Back to All Events

Madison, WI - Risky Business

  • High Noon Saloon 701 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI (map)

From harrowing moments to hilarious mishaps, join us for five stories that explore the risky business and deeply human side of science and technology.

This special show is made possible thanks to the generous support of UW–Madison, the Wisconsin School of Business, WARF, StartingBlock, and the WARF-sponsored programs Upstart and D2P.

Hosted by Liz Neeley and Paula Croxson. Doors open at 8:00pm, come for a chat and a drink and to get the best seats before the show starts at 8:30pm.

UW Madison.png



Alex Kubicek wanted to reinvent disaster safety through knowledge after assisting with Hurricane Katrina relief. While receiving a Master’s in Atmospheric Science, he created awarding winning research on cloud microphysics and hail formation. These algorithms were meant to improve short-term storm forecasting but the required density of observations was lacking. Understory was created to to fill these gaps and gather weather insights to improve life and property worldwide. Kubicek has lead Understory through an accelerator program, a hardware seed stage, an institutional seed financing of $2M lead by True Ventures, and a Series A financing of $7.5M lead by 4490 Ventures and strategic participation by Monsanto.


Cassandra Willyard is a freelance science journalist who likes long walks, international travel, and infectious diseases, the more neglected the better. She earned a BS in Biological Aspects of Conservation (and a certificate in drinking) from the University of Wisconsin and an MA in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University. She also served as Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia. You can read her work in DiscoverPopular Science, and Nature. She also blogs regularly for The Last Word on Nothing. After spending several years in New York City, Cassandra moved back to Midwest. She now lives in Madison with her husband and daughter. But she still enjoys sarcasm and wearing black.   


Mike Tecku is the co-founder of Strike a Pose


Praveen Yadav started his career as a design engineer for suspension systems at Tata Motors in 2007. Aware of the design challenges, Praveen ventured into research in 2009 as a graduate student, and started working under Dr. Suresh with a singular focus on rapid analysis. He earned his PhD from UW-Madison in 2015, and dove head first into entrepreneurship at his current start-up SciArt.


Tracy Chong found her passion working with invertebrates as a graduate student at the University of Illinois. She studied the development and regeneration of the reproductive system in the planarian, a free-living flatworm. She is currently part of a team at the Morgridge Institute for Research studying parasitic worms that causes the debilitating disease, Schistosomiasis. Aside from worms and science, Tracy is passionate about entrepreneurship and food. Combining her formal training as a scientist, with her culinary interest and hands-on business experience, Tracy’s vision is to provide a sustainable and affordable source of protein to meet the world’s growing global nutritional demands.

Earlier Event: October 3
Atlanta, GA - Identity
Later Event: October 5
St Louis, MO - Resilience