Meet Our Staff

Check Out Our Staff Bios

Dave LinzDave Linz, MBA, MS

Client Services Director

Dave has provided technical, marketing, business planning, product development, and financing assistance to over 500 entrepreneurs in technology-based and manufacturing businesses in Wisconsin. Highlights of Dave’s career include:   

  • Introducing and implementing Business Model Canvases and Lean Startup methods throughout the State
  • Assisting clients to acquire over $20M in capital including SBIR/STTR funding
  • Fostering industry-university collaborations including Milwaukee’s tech-assistance BizStarts Program
  • Co-leading an SBIR assistance program that included webinars and training and provided proposal development support
  • Dave earned a BS in Chemical engineering and an MS in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Arizona; and earned an MBA from Webster University


Bon Wikenheiser, MBA

CTC Operations Director

SBDC State Director

In addition to serving as Operations Director at the CTC, Bon is State Director of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network, which serves the entire state through 12 campus-based centers and three specialty centers.  Prior to her work with the UW-Extension Division for Business and Entrepreneurship, she served as State Director of the North Dakota Small Business Development Center, overseeing a 17-office network. She was also director of corporate programming and director of the Emerging Leaders Academy in Business for the Harold Schafer Leadership Center at the University of Mary, where she earned her Master of Business Administration and nursing degrees.  She has been a recipient of a Small Business Innovation Research grant, owner and operator of multiple small businesses, and reviewer on a national panel for SBIR grant applicants.


Todd Strother

Todd Strother, Ph.D., MS

Senior Technology Consultant

Todd has worked in product development and product management in entrepreneurial firms and in industry. He currently assists entrepreneurs and their businesses with federal funding acquisition through the SBIR/STTR programs and assists the team with commercialization efforts. Highlights of Todd’s work include:

  • Writing successful SBIR applications
  • Managing SBIR-funded projects for development of innovation in the life sciences
  • Serving as a federal SBIR reviewer for proposal submissions
  • Serving as a reviewer for Center for Technology Commercialization pre-submission SBIR/STTR reviews
  • Product development within an entrepreneurial setting in a life sciences startup
  • Management of multi-million dollar product lines in the life sciences industry


Idella YambenIdella Yamben, PhD

Business Development Consultant

Ideadvance Program Manager

Idella is the Ideadvance Program Manager for the Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC). Her responsibilities include administration, instruction and outreach for the Ideadvance program.  Highlights of Idella’s career include:  

  • Coordinating outreach efforts for the Center for Technology Commercialization and the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network
  • Coordinating CTC training events including webinars and in-person training
  • Administering CTC micro-grants on behalf of clients
  • Managed the 2012 Career Connections Program for the 2012 BioForward Vision Summit Assisted in federal grant writing for academic research programs
  • Managed over 50 employees at scientific firms across Wisconsin in onboarding, payroll, training, and counseling
  • Developed and managed a mentoring program for undergraduates in the life sciences in collaboration with faculty and staff at the UW-Madison
  • Idella earned BS in biology from University of Chicago and a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from UW-Madison