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INNOVATION PROSPERS WITH OUR STATE’S SUPPORT

Making great ideas into better realities is possible in a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem like Wisconsin’s. Built on a foundation of constant improvement and advancement, our state strengthens new business innovation through supporting startups from seed to growth stage.

We know there can be obstacles along the path from idea to commercialization. WEDC’s entrepreneurial programs are designed to further advance startup activity by supporting the full path from startup to commercialization. By working with our statewide network of partners, our initiatives spur entrepreneurial activity by providing direct capital infusions and incenting investments through angel and venture tax credits, mentoring, training and other important resources. Plus, you’ll have access to the location you want, the talent you need, and the investment in research and development that will keep your business at the forefront of innovation.

WEDC PROGRAMS

CAPITAL CATALYST PROGRAM

Matching grants to seed funds managed by local communities and other eligible entities to provide capital to high-growth startups and emerging growth companies.

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ENTREPRENEURIAL MICRO-GRANTS

Grants to support business planning and strategy for Wisconsin entrepreneurs and small business owners, administered through the Center for Technology Commercialization.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP SUPPORT PROGRAM

Grants to nonprofit organizations or communities to support promotion of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial education, mentoring or training programs; and facilitation of business development of financial services.

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QUALIFIED NEW BUSINESS VENTURE (QNBV) CERTIFICATION

Helps drive investment to innovate early-stage Wisconsin companies by allowing investors to claim a 25 percent tax credit on the amount they invest into a QNBV-certified business.

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SEED ACCELERATOR PROGRAM

Grants to organizations that operate nonprofit mentor-driven business modeling training programs to provide funds to participating startups.

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SBIR/STTR MATCHING GRANT

Grants to stimulate technological innovation by supporting technology-based Wisconsin small businesses, administered through the Center for Technology Commercialization.

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TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT LOAN PROGRAM

Flexible lending program designed to assist high-tech startups and emerging growth companies in financing the development and launch of innovative products and services.

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WEDC SUCCESS STORIES

Governor’s Business Plan Contest

​Since its inception in 2004, more than 2,600 entries have been received for the Governor’s Business Plan Contest, with winning companies receiving about $1.7 million in cash and services. Read More

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GovBizPlanContest2

V-Glass

V-Glass has leveraged ​assistance provided by Wisconsin into federal grants totaling over $1.3 million to develop its game-changing insulated window technology. Read More

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v-glass-logo

Cellara

​In developing and marketing its innovative CultureTrax product, Madison-based Cellara benefited from the support of BioForward and resources offered by the WEDC. Read More

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Cellara

Entrepreneurship Support Program

​Designed to advance the statewide climate for entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurship Support Program supports activities such as prototyping assistance, legal services and outreach to entrepreneurs in underserved communities. Read More

Read Story

​Since its inception in 2004, more than 2,600 entries have been received for the Governor’s Business Plan Contest, with winning companies receiving about $1.7 million in cash and services. Read More

Read Story
GovBizPlanContest2

V-Glass has leveraged ​assistance provided by Wisconsin into federal grants totaling over $1.3 million to develop its game-changing insulated window technology. Read More

Read Story
v-glass-logo

​In developing and marketing its innovative CultureTrax product, Madison-based Cellara benefited from the support of BioForward and resources offered by the WEDC. Read More

Read Story
Cellara

​Designed to advance the statewide climate for entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurship Support Program supports activities such as prototyping assistance, legal services and outreach to entrepreneurs in underserved communities. Read More

Read Story
BUSINESSES ASSISTED IN 2016
$
MILLION TOTAL IMPACT IN 2016
TOP 
STATES FOR 10-YEAR BUSINESS SURVIVORSHIP
TOTAL QNBV-CERTIFIED COMPANIES

SEED – START – SCALE

MENTORING

Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem includes accelerator programs that provide startups with the tools they need to be successful. Supporting entrepreneurs in Wisconsin means sustained engagement and mentorship to ensure long-term success.

INNOVATION/RESEARCH PARKS

University Research Park, a UW-Madison affiliate, is an internationally recognized research and technology park that supports early-stage and growth-oriented businesses.

EARLY-STAGE CAPITAL

BrightStar Wisconsin

4490 Ventures

"The QNBV Program played a direct role in keeping these investment dollars in Wisconsin and working to grow Wisconsin jobs."

ANDREW NUNEMAKER • CEO, DYNAMIS

"The QNBV program has definitely helped Esker to attract qualified angel investors. These tax credits are looked on favorably by investors, which has resulted in a level of funding that enabled the company to hire full-time employees and purchase much-needed equipment and development tools."

BRAD RAKE • PRESIDENT AND CEO, ESKER TECHNOLOGIES LLC

"We brought the company here because Wisconsin has a rich biotech and entrepreneurship understanding. WEDC encourages this type of critical technologies that contribute strongly to the economic development of the state. We came to Wisconsin to be part of the biotech hub they support."

AYLA ANNAC • CO-FOUNDER, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, INVIVOSCIENCES

"I’d like to thank WEDC for this additional investment, which will help ensure that Whitewater continues to be a hotbed of entrepreneurial spirit. The many startups that this program has already assisted is truly amazing. We’ve supported many new innovative businesses that would not have had a chance to get started without this very timely help."

JEFF KNIGHT • CHAIRMAN, WHITEWATER COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

"Working with WEDC has brought a level of support from the state of Wisconsin that I was hoping to receive when moving my startup company from Washington, D.C., to northeast Wisconsin. As my company continues to grow and create more jobs in Green Bay, I am glad to have WEDC on our side."

ASHLEY PRANGE • FOUNDER, AU NATURALE