Donors to the LEC believe in the mission to bring entrepreneurship and innovation to not just UW-Milwaukee’s campus but to the Milwaukee community. Many of our donors are entrepreneurs themselves, who know firsthand how important a resource like the LEC can be to one’s entrepreneurial journey.
Our second featured donor is Jerry Jendusa. Mr. Jendusa earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from the Lubar School of Business at UW-Milwaukee. His entrepreneurial journey took off a few years later when he co-founded EMTEQ. For 18 years he was a majority owner, Chairman, CEO and President of the company. The company went from a basement startup to an international 100M business with over 630 employees and 7 locations.
Mr. Jendusa then went on to coordinate the co-founding of the trio of STUCK Companies: STUCK Management, STUCK Coaching and Stuck Fund I to follow his passion of helping small businesses grow, operationalizing entrepreneurialism and giving back to entrepreneurs. Stuck Fund I has taken majority interest in 3 small businesses: Vendura Industries out of Madison, WI BioCut out of Milwaukee, WI and Ardent Animal Health out of Lexington KY.
Jerry Jendusa is also an active member of the entrepreneurship community here in Milwaukee. He is a co-chair of Scale Up Milwaukee, a member of the UWM Lubar Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board, and a mogul on Milwaukee’s own TV program, Project Pitch It.
Why is it important to support entrepreneurship at UWM?
UWM is my alma mater and one of the flagship universities in Southeastern WI. I had the privilege of getting a finance degree in the late eighties, had success with starting and scaling a business and have since turned my time and energy to helping other entrepreneurs. The very basic rudimentary definition of entrepreneurship is growth. As you grow you learn, and the more we learn from one another the better off we all become. To have the mind set of growth or improvement leads to a collaborative thought process to make things better. It all starts with the students at schools such as UWM that are eager and willing to grow, try new things and to learn. These individuals can then go off and help make other organizations better or even start out on their own venture and capitalize on opportunities. The LEC is such a great way to involve and engage new prospective students with the UWM Welcome Center also bringing in the local community. Most importantly, students from all schools and disciplines come to this location where they can help turn their concepts into reality.
What is your favorite part of being a part of Project Pitch It?
A show like Project Pitch It is meant to inspire, encourage, and showcase entrepreneurial companies in Southeast, WI. I become inspired by witnessing the stories of the entrepreneurs who are on the show. There is passion, purpose, and willingness to do whatever it takes to follow their dreams. The show provides so much satisfaction and gives hope to many people, who either have an idea and are afraid to act or simply don’t know about the steps to turn that idea or concept into reality. Clearly the passion and stories of the entrepreneurs combined with the ability to track some of their success, are my favorite parts of the show.