MadREP Report: September 20, 2017
Data Dive: New Interactive Business & Industrial Parks Map 
Time and again, the top criteria for companies looking to locate or expand includes the availability of buildings and sites. And oftentimes, companies want to pick a location and have it up-and-running quickly. Which is why investing in infrastructure such as business parks and preparing shovel-ready sites for development can greatly enhance a community's appeal to any company looking to make a move. 
O ver the summer, MadREP GIS Intern David Waro developed an interactive, online Business & Industrial Parks Map to showcase the Madison Region's exceptional inventory of properties, including its Certified in Wisconsin and Gold Shovel verified business and industrial parks. A great resource for economic development professionals, real estate brokers, and site location professionals alike, the map provides detailed information for each park, including available acreage, zoning, contact information, and more.
The Madison Region provides ample opportunities for companies looking to locate or expand. And now, we have a data-rich, user-friendly tool to help them find their way here. For more resources to start a business, locate or expand, visit
To ensure your community's parks are represented accurately, the data will be updated annually. Please contact MadREP SVP of Economic Development Michael Gay with any changes or additions. 

Congratulations to the 16 Madison Region companies recognized among America's fastest growing private companies on the 2017 Inc. 5000 -- representing nearly a third of Wisconsin companies named to the list.

ClearView Farwell Bluetree Network Evoke Brand Strategies
Chandra Technologies Concero Search Partners Nordic Synergy Consortium Services
ABT Water Treatment Information Technology Professionals State Collection Service Midwest Prototyping
New Glarus Brewing Co. Universal Separators Singlewire Software FabriFast

Regional Economy:
Soglin to propose Madison for Amazon HQ2 despite potential hurdles

Amazon officials announced this month that the online giant is looking for a second corporate headquarters in addition to its Seattle-area home. The company is looking for a metro area with at least one million people and well-connected transit. Mayor Paul Soglin said he thinks Madison could host Amazon's second headquarters, despite potential hurdles with the company's wishlist for its second locale. The facility will cost at least $5 billion to construct and operate and will employ as many as 50,000 workers, which make it a hot prospect for multiple U.S. cities. "If you look at the intent of what Amazon is doing, we think we can qualify," Soglin said.  
Community Highlight:
Ironworks wins state redevelopment award

Hendricks Commercial Properties has received a Redevelopment and Reuse award for the Ironworks campus redevelopment project in Beloit. The award was presented last week at the annual Community and Economic Development Awards banquet, presented by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA). The award recognizes innovative real estate redevelopment or reuse projects that demonstrate measurable and quantitative impact on employment and tax base. "We are extremely honored and humbled to have been selected for this award," said Rob Gerbitz, CEO of Hendricks Commercial Properties. "The transformation of Ironworks is a project that has been at the forefront of Diane Hendricks' vision for the continued and ongoing re-birth of this great downtown and city. It's exciting, to say the least, with more great things to come in the future. Thank you to WEDA and Rock County Economic Development for your recognition of this project."
Talent & Training:
To attract people, Wisconsin looks to transcend its cheesy reputation
Cheese. Cold winters. Packers. When people in other parts of the country think of Wisconsin, those are some of the main ideas that come to mind, according to a survey conducted last year by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. State officials counter that Wisconsin has developed far beyond its reputation as an agricultural rust belt state. Later this year WEDC plans to deploy a new strategy: A $1 million advertising campaign targeting Wisconsin alumni, millennials on social media and commuters in Chicago and northern Illinois. Braun said the Think, Make, Happen campaign marks a shift in the agency's focus from attracting businesses to attracting people. The goal is to reach out to people who aren't looking at Wisconsin for their career because they don't realize there are opportunities suited to them here.
Business Expansion:
Spectrum Brands is expanding into China
Rayovac hearing aid batteries, STP motor oil and George Foreman grills will soon be sold in China. Spectrum Brands Holdings, the Middleton consumer products company that markets those products and many others, says it has reached an agreement with a major Chinese e-commerce company,, to open a series of "flagship stores" to sell Spectrum Brands products throughout China. It is the company's first real push into China. "We are excited to enter into this strategic partnership with as it will accelerate Spectrum Brands' entrance into the world's largest e-commerce market," said Dave Albert, managing director of Asia-Pacific for Spectrum Brands. Spectrum Brands had sales of $5 billion in 2016, and employs nearly 16,000 worldwide, including 670 full-time and 30 part-time employees in Middleton.

Startup Scene:
Willy Street Co-op launches small biz incubator

Willy Street Co-op launched its first Retail Ready Lab this month. The program helps guide local small businesses as they work to get their products on retail shelves by holding one-on-one meetings, displaying their products in its stores, and setting up live vendor demonstrations. Participants in the Retail Ready Lab are able to get customer feedback on their products, and a Willy Street Co-op spokesperson said if reviews are positive enough vendors might even earn a permanent spot on co-op shelves. Plans are in the works to continue the program with one to three vendors each month, and the co-op is taking applications from local vendors interested in participating. 
Community Highlight:
GM plant buyer ID'd
Almost a decade after General Motors shuttered its mammoth assembly plant in Janesville, news comes that the sale of the plant could be imminent. The city announced last week that Commercial Development Company, a St. Louis industrial property redeveloper, has a contract to buy the property from GM, and it could close on the sale by the end of the year. A 75-day due diligence period started Sept. 1 for the company to learn more about the plant and its redevelopment prospects. The announcement means the 4.8 million-square-foot auto plant on 300 acres on the city's south side could go to a buyer that could renovate or redevelop it. "We're very excited," City Manager Mark Freitag said. "The community has been anxiously waiting for about nine months (to learn more about the GM plant's future). Well, actually, call it nine years."
WEDC Global Trade Mission: Tel Aviv, Israel
Registration Deadline: September 22

WEDC will lead a global trade mission to Israel from Oct 26 to Nov 3, with the goal of helping Wisconsin companies forge profitable ties with Israeli partners. Learn more and register by 9/22.

Governor's Small Business Summit
September 26, 8-4pm
Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center, Rothschild 
This summit will bring cabinet secretaries and state agencies together with small business owner, entrepreneurs, and innovators to exchanges ideas and information. Find out more. 
WEDA 2017 Fall Conference
September 27-29
The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association's Fall Conference will use a new format to receive input on aligning workforce and economic development strategies and policies. Register by 9/22.

Call for Applications: Pitch at Early Stage Symposium
Deadline: September 29, 5pm

Applications are now being accepted from young companies that want to tell  
their stories to investors at the annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium to be held Nov. 15-16 in Madison. Find out more.
Applications Open: Madworks Fall 2017
Deadline: October 1

Madworks seed accelerator is now accepting applications for its Fall 2017 cohort. The 10-week program offers early-stage startups with tailored mentorship on commercializing a product and/or service. Learn more and apply online.
Wisconsin Innovation Awards
October 4, 5-8pm
Wisconsin Memorial Union, Madison

The Wisconsin Innovation Awards seek to celebrate and inspire innovation by highlighting and honoring the development of groundbreaking and innovative ideas. Get your tickets online.
View more events and opportunities at

Thank you to BMO Harris Bank and to all of our investors. 


Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Find us on Pinterest   View our videos on YouTube   View our profile on LinkedIn