Sarah Smith, Author at Janesville Innovation Center

Janesville Innovation, Inc. Receives $40,000 State Grant to Support Rock County Entrepreneurship

February 14, 2019 – Janesville Innovation, Inc. (JII) has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to help fund the organization’s efforts to advance the climate for entrepreneurship and small business through the Rock County Entrepreneurial Business Development Program (RCEBD).

Janesville Innovation, Inc. is one of 9 Wisconsin organizations to receive a grant under WEDC’s 2019 Entrepreneurship Support program, which will build-upon the area’s ecosystem by providing customized, consultative services. Nearly $500,000 in matching grants were awarded statewide.

“WEDC congratulates Janesville Innovation, Inc. for being among the recipients of this grant, which enables organizations throughout the state to provide more resources to support their local entrepreneurial communities,” said Mark R. Hogan, Secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Through this program, we are supporting local and regional organizations that understand the unique needs of their communities and can provide key resources to foster a statewide culture that celebrates and encourages entrepreneurs to build successful businesses.”

According to James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development Manager, the local network of economic development organizations and their partnering service providers have been experiencing a consistent flow of requests from emerging entrepreneurs, as well as existing small businesses.

“Over the past three years, we have leveraged the services of multiple organizations – such as the Janesville Innovation Center (JIC) and Irontek – and thanks to the support of the WEDC grant, we can continue to enhance RCEBD’s offerings,” said Otterstein.

Barry Brandt, Janesville Innovation, Inc. Board President stated that, “While we have a good pulse on the growing entrepreneurial and small business activity in Rock County, it’s difficult to provide the levels of required services with limited financial resources. With a solid foundation already in place, we look forward to leveraging this WEDC grant with local public/private funding to increase our collaborative efforts; sharpen our focus; and expand our services to a larger constituency base.” 

Other 2019 grant recipients include: BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation of Milwaukee; Oconto County Economic Development Corporation of Oconto; Green County Economic Development Corporation of Monroe; Couleecap Inc.of Westby; Indianhead Community Action Agency of Ladysmith; Concordia University of Mequon; UW Health Innovation Hub of Madison; and Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council Inc. of Eau Claire.

 

About Janesville Innovation, Inc.

Janesville Innovation Inc. (JII) is a regional, 501(c) (3) corporation that oversees the Janesville Innovation Center (JIC); and the extensive management, mentoring and business assistance services provided to JIC tenants. The purpose of JII is to provide entrepreneurial and small business development opportunities by offering a supportive infrastructure, education, training and mentorship environment. Additionally, JII facilitates the establishment of value-added relationships that encourage technological innovation, job generation and the continual repositioning of the area’s economy. For more information, visit http://www.janesvilleinnovation.com . 

About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network.  Visit wedc.org or follow WEDC on Twitter @WEDCNews to learn more.

Janesville Innovation Center continues to succeed

Five years since opening its doors to entrepreneurs in 2013, the Janesville Innovation Center will be self-sufficient this year after the city stopped subsidizing it in 2017, the center’s operations manager told the Janesville City Council on Monday.

Mike Mathews said the business incubator he manages at 2949 W. Venture Drive on the city’s south side is currently at capacity. Two current tenants are planning to leave, and others are lining up to fill those vacancies.

N1 Critical Technologies will soon finish its relocation to the former Red Cross service center at 211 N. Parker Drive in downtown Janesville.

Mathews said the company’s renovation of the building is a “must see.”

K4 Innovations will move to Edgerton, Mathews said.

Three potential tenants have emerged to replace those companies at the innovation center, he said.

“Fortunately, the demand for the space has timed well with the exit of some of our tenants,” Mathews said.

The city stopped subsidizing the center last year. The plan all along was to slowly decrease how much city money went into the center before cutting funding altogether.

“We’re surviving totally now on our rental income, which is a lot easier to do when you’re at 100 percent” capacity, Mathews said.

The center budgeted conservatively this year, but rental revenue this year will outpace expectations, he said. The center budgeted $124,000 in revenue and $110,000 in expenses for 2018.

The center has had a total of 13 tenants, seven of which occupy the center now.

Monthly rates to rent office suites that include utilities range from $275 to $465. Rates for manufacturing spaces range from $515 for 450 square feet to $2,185 for 4,200 square feet, according to the center’s website.

Councilman Jim Farrell asked if the rates are constant or if they’ve fluctuated. Mathews said they increase by about 3 percent annually.

http://www.gazettextra.com/news/business/janesville-innovation-center-continues-to-succeed

Janesville Innovation, Inc. Receives $66,000 State Grant to Support Rock County Entrepreneurship

Janesville Innovation, Inc. Receives $66,000 State Grant to Support Rock County Entrepreneurship

January 24, 2017 – Janesville Innovation, Inc. (JII) has been awarded a $66,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to help fund the organization’s efforts to advance the climate for entrepreneurship through the new Rock County Entrepreneurial Business Development Program (RCEBD).

Janesville Innovation, Inc. is one of 11 Wisconsin organizations to receive grants under WEDC’s new Entrepreneurship Support pilot program, which will help fund activities such as the promotion of entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial education, mentorship and training; and business development and financial services. Nearly $500,000 in matching grants were awarded statewide.

“WEDC congratulates Janesville Innovation, Inc. for being among the recipients for this new program,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the State’s lead economic development organization. The Rock County coalition developed an innovative proposal that has the potential to make a real difference when it comes to assisting entrepreneurs and startups throughout the County.”

The Rock County Entrepreneurial Business Development Program will serve the needs of Rock County start-ups and early-stage businesses by helping them assess their business concepts and plans, develop and diversify customer bases and markets, and provide links to financial assistance, mentoring and networking.

According to James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development Manager, Rock County’s network of economic development organizations and their partnering service providers have been experiencing a consistent flow of requests from emerging entrepreneurs, as well as existing small businesses.

“Over the past three years, we have been able to assist a portion of these entrepreneurs and small businesses through the support offered from the Janesville Innovation Center (JIC). For non-JIC tenants, we have also provided similar types of support through the Rock County Development Alliance. In addition, the development of Irontek this past year represents another component to the area’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Otterstein.

With the support of the WEDC grant, these offerings – as well as others – can now be folded into a coordinated County-wide network to provide a critical mass of technical support services for area entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Barry Brandt, Janesville Innovation, Inc. Board President stated that, “While we have a good pulse on the growing entrepreneurial and small business activity in Rock County, it’s difficult to provide the levels of required services with limited financial resources. With a solid foundation already in place, we look forward to leveraging this WEDC grant with local public/private funding to increase our collaborative efforts; sharpen our focus; and expand services to a much larger constituency base.”

“Janesville Innovation, Inc. is one of the many organizations across the state that already support the overall mission of identifying, educating, servicing and funding entrepreneurs,” added Aaron Hagar, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for WEDC. “We look forward to seeing how the Rock County Entrepreneurial Business Development Program utilizes the grant to further increase the availability of resources for Rock County entrepreneurs.”

While WEDC has a variety of programs to support the formation, development, growth and financing of technology-based and growth-oriented startup and early-stage businesses, the new initiative provides funding to organizations and communities whose efforts may not meet the eligibility criteria for existing programs.

The Entrepreneurship Support pilot program is the latest addition to WEDC’s suite of entrepreneurship resources, which includes support for startup accelerators, seed capital funds, investment tax credits and technology development loans. In addition, WEDC supports and engages an existing statewide network of partners that offers business training, mentorship and financing to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Other grant recipients include: Center for Enterprise Development Inc., Fond du Lac; Couleecap Inc., La Crosse; Indianhead Community Action Agency, Ladysmith; Milwaukee 7, Milwaukee; Nicolet Area Technical College, Rhinelander; UW-Madison Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, Madison; UW-Stout Center for Innovation and Development, Menomonie; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Madison; and UWM Research Foundation, Milwaukee.

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About Janesville Innovation, Inc.

Janesville Innovation Inc. (JII) is a regional 501(c) (3) corporation created in January, 2013. JII’s 15 member Board of Directors oversees the Janesville Innovation Center (JIC) and the extensive management, mentoring and business assistance services provided to JIC tenants. The purpose of JII is to provide opportunities to Rock County entrepreneurs to be nurtured through their formative years. The Corporation provides a supportive environment, including infrastructure, education, training, mentorship and a network of service providers that will assist entrepreneurs to achieve success by encouraging technological innovation, setting the stage for future growth, job generation, creation of an expanded tax base and revitalization of the local and regional economy. Visit janesvilleinnovation.com for additional information.

About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @InWisconsin to learn more.

 

WEDC awards 11 grants to support entrepreneurship programs across Wisconsin

WEDC awards 11 grants to support entrepreneurship programs across Wisconsin Nearly $500,000 in grants to help local, regional initiatives for startups

MADISON, WI. Jan. 24, 2017 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) today announced that 11 organizations have been awarded nearly $500,000 in grants to help develop or expand innovative programs aimed at advancing the climate for entrepreneurship throughout the state.

The grants are being awarded as part of WEDC’s new Entrepreneurship Support pilot program and will help fund activities such as the promotion of entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial education, mentorship and training; and business development and financial services.

“Much of the economic growth the state has experienced over the last six years is a result of the efforts of the state’s entrepreneurs as they develop innovative products and services to meet the changing demands of their customers,” said Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who joined WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan in announcing the grants on Tuesday. “These grants will enable organizations throughout the state to provide more resources to support their local entrepreneurial community.”

“Economic development is most effective when it is driven from a local or regional level,” Hogan said. “Through this program, we are supporting local and regional organizations that understand the unique needs of their communities and have developed innovative strategies to respond to those needs.”

The grant recipients are:

  • Center for Enterprise Development Inc., Fond du Lac, ($40,000) will create a milestone-based certification and grant program for Fond du Lac County entrepreneurs completing key business development steps.
  • Couleecap Inc., La Crosse, ($53,676) will provide a nine-week entrepreneurial development course for startups in La Crosse and Viroqua, support Viroqua Chamber Main Street’s “Pop Up Shop” program, and train additional course facilitators to expand the capacity for entrepreneurship support in the region.
  • Indianhead Community Action Agency, Ladysmith, ($43,646) will provide technical assistance and small loans to clients in two additional counties, and will expand its Small Business Academy for entrepreneurs.
  • Janesville Innovation Inc., Janesville, ($66,062) will develop a collaborative and coordinated coalition to serve entrepreneurs and accelerate business growth in Rock County.
  • Milwaukee 7, Milwaukee, ($60,000) will support the efforts of numerous project collaborators representing entrepreneurs, support organizations and academia to establish a strategic and entrepreneurial development initiative for the Milwaukee region.
  • Nicolet Area Technical College, Rhinelander, ($27,000) will expand entrepreneurial training, mentorship and support in six northern Wisconsin counties.
  • Oconto County Economic Development Corporation, Oconto, ($25,000) will implement elements of an entrepreneurship support strategy that includes a mentor network and ongoing coaching.
  • UW-Madison Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, Madison, ($75,000) will increase the level and breadth of its no-cost services provided to entrepreneurs statewide, particularly in the emerging food and beverage sector.
  • UW-Stout Center for Innovation and Development, Menomonie, ($60,000) will fund a statewide program that provides inventors with an opportunity to have their ideas evaluated for feasibility and market potential.
  • Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Madison, ($15,000) will expand its UpStart program for minority and women’s entrepreneurship.
  • UWM Research Foundation, Milwaukee, ($33,000) will pilot an “I-Corps for Health” program to develop and support innovative health care ventures in Wisconsin.

While WEDC has a variety of programs to support the formation, development, growth and financing of technology-based and growth-oriented startup and early-stage businesses, the new initiative provides funding to organizations and communities whose efforts may not meet the eligibility criteria for existing programs.

WEDC received 32 applications for the program, which provides matching grants to nonprofit organizations and communities.

The program is the latest addition to WEDC’s suite of entrepreneurship resources, which includes support for startup accelerators, seed capital funds, investment tax credits and technology development loans. In addition, WEDC supports and engages an existing statewide network of partners that offers business training, mentorship and financing to aspiring entrepreneurs.

The grant announcement is one of many initiatives planned and executed by WEDC and its statewide economic development partners to promote Wisconsin’s business, career and lifestyle opportunities. One example is the recent launch of Think-Make-Happen In Wisconsin, which provides communities, companies, organizations and educators with a unified voice to celebrate Wisconsin’s legacy of ingenuity and success.

 

“Creating and expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs in Wisconsin will help us in our efforts to attract and retain top talent in Wisconsin,” Hogan said. “These grants reinforce the message that the state truly embraces innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit.”

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 About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.