Q&A: Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network Resources

JANUARY 28, 2013

The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) provides entrepreneurs with access to a statewide network of resources and expertise; identifies high-potential entrepreneurs and helps move their businesses forward; facilitates collaboration between entrepreneurs and organizations that assist them; and helps create and nurture minority-owned businesses.

The “Network” consists of four regional offices and more than 400 people across the state that provide programs, resources and services to Wisconsin businesses.

What services does WEN provide?

WEN provides one-on-one
business assistance, courses and grants to help entrepreneurs develop business plans. Programs include: High Growth LEAN, Main Stream LEAN Business Planning, SBIR/STTC Assistance and Access to Other Capital.

What is the High Growth LEAN program?

This grant program helps high-growth potential businesses (typically emerging technology companies) do a business feasibility study.

What is the Main Stream LEAN Business Planning program?

This is for businesses that aren’t considered high-growth potential businesses, such as retail, Web/Web app businesses and manufacturing. This program helps substantially cover costs of a six-week course and assistance of a business coach. This program uses LEAN start-up techniques leading to the development of a business plan for companies that have established market need.

What is SBIR/STTC?

The acronyms stand for Small Businesses Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). These are federal grants and contracts for innovative high-risk, high-payoff research and development efforts that have strong commercialization potential. These programs help businesses research, develop and commercialize technologies.

How do I contact consultants to explore service options?

Contact one of three regional consultants:

Cheryl Vickroy, MBA, Director
432 N. Lake St., Ste. 435
Madison, WI 53706

Dave Linz, MBA, Consultant
161 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 6000
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Pat Dillon, MBA, Consultant
210 Water Street P.O. Box 4004
Eau Claire, WI 54702