Well before completing his bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering, Dan Reich embodied the culture of entrepreneurship that UW-Madison increasingly seeks to instill in its students. Now a serial entrepreneur and investor based in New York City, Reich credits Electrical and Computer Engineering Professors Nick Hitchon and Leon McCaughan with not only giving him opportunities for hands-on experience, but also letting him function as a full-fledged entrepreneur during his time on campus. As an undergraduate, Reich founded two tech companies and participated in photonics research.
“Nick let me build a business from scratch under his supervision and do so with engineering credit. Had it not been for Nick, I would not have had sufficient time or resources to pursue my own tech company while studying ECE,” Reich says. “Leon let me join one of his research projects, and as a result, I was able to experience life in the microelectronics lab and see firsthand just how far technology can go—and do so wearing one of those Intel-looking bunny suits.”
After graduating in 2008, he went to work for a young company called Lotame Solutions and took part in a major expansion of the customer base for its data management platforms, forming partnerships with companies including Google and Conde Nast. In 2011, he branched out further as an entrepreneur and investor, partnering with two UW-Madison alumni to found the retailer-focused tech company SpinBack, which was acquired just a few months later by Buddy Media (which itself has since been acquired
by Salesforce.com). He also joined the strategic operating committee of New York-based firm Great Oaks Venture Capital, a role in which he still serves. Reich also contributes articles to Forbes magazine and the Harvard Business Review. His current ventures include co-founding a skin-care products company called Tula, and serving as a managing member of New York Compassion LLC, an entity applying for one of the five medical marijuana licenses in New York.
Reich has served on the executive board of the Alpha chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, and won the Accenture Leadership Award for his work on a collaborative leadership center between the School of Business and College of Engineering.
Even with that resume, Reich says his proudest accomplishment is still joining the Mount Snow Ski Patrol at age 15. He still serves on the patrol as a volunteer, and also enjoys snowboarding, skiing, golf, listening to music, and, he says, “chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool and shooting b-ball outside of school.” A native of New Jersey, he currently lives in New York City with his wife, Amy.