Meet the Team

Starting a business is not easy. If you’re not seriously passionate about what you do – reconsider. The gener8tor team is a group with lots of real world experience that startups can leverage. That’s critical because it’s hard. Here are the passionate people who are gener8tor:

Troy Vosseller

Troy is a three-time graduate of the University of Wisconsin, having earned his BA, JD and MBA in Entrepreneurial Management at the UW’s Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship.

As an undergraduate, Troy founded the apparel company Sconnie Nation. Sconnie Nation markets a line of clothing that focuses on celebrating the Wisconsin lifestyle. He knows what it’s like to be a college student starting a business.

Troy recently extended the “Sconnie” brand into beer by releasing Sconnie Beer. He loves all things branding, marketing and product development.

Troy is also an experienced business attorney, having worked as an Assistant Clinical Professor for the UW Law School’s Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic - a program providing free legal services to startup businesses and entrepreneurs.

Joe Kirgues

Joe helps identify early-stage startups with a need for the program and helps create an environment for entrepreneurs to collaborate and establishes access to later-stage capital.

Previously, Joe worked at Quarles & Brady, where he focused his practice on private equity and securities law. Joe received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Order of the Coif.

Joe was awarded the Davis Award in Constitutional Law, which is annually awarded to the student in the graduating class with the best performance in constitutional law. Joe received his bachelors from Marquette University where he was awarded the Delta Sigma Pi Golden Key Award for best grade point average in the graduating class and the Wall Street Journal Award in Finance for best performance within his major.

Joe worked as a federal law clerk in the Eastern District of Wisconsin for the Honorable William E. Callahan, Jr., after graduating from law school.

Through his work at gener8tor, Joe has worked with over two dozen startups in Wisconsin on lean-startup methodology and development.

Jon Eckhardt
Co-Founder, Entrepreneurial Evangelist

Jon is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Executive Director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship.

Jon got his first taste of entrepreneurship as an undergraduate student at Penn State when he started a small rental property venture after returning from the Army. His experiences as a student-entrepreneur still influence how he approaches entrepreneurship education today.

His published and ongoing empirical research projects involve the study of various aspects of the entrepreneurial process, including firm formation, venture finance, initial public offerings, the relationship between public innovation and commercial entrepreneurship, and the role of information in entrepreneurship.

Much of his research involves the study of the formation of commercial software markets for mobile computing platforms including the Palm Handheld Computer.

Abby Taubner
Program Manager

Abby is a recent graduate of UW-Madison, where she earned her BBA in Marketing. She initially joined the gener8tor team for two programs as an intern where she worked directly with gener8tor’s startups making sales calls, creating content, filling sales funnels and developing marketing strategies.

After graduating from Wisconsin, Abby came on full time as the Program Manager where she helps plan, schedule and run each of gener8tor’s two annual programs, recruits startups to future programs, and organizes community building events such as OnRamp.