MadREP Report: November 9, 2016
Promoting the Madison Region Abroad at Sixth Americas Competitiveness Exchange

After hosting ACE III and representing the Madison Region at ACE IV in Argentina, MadREP President Paul Jadin and Senior VP of Economic Development Michael Gay had the opportunity to connect and reconnect with economic and political decision makers from 24 countries across the Americas and beyond who came together for a five-day tour of Ontario, Canada for the Sixth Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE VI) on Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

The ACE program showcases successful examples of innovation, trade, and partnerships that contribute to economic development locally and abroad. The group of Ontario regions that hosted ACE VI featured the economic and high tech powerhouse of Toronto; industry strengths of agriculture and advanced manufacturing in Niagara and Hamilton, respectively; and Waterloo-Kitchener -- known as the "Silicon Valley of the North" -- home to over 1,000 technology firms and 600 active startups.

Mike Lazaridis,
Founder of Blackberry

In addition to great tours of technology spaces across the region including Vineland Research & Innovation Centre, JLabs, Quantum Valley Investments, Velocity and MaRS, ACE VI provided eye-opening exposure to a northern climate region with remarkable similarities to our eight-counties. While Madison is home to the world renowned UW-Madison, the University of Toronto is the largest university in Canada. Both regions possess similar industry strengths, particularly in agriculture and IT. And while UW-Madison is the birthplace of scientific discoveries that have transformed the world, the University of Waterloo is doing the same in quantum computing and quantum mechanics.

The possibilities for industry collaboration and international trade abound, as do talent development insights from Canada's tech-based cooperative education programs developed in partnership with industry at the University of Waterloo. These programs combine academic studies with extensive work experience, allowing students to graduate with two years of relevant work experience under their belt.  In Waterloo-Kitchener alone, 24,000 of the 65,000 regional post-secondary students are enrolled in cooperative education programs.

MadREP continues to foster international opportunities and partnerships for the Madison Region, and we are eager to build on the new insights and relationships formed during ACE VI.

For more information on MadREP's international initiatives, contact Michael Gay at 608.571.0402.
Fo urth Annual Madison Region Economic Development Guide
Showcasing the best of the Madison Region's people, places and positive business climate, the Madison Region Economic Development Guide reinforces the area's favorable quality of life while also targeting prospective residents, employees, businesses, and visitors. The fourth annual issue and its companion website will launch in Spring 2017, and we invite you to join us in this important effort.

For more information on becoming a part of the Madison Region Economic Development Guide, email or call 800.333.8842 ext. 292.

Startup Scene: 
Presenting startups chosen for Early Stage Symposium
Of the 28 young businesses chosen to strut their stuff at the 2016 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium next week, 16 are from Dane County -- including Insulete, Pilot Training System, and oneEvent Technologies. A dozen other companies were also chosen from around Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri from nearly 90 companies that applied. Half of the 28 startups selected are in some form of healthcare or health technology. Each business will have five minutes to make a presentation about its goods or services on November 16. The following day will feature 90 second pitches from another 22 companies at an earlier stage in their development. 
Talent & Training: 
Nearly 1,000 students attend career fair at Portage High School

Nearly 1,000 students from the five school districts of Portage, Cambria-Friesland, Pardeeville, Poynette, and Lodi recently attended a career fair at Portage High School, a partnership between the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce and Columbia County Economic Development Corporation. The every-other year program also takes students on tours of area businesses. "We want students to realize what actually goes on in the communities they live in," said Chamber executive director Marianne Hanson. "We know the youth are the next people to be running businesses -- the entrepreneurs and those working at businesses -- so here's our chance to get them exposed to what's going on here." The career fair also gives students real world experiences with real world businesses, a better understanding of the courses they'll need to enter a career field, and how shortages have opened up more entry level opportunities than ever before.

Company Profile:
Madison's Hovde thinks big and bold

Great cities need bold signatures and Eric Hovde's 10-story LED art installation on the face of the former telephone company building at 316 W. Washington Avenue in downtown Madison is the kind of bold thinking that will keep people buzzing for weeks. Madison's signature, of course, will always be the State Capitol. But oftentimes public art and buildings emerge from too many subcommittee meetings and public hearings that the originality has been squeezed out them. By contrast, the stunning Monona Terrace is a daring leap of imagination that jump-started downtown Madison's revival, followed up by the architectural success of the Overture Center, and unlocking the potential of East Washington Avenue.

Regional Economy:
Lorrie Heinemann to lead Madison Development Corp.

Lorrie Heinemann will take over as president of the Madison Development Corp. (MDC) in January 2017, succeeding Frank Staniszewski, who will retire after heading the organization since 1985. MDC was established in 1977 as a quasi-public economic development organization, providing loans and venture capital to young, local businesses. Since its creation, MDC has issued loans totaling more than $20M to more than 350 local businesses. Former secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Services, Heinemann is a member of the Wisconsin Technology Council's board of directors and co-founder of the Wisconsin Angel Network. She recently served as vice president of Brightstar Wisconsin Foundation.

Read more. 

Capital Connection:
WARF announces annual grant figures

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is reinvesting in the future of UW-Madison. The nonprofit foundation that patents and commercializes campus inventions has granted the university $85M for the 2016-2017 academic year. The total includes $13.6M for faculty recruitment and retention; $3.6M for new research initiatives; $13M for graduate student support; and just over $1M to support UW's Discovery to Product program designed to nurture business startups as well as the campus's law and business entrepreneurship clinics. "WARF's primary purpose is to promote, encourage, and aid scientific investigation and research by UW-Madison's faculty, staff, and students," says WARF Managing Director Eric Iverson. "Those investments benefit the UW-Madison and, by extension, are an investment in our great state of Wisconsin." 

Business Expansion: 
Vita Plus in Columbus plans to relocate to new 38-acre site

Vita Plus in Columbus should have plenty of room to expand in the near future. The employee-owned animal feed manufacturer is making plans to move its local facility to a new 38-acre site in the town of Columbus adjacent to a City of Columbus' Tax Incremental District. The Columbus City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with Vita Plus last week that lays out plans for the city to annex the property and amend the TIF to include the new parcel, allowing the business to reap benefits that come with being part of the district. "We're excited that they're looking to make an investment in a new facility in Columbus," said Economic Development Director Dave Carlson. "In addition to a retention of jobs, this also reflects an investment in the community and increased commitment to the community going forward." Headquartered in Madison, Vita Plus has operated in Columbus since the 1970s.

Evansville Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club
November 10, 6:30pm
102 Maple Street, Evansville

Meet fellow inventors and entrepreneurs at the upcoming meeting of the Evansville I&E Club. Find out what's going on, who's doing what, and maybe share a little advice, too. Find out more.
Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium
November 16-17
Monona Terrace, Madison

Join the Wisconsin Technology Council for the 2016 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, where an anticipated 600 attendees will offer opportunities for companies to interact with angel and venture investors from WI and beyond. Find out more.
Call for Applications: Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award (MOTY)
Deadline: November 18

Manufacturing is the engine that drives the Wisconsin economy. In its 29th year, the Wisconsin MOTY Award program recognizes excellence in manufacturing. Winners will be revealed at the awards banquet in February 2017. Learn more.
Economic Development Forum
November 21, 11:30am-1pm
Fluno Center, Madison

Join the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for key insights on how the regional economy is performing, particularly in Wisconsin. View the agenda and register online.
It's more than a desk: Co-working Trends
November 22, 11:30am-1pm
Sheraton Hotel Madison

The topic of the next Wisconsin Innovation Network luncheon will be trends in co-working and collaborative spaces, featuring panelists from 100state, Cresa, Matrix, and Horizon Coworking. Learn more.
2016 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum
December 4-6
Intercontinental Hotel, Chicago

Join the Mid-America Economic Development Council (MAEDC) for the 2016 Mid-America Competitiveness and Site Selector Forum -- a chance to network with other economic development professionals and site selectors. Register today.

Thanks to Meriter/Unity Point Health and to all of our investors

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