to provide very detailed information on storm damage for use by the insurance and agriculture industries. Read the full story here.