Serial entrepreneur Jerry Jendusa has donated $1 million to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for its new Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship.
A UWM alumnus, Jendusa sold his New Berlin-based aviation company Emteq Inc. to B/E Aerospace Inc. in 2014 in a two-company acquisition that analysts valued at around $470 million. He founded the company in 1994, just five years after he graduated from UWM’s Lubar School of Business, and grew it to 650 employees and more than $100 million in sales. He now serves as chief executive officer of Stuck LLC, a company he co-founded to help entrepreneurs overcome barriers to success.
Jendusa’s gift will go toward an entrepreneur-in-residence program to put students in touch with professionals who have successfully launched a business.
“Providing students with access to entrepreneurs creates a dynamic, learning-rich environment,” Jendusa said. “I am proud to support entrepreneurs in residence, who will bring real-world experience to the classroom and introduce students to innovators who are shaping Milwaukee and our region. Big entrepreneurial ideas start as a dream, and I want to encourage students to chase their dreams.”
The Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship, announced in July 2015 when Marianne and Sheldon Lubar gave a $10 million donation for its creation, will be housed in a new building that’s in the design stage. It aims to provide entrepreneurship education for both students and the wider community, complementing Milwaukee’s existing startup community.
“I am deeply grateful to Jerry for his support of entrepreneurship at UWM,” said UWM chancellor Mark Mone. “A strong culture of innovation is essential to the vibrancy of Milwaukee and Wisconsin, and leaders like Jerry are helping us create a program that will produce the next generation of entrepreneurs.”