The overall objective of MERLIN is to create a larger pool of viable entrepreneurs within the Madison community. MERLIN fosters growth in the number and quality of Madison area start-up enterprises by matching new entrepreneurs with experienced business people.
At the heart of MERLIN is the relationship between entrepreneurs and mentors. Participants who engage in the mentoring process learn much about forming a venture. Whether their ideas are practical for the marketplace or not, the knowledge they gain can be transferred to any venture they choose to create. An important side benefit of the mentors' efforts is the creation of successful companies.
MERLIN was developed with the support and cooperation of various entities related to the University of Wisconsin: the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), University Research Park, the School of Business, and the Office of Corporate Relations. MERLIN strengthens the University of Wisconsin's role as a leader in innovation by contributing to the education of UW students, faculty and alumni.