MadREP Report: March 1, 2017
MadREP joins forces with American Family Insurance to highlight Madison Region nationally

World-renowned entrepreneur and business expert Kevin Harrington doesn't just love the business world, he lives it! The Enterprises show, which is shot on location, fuses all new and original stories on some of the greatest small, medium and global businesses.

The Madison Region is the focus of Enterprises' latest episode and it wouldn't have been possible without the generous underwriting by American Family Insurance. The video features American Family and its significant contributions to the region's entrepreneurial community, and shines a spotlight on many leading companies such as Cellular Dynamics, gener8tor and Shine Medical Technologies.

The segment will air in major media markets across the United States -- stay tuned to MadREP social media to learn when it's coming to the Madison market!

Company Spotlight: JP Cullen marks 125th anniversary

2017 is an important year for JP Cullen as it marks the company's 125th anniversary. JP Cullen is a 5-generation family construction business with offices in Madison, Janesville, and Milwaukee. The company has survived the Great Depression and Great Recession. Today, JP Cullen is a $400 million construction firm with over 600 employees, specializing in pre-construction services, new construction, additions, and renovations for education, healthcare, industrial, and corporate clients. JP Cullen and their employees assist with a myriad of charitable causes, and the JP Cullen Foundation, established in 1992, has distributed more than $4.5 million in gifts, grants, and scholarships. Much has changed over the course of the company's 125 years of doing business, but the values that anchor it - dedication to personal development, family and community - never waiver.
Industry Spotlight:
Putting Greater Madison on the ICT Map

As a first step in promoting the local technology industry, MadREP is developing a new map of information communications technology (ICT) organizations. The idea came during a familiarization tour last fall when site selectors from Newmark Cornish & Carey in San Francisco, one of northern California's largest commercial real estate brokerage firms, visited Madison to get a better understanding of the local ICT industry, including companies, supporting organizations and related resources. MadREP president Paul Jadin says each of the companies on the ICT map has a story related to their decision to locate in Madison -- stories that are worth retelling to site selectors. "The map enables us to tell a very significant story about Madison and the region when it comes to our hard assets, both human and natural."

Read Part I.
Read Part II.
Community Highlight: 
City plan: Dane County responsible for over half of Wisconsin's job growth since 2001
Dane County has fueled over half the state's job growth over the last fifteen years, according to a city of Madison economic development plan. Dane County represents 9 percent of the state's population, but accounted for 56 percent of job growth between 2001 and 2015, with an increase of almost 43,000 jobs, from about 279,000 to 322,000. That's an increase of 15 percent over that time period, as compared to a 3 percent increase seen statewide. This growth, the report says, is "increasingly private-sector driven." In Madison, the private sector makes up 76 percent of the workforce. Madison also leads in business growth and construction activity. "If you compare Dane County to the rest of the state of Wisconsin, by really any economic measure, whether it's job growth or innovation or GDP or what have you, we're really driving the state's economy in a lot of ways," said Dan Kennelly, manager of the city office of business resources.

Capital Connection: 
$525,000 in state matching grants to boost 7 high-tech small businesses

Seven small high-tech businesses in Wisconsin will receive up to $75,000 each from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Advance program to commercialize their innovations. This is the eighth round of SBIR Advance funding since the program began in 2014. Since then, more than $3.6M has been awarded to 37 companies throughout the state. Those businesses reported hiring more than 150 employees and obtaining $11.5M in additional capital since receive the grants. Madison Region companies receiving funding in this round include systeMECH, Xylome, Regenerative Medical Solutions, Glucan Biorenewables, Amebagone, and C-Motive Technologies. SBIR Advance grant recipients receive Center for Technology Commercialization staff support throughout the commercialization process.

Regional Economy:
Study: Over 13,000 immigrants in Wisconsin are entrepreneurs

According to a report released by the Partnership for a New American Economy, there are 13,000 immigrant entrepreneurs in Wisconsin who are positively impacting the economy. Madison is in Wisconsin's second congressional district, which has 48,561 immigrant residents, the data found, making up 6.7 percent of the population. Among those are 1,205 immigrant entrepreneurs.
 "Entrepreneurship is an important part of the economic engine," said Dan Olszewski, director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the Wisconsin School of Business. "Almost all net job creation in last 20 years has come from companies five years old or younger," he said. MadREP president Paul Jadin agreed that foreign-born workers represent a crucial part of the economy. "We certainly see immigrants as both employees and entrepreneurs, and for that reason we can ill-afford to lose that part of our population," Jadin said.

Talent & Training:
UW-Madison Program For Future Entrepreneurs Skyrockets

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is teaching students how to become entrepreneurs, and this comes at a time when the state fares poorly in national rankings for its lack of business startups. About seven years ago, the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison opened up its program for entrepreneurs to all students on campus. Dan Olszewski, director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the business school, said last week during a downtown Madison Rotary Club meeting that enrollment has skyrocketed, with the majority of students coming from other majors. "It's still probably another 10 years before we see the real fruits of this change with these entrepreneurs and what they do," he said. "But these early results in seeing what the students have already done is quite promising."

Community Highlight:
Downtown businesses prepare for ARISE alongside city

There has been talk for years of making downtown Janesville a destination like it was decades ago, but only recently has it felt like the city was making a concentrated effort to influence change, says business owner and operator Bill Sodemann. As work begins on the ARISE plan to revamp downtown Janesville, it's not just city officials making an effort. In recent months, while the city converted Milwaukee Street to two-way traffic and tore down the parking plaza, several downtown businesses have done fa├žade, interior and other work of their own. Not only does the work make downtown Janesville more attractive in tandem with ARISE, but it helps the businesses themselves. "Part of economic development is connecting people with resources and forming these private-public partnerships, and that's really exciting to see that evolution and collaboration between all the different parties toward a shared vision," said Economic Development Coordinator Dayna Sarver.

Learn more at 
MITA: US-EU Trade Relations -- a New Era?
March 17, 11:30am-2pm
Fluno Center, Madison

Changes in trade policy on both sides of the Atlantic could disrupt supply chains and affect export opportunities. Join Madison International Trade Association at its next program to hear from two expert speakers on US-EU trade relations. Learn more.
Small Business Scholarship Program for BIO 2017
Deadline: March 24 

The BIO 2017 Business Scholarship Program enables Wisconsin companies to participate fully in the BIO 2017 Conference to be held in June 19-22 in San Diego. Awards will be based on articulated need, subject to application criteria. Learn more and apply online. 
Open for Entries:
Wisconsin YES!
Deadline: April 3, 5pm

Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, a statewide youth business plan contest modeled after the successful Governor's Business Plan Contest, is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle and high school students. Find out more.
Dane County Small Business Awards
Application Deadline: April 8

In its 35th year, the Dane County Small Business Awards celebrate small businesses and the contributions they make to our communities and economy. The 2017 awards breakfast will be held June 27. Find out more and submit your application online.
Business Succession & Retention: Employee Ownership Solutions
April 20, 9am-3pm
Landmark Services Cooperative, Cottage Grove

Business owners, economic development professionals and policy makers are invited to attend this workshop that will cover employee ownership structures, converting business to employee ownership and the resource available when selling to employees. Register online.
April 22-29, 2017
Various locations

YPWeek is a week-long platform for discovery, adventure and meaningful conversations about the issues that matter among young professionals in
Wisconsin. YPWeek brings together key leaders in the community to engage the millennial workforce and educate employers. Learn more.
View more events and opportunities at

Thank you to UW Health and to all our investors.

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