Innovation Hot Topics

$30 Million Venture Capital Fund to Launch in WI

"The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) are creating an early-stage venture capital fund focused on information technology. Called 4490 Ventures, a reference to the 44° N latitude and 90° W longitude lines that approximate the center of the state of Wisconsin, the $30 million fund will focus on early-stage companies primarily in Wisconsin. " [From BizTimes 03/19/2013]

Contracting Changes Help Women-Owned Businesses

"Under the new National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, the SBA will make changes to its Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program to help women-owned small businesses get more federal contracts and help the federal government meet and exceed its statutory five percent women’s contracting goal." [From Small Business Administration, 01/22/2013]

Free Sources of Market Data

"The federal government offers many tools to help small business owners understand their markets, but where do go to find that data, and how do you use it once you’ve got your hands on it?" [From Small Business Administration, 12/20/2012]

New DOL-SBA Website Encourages Entrepreneurship

"The Small Business Administration and Department of Labor teamed up for another step forward on this path, announcing a new website to help states offer Self-Employment Assistance programs to those looking to create jobs in their communities." [From Small Business Administration, 12/13/2012]

Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit

The Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit is a free collection of online resources including topics such as writing a business plan, finding money to support a venture, locating a business, and selling to the government. The toolkit also provides a directory of entrepreneurial networking venues.

Innovation Spotlight

UW-Whitewater graduate, former Launch Pad Scholar, and successful entrepreneur Henry Schwartz is one of less than 18 percent of entrants in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest who have advanced to the semi-finalist round of the competition. Schwartz’s company MobCraft Beer, LLC is competing in the advanced manufacturing category—one of four contest categories. MobCraft brews beers based on the voting of its faithful customers. Consumers are even invited to submit their own ideas and recipes. The recipe receiving the most votes is brewed and shipped to the customer’s door. In addition to its ongoing success in the Business Plan Contest, MobCraft was recently voted the best new brewer in Wisconsin by ratebeer.com. 

MobCraft website

Governor’s Business Plan Contest Semi-Finalists

RateBeer.com Top Beers, Brewers, New Brewers by Sub Region