The Badger Entrepreneurship Forum (BEF) was started in 2009 by Pavan Nigam and David Bunzel, both graduates of the University of Wisconsin. Pavan, a Bay Area-based serial entrepreneur (founder/CTO Healtheon/WebMD, founder/CEO Cendura, founder/CEO Trackle), joined the University of Wisconsin Board of Visitors in 2007, and soon got re-immersed in the Badger world. David, the founder and CEO of DigitalMediaIX, has been very active with the Bay Area Badger community. He also has been very involved with start-up companies. David has founded and advised companies in the personal computer hardware and software business, Web 1.0, and Web 2.0 markets. In addition, he has led three industry standards organizations, focusing on optical storage, physical/logical security, and smart energy.

Pavan and David recognized that the Bay Area had a significant number of very successful Badgers – entrepreneurs, CEOs, executives, venture capitalists, attorneys, investment bankers and consultants. In addition, there were a number of UW graduates involved in starting their own companies. This led to the idea behind the Badger Entrepreneurship Forum where Badgers could leverage from each other’s experiences and networks.

The group holds events every 2-3 months and speakers are drawn from Badgers involved with different segments of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Past speakers have included entrepreneurs, public company CEOs, investment bankers, and venture capitalists.


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Heidi Allstop

Platform Product Manager


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Jennifer Brandl

Clinical Trials Manager

Kezar Life Sciences

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David Bunzel



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Kristi Ebong

SVP Strategy, GM Healthcare Providers

Orbita, Inc.

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Heather Hilleren

Delivery Manager


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Pavan Nigam



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Jay Reinemann

General Partner

Propel Venture Partners

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Mark Reinstra


Wilson Sonsini

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Ramu Sunkara

Co-Founder, CEO


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James Tamplin

Product Manager, Firebase


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Ben Van Roo

Vice President Solutions Architecture

Primer AI

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James Walker

Senior Advisor

McKinsey & Company

Contact Us

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