MadREP Report: August 9, 2017
Foreign Direct Investment: International Companies Take a Shine to the Madison Region

Foreign direct investment (FDI) plays a critical role in the nation's economy -- accounting for 6.4 million direct jobs, $57 billion in R&D expenditures, and 26% of all goods exports from the U.S. In the state of Wisconsin, that's 90,000 jobs directly supported by foreign-owned companies.

MadREP's international efforts include promoting, facilitating, and attracting FDI to the eight-county region. Last month, MadREP SVP of Economic Development Michael Gay attended the annual conference of SelectUSA -- a program of the International Trade Administration -- where he gained new insights and formed relationships to help the region tap into FDI opportunities.

The Little Potato Company facility in DeForest
Angela Santiago, CEO, The Little Potato Company
FDI is at work locally, with The Little Potato Company of Edmonton, Canada recently celebrating the grand opening of its first U.S. facility in the Village of DeForest. The Little Potato Company is a world leader in unique, specialty Creamer potatoes, carried by leading retailers/grocers across the U.S. The 130,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art production facility currently employs 100 workers, and represents a more than $20 million investment. Canada is Wisconsin's top export market, and the nation's 2nd largest source of FDI. The company chose the Madison Region because of its rich soils, dedicated growers, and the convenience of a shovel-ready site in the DeForest Business Park.

"The Little Potato Company is a great example of the close cooperation between our countries," said Consul General of Canada John Cruickshank, who attended the grand opening. "Everybody benefits when we invest in bringing great products across our border."

MadREP continuously fosters international opportunities and partnerships for the Madison Region, and is currently responding to four additional FDI prospects considering a location here.

For more information on MadREP's international initiatives, contact Michael Gay at 608.571.0402.

Recent national rankings highlight the Madison Region as a growing hub for tech. Madison tops CBRE's list of Tech Momentum Markets with the largest tech talent growth from 2015-2016. In its 13th annual rankings reportBusiness Facilities -- a national site selection publication -- ranked Madison #2 for Stem Jobs Growth Potential and #4 for Biotech Specialization.
Business Expansion:
Foxconn discussion on Capital City Sunday

Last week's edition of WKOW's Capital City Sunday featured a discussion about the $10 billion investment Foxconn is making in Wisconsin. Paul Jadin, President of the Madison Region Economic Partnership, and UW-Madison School of Business Professor Hart Posen talked about the impact a new plant with up to 13,000 jobs could have on the state's economy.
Startup Scene:
Animators open first-of-its-kind mo-cap studio in Mount Horeb

Mad Marker Studios, a new video production company in Mount Horeb is striving to make a name for itself as the sole independent studio in the Midwest doing motion capture (mo-cap). Mo-cap is the animation technique that brought the world characters like Gollum from "Lord of the Rings," and it's also behind almost every 3D video game franchise with humanoid characters, from "Halo" to "Grand Theft Auto." Studio president and company founder Bobby Duncanson's background includes being in charge of Raven Software's motion capture system and heading the game design program at Madison Media Institute (MMI). No other independent Midwestern studios have a business model focused on for-hire mo-cap services, said Duncanson. The Mad Marker team has already landed contracts for animation and 3D-modeling work for other video game companies. The ultimate goal, said Duncanson, is to make enough money through mo-cap to finance the making of a video game of their own.

Read more.

Company Spotlight:
Sustainability a driver in Ho-Chunk's Madison expansion plans

The Ho-Chunk Nation's connection to the land is a core part of its heritage and it's perfectly aligned with their interest in sustainability. That interest will be reflected in their plans to expand in Madison, according to Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison employees who recently spoke during the quarterly breakfast of Sustain Dane's Sustainable Business Network. Ho-Chunk Nation has amended its constitution to include a Bill of Rights for Nature, which will guide its future plans. "Environmental stewardship is a way of life for Ho-Chunk," notes Missy Tracy, municipal relations coordinator for Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison. Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison officials hope to expand while controlling their carbon footprint. A master plan is still under development, but the project could include an expansion of the gaming floor and the development of 48 adjacent acres with a sports complex, an entertainment venue, additional restaurants, and a 150-room hotel.

Read more.

Regional Economy:
CrossFit Games had at least $7.2M impact on the Madison area, officials estimate
The Reebok CrossFit Games drew a sizable chunk of tourism to Madison, marking the first time the event has been held outside California in its 10-year history. Jamie Patrick, vice president of the Madison Area Sports Commission with the the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the games yielded an estimated $7.2 million in "direct spending," money that consumers in town spent on the event itself or on things like gas, food and lodging in the area. Mark Clarke, Alliant Energy Center's executive director, said the event's organizers transformed the campus with temporary infrastructure like a new 7,000-seat capacity outdoor arena. Patrick said that the versatility of the space was a big reason why his pitch to the CrossFit Games organizers to bring the event to town was successful.

Read more.

Community Highlight:
Hendricks featured in New York Times

Beloit's continued revitalization and billionaire Diane Hendricks were featured Sunday in The New York Times, with a lengthy feature on the increasing number of start-up companies flocking to the city at the Ironworks campus. The story covers Beloit's struggles in the early 2000's and Hendricks' plan to acquire and renovate major properties, from the former Beloit Corporation complex to the former Beloit Country Club. Working to woo tech-oriented businesses to the Ironworks campus, which is the renovated Beloit Corp. facility, the campus now sees around 1,000 workers at the myriad of companies working out of its new-age offices. The article fields input from companies at the campus including Comply365, AccuLynx, Ebates, and gener8tor on the tech renaissance happening in Beloit. 
Business Expansion: 
SHINE starts construction of the first building in its Janesville campus
SHINE Medical Technologies broke ground this week on the first building on its new campus in the Janesville area. Building One will house SHINE's first fully integrated production system for molybdenum-99, a radioactive isotope, which is used in millions of medical imaging scans for cancer and heart problems each year. "We couldn't be more thrilled" to start construction, said SHINE vice president of business development Katrina Pitas. Pitas said SHINE's campus eventually will consist of four or five buildings. Building One will be 11,000 square feet, most of it laboratory space, and will be used for technology development, equipment testing and employee training. SHINE has 57 employees and expects to employ about 150 when manufacturing begins.
WWBIC 30th Anniversary Statewide Reception
August 15, 4-5:30pm
Wisconsin State Capitol

WWBIC celebrates 30 years of impact supporting those who start, strengthen or grow small business in our state. Meet WWBIC's team and enjoy food and beverages from several Wisconsin small business clients. RSVP here.
Applications Being Accepted for FaB Wisconsin
Deadline: August 16, 5pm

FaBcap is a business and finance program designed to build the capacity and capitalization of growing food and beverage companies. Ten companies are selected to participate in the one-year accelerator. Apply for the class of 2017-2018  here .

The Forward Festival
August 17-24
Various locations, Madison

Join fellow entrepreneurs, nerds, geeks, hackers, foodies, and creatives from the Midwest in an 8-day celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship. In conjunction with Forward Fest, Wisconsin Games Alliance will host its quarterly social on 8/21. View the full calendar of events
MITA Summer Social
August 17, 4:30-7pm
5614 Schroeder Road, Madison

Madison International Trade Association will host its Summer Social on 8/17 at Babe's Bar and Grill. Join your peers for a toast to summer. 
Find out more.
WWBIC: Steps to Start a Food Business
August 19, 9-11:30am
2300 S. Park Street, Madison

Find out what steps you need to take to get your food business started. You will learn about licensing, permits, obtain an understanding of insurance, and secure an outline of steps to accomplish before you open. Register online.
UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations: 2017 Business Engagement Day on Campus
August 23

Take this opportunity to connect with UW-Madison business engagement teams along with companies already deploying UW resources. Explore the current agenda and register online by 8/16.
View more events and opportunities at

Thank you to UW Health and all of our investors.


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