WEDC’s success draws upon the combined strength of an innovative strategy and strong relationships with an extremely capable economic development community in Wisconsin. To foster that community, WEDC invests in Key Strategic Partners with specialized skills and a proven track record of success. Their work contributes significantly to the outcomes recorded in this report.

The following Key Strategic Partners are organizations uniquely positioned to help WEDC meet its strategic goals. By leveraging the existing services and subject matter expertise of these partners, WEDC increases the economic development impact of the funds we deploy.


WEDC provides funding for nine Wisconsin regional economic development organizations (EDOs): 7 Rivers Alliance,
Centergy, Grow North, Madison Region Economic Partnership, Milwaukee 7, Momentum West, New North, Prosperity
Southwest and Visions Northwest. While each regional EDO is organized differently to meet the needs of its respective
communities, they all demonstrate regional collaboration with county economic development organizations, municipal
economic development organizations, regional planning commissions, workforce development representatives,
educators and private sector stakeholders.

WEDC works closely with the regional EDOs around the state to facilitate communication and coordinate support
for local businesses and communities. Examples of such cooperation in FY22 include the following:

    • Holding regular meetings with local and county EDOs and chambers of commerce
    • Engaging, educating and leveraging the local economic development partners within each region
    • Establishing regional roundtables with key industry leaders to discuss key drivers, needs and issues facing the region
    • Employing a regular communication vehicle such as a newsletter or scheduled emails
    • Issuing an annual state of the region report
    • Educating elected officials and board of directors on economic development
    • Conducting, causing to be conducted, or coordinating the regular business retention and expansion
      initiatives throughout the region and coordinating the input of results that will be shared with WEDC
    • Conducting a marketing effort on behalf of the region and its partners; coordinating with WEDC on business
      and marketing initiatives incorporating the Wisconsin brand
    • Reaching out to rural portions of the region and helping them develop economic growth strategies;
      addressing any housing, broadband and/or child care activities
    • Hosting and coordinating discussions on entrepreneurship resources and assisting in promoting
      WEDC’s digital entrepreneurship platform
    • Leading and working with local partners to develop and enhance diverse business development
      strategies for the region
    • Worked with local partners to identify what each region is doing to encourage investment in
      renewable energy systems or energy efficiency

In addition, the Regional Leadership Council, made up of the directors from the regional EDOs, identified key initiatives
that could be deployed throughout the state in coordination with, and in advancement of, shared goals and strategies
with WEDC.


The Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI) helps companies sell products and services to federal, state and local agencies as well as prime contractors. WPI navigates the government procurement process for small firms and helps them develop competitive processes and technical capabilities to earn federal, state and local government contracts. In FY22, WPI engaged with 886 unique companies, helping them obtain more than $726 million in contracts, resulting in 23 jobs created and 948 retained.


WEDC financially supports three statewide diverse chambers of commerce and their affiliated entities:

    • African American Chamber of Commerce – Madison Black Chamber; Wisconsin Black Chamber
    • First American Capital Corporation/American Indian Chamber of Commerce – Wisconsin Indian Business Alliance; Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County
    • Hmong Chamber of Commerce – Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance; Latino Entrepreneurial Network, Latino Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Wisconsin

In FY22, a total of 74 loans were processed by the chambers, providing more than $2.25 million in funding, leveraging more than $628,000 in private and equity participation. This helped create 136 jobs and retain 119. In total, 664 businesses were supported by impactful technical assistance.


The Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity (WCMP), working through the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center, provides advisory and implementation services to small and midsize manufacturers throughout Wisconsin to implement next-generation manufacturing strategies, increase business performance and improve competitiveness and profitability through programs such as ExporTech™ and the Transformational Productivity Initiative, the outcomes of which are included within the respective program listings in this report. In FY22, WCMP reached 631 companies with services resulting in $26.3 million in cost savings, $102.5 million in new sales, $156.0 million in retained sales, $130.7 million in new investment, 628 jobs to be created and 1,487 jobs retained.


The Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) provides services delivered by staff and a statewide network of partners that includes review and analysis of business models and commercialization plans; advice concerning patent, trademark and copyright issues; and assistance to businesses in obtaining federal SBIR/STTR grants. In FY22, CTC provided counseling to 316 distinct business clients—activity expected to assist in the creation of 73 new jobs and the retention of an additional 151.

Note: In addition to this one-on-one assistance, CTC provides significant, in-depth consultation to numerous other businesses in its administration of WEDC’s Entrepreneurial Micro-grant Program, SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program, and the Ideadvance Seed Fund, which is supported through WEDC’s Capital Catalyst Program. Outcomes of those activities are included within the respective program listings in this report.


WWBIC provides small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with an array of educational programming, individual consulting and microloan assistance. In FY22, WWBIC provided 1,085 clients with impactful counseling services averaging more than seven hours per client. WWBIC’s microloan program provided more than $7.5 million in loan financing to small businesses, including 34 startups. Of the total loan amount, more than $600,000 served businesses in rural Wisconsin. WWBIC’s assistance is expected to facilitate the creation of 252 and retention of 213 positions.


The Wisconsin Technology Council (WTC) contributes to the state’s high-tech and entrepreneurial economy through its policy work, hands-on work with investors and companies, educational forums and networking events. In FY22, key WTC events—with combined attendance of 2,594 entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and others—provided select entrepreneurs with unique opportunities and training to advance their ventures. The 2022 Early Stage Symposium featured 56 young firms showcasing their companies to an audience of investors and other advisors, while the 2022 Governor’s Business Plan contest provided 51 of the 150 entrants with intensive “pitch” training and culminated in finalists presenting at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. In addition, the Wisconsin Technology Summit facilitated 220 meetings for 61 emerging companies.

Through the Wisconsin Angel Network (WAN), housed within WTC, the organization held six educational seminars for angel and venture investors throughout Wisconsin and is assisting ongoing efforts to develop additional investment groups in the state. WTC/WAN leadership assisted 56 distinct companies in navigating channels for accessing investment capital, not including support rendered through the aforementioned event-based activities.


BrightStar is a 501(c)(3)-designated nonprofit foundation that manages an equity investment fund capitalized by private donations. BrightStar invests primarily in technology-based, high-growth early-stage businesses to facilitate job creation and increase economic activity statewide. In FY22, BrightStar made four investments in startup and early-stage companies totaling $600,000.


WEDC has authorized trade representatives located in high-volume and high-growth-potential markets for Wisconsin companies. In FY22, the Global Network covered 86 countries and consisted of 4 independent contractors, 13 of which were under an umbrella contract managed by the Council of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. In FY22, the Global Network provided 73 in-country assistances and served 46 unique Wisconsin companies with WEDC export support services.