MadREP Report: May 17, 2017
Summit in Review: 500+ made the connection with economic development and diversity

Thank you to the 500+ business and community leaders who joined us last week at the fourth annual Economic Development and Diversity Summit, an event held in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Madison. The day-long event was packed with important conversations about how to embrace diversity as we grow our workforce, communities, and businesses.

Stellar speakers and breakout sessions engaged the crowd throughout the day, and included the following insights and takeaways.
  • "Firms that are innovative tend to be more diverse, they thrive on challenging the status quo."
    - Steven Deller
  • "Cultivate an awesome workplace. Put out the welcome mat to potential diversity candidates."
    - Tiffany Jana
  • "Remember the humanity of those you work with and you will be more profitable." - Tiffany Jana
  • "Ask employees why they like to work for you and share that as part of your recruiting process."
    - Kathy George
  • "Let us not do next week what we did last week." - Mark Richardson
We shared the 2017 State of the Madison Region Report as well as the fourth issue of the Madison Region Economic Development Guide at the Summit, and unveiled the results of the 2017 Workplace Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) survey -- an annual effort to measure, recognize, improve and promote workplace D&I practices.

If you missed it, check out the conversation on twitter at #madsummit as well as photos from the day. We are grateful to everyone who helped make this continued collaboration a success. And, don't forget to save the date for next year: May 16, 2018.

A special thanks to our emcee, Mark Richardson of GigBlender.
Event Highlight: In Business Think Tank
May 24, 8:30am-4:30pm | Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Madison

To continue the conversation on diversity and its impact on business, you may be interested in attending In Business magazine's inaugural Think Tank event on the changing corporate culture. Diversity and inclusion will be one of the key topics as local business experts and top-level professionals share insightful presentations and lead thought-provoking discussions on the changing corporate culture and how leading strategic change in a company's culture ultimately increases the bottom line. This day-long business event is geared toward professionals with a VP-level title or higher, or those who are in the HR profession.

More information on the discussion sessions and speakers can be found at Tickets are $199 each, but you can save $100 with code MADREP. Registration is closing today -- so get your ticket now!

Talent & Training:
UW-Madison, Edgewood College Join Madison College in Partnering with Madison Schools on Personalized Pathways

The UW-Madison and Edgewood College are signing on as anchor partners in the Madison School District's Personalized Pathways program. They join Madison College as the district's higher education partners who help to support and inform the effort. Madison's Personalized Pathways program is designed for students to experience a combination of what is working best in Madison schools -- close-knit communities, academic goal-setting, challenging and relevant coursework, interdisciplinary projects and exploration of college and career options. This fall, nearly 500 freshman will enter the district's first pathway. "We are so grateful to have both the UW-Madison and Edgewood College as our partners. We believe that personalized pathways will both help more students graduate from high school and better prepare all students for their future," said Superintendent Jen Cheatham. Having the UW, Edgewood and Madison College as partners in this work will be crucial in making the program successful for all students."
Read more.   

Industry Spotlight:
Wisconsin Still Leading the Nation in Dairy Product Output

New figures have confirmed that the Dairy State put out more cheese and other dairy products than any other state during the past calendar year. According to the National Ag Statistics Service, Wisconsin produced an all-time high of 3.23 billion pounds of cheese varieties in 2016. That was more than the previous record of 3.07 billion pounds set in 2015. There were 128 dairy plants in production during 2016, up by one from the previous year. The report shows that total production of American, Cheddar, Italian, Mozzarella, Swiss and other types of variety cheeses were all up last year in Wisconsin, while Muenster output fell. Total U.S. cheese production was 12.2 billion pounds, about 2.8 percent above 2015 production levels. Wisconsin accounted for 26.6 percent of the nation's production.

Business Expansion:
Sector67 hackerspace prepares to expand

Sector67 is Madison's first and friendliest hackerspace, where humans of all ages show up to hone their hobbies, experiment, invent and, best of all, learn, share and have fun. Every day, night and weekend, it's a warm and welcoming beehive of activity -- a robotics class, a kids' computer camp, a Lego league, 3-D printers whirring, machines buzzing and sawing, keyboards tapping and the front door opening and closing in a steady stream of coming and going. Sector67's upcoming move to bigger digs a few blocks from its current location is a promising sign of high times for the nonprofit as well as for the up-trending Schenk-Atwood neighborhood. The new building -- stone's throw from the bustling Goodman Community Center -- will eventually double Sector's footprint and dramatically increase the programming and activities inside. Founder Chris Meyer is nearing his fundraising goal of $750,000 for the build-out, and the move will take place in early to mid-2018.

Read more.                    
Regional Economy:
MarketReady program offers aid to potential vendors of Public Market

The opening of a public market in Madison is still more than two years away but a program to encourage entrepreneurial minorities, veterans, low income residents and members of the LGBTQ communities to be part of the market has been launched by the city. Thirty people will be accepted into the MarketReady program that offers consulting services, referrals to financing, mentoring opportunities with other small business owners and micro-financing. Fifteen of the 30 members will also receive $3,500 grants to help with training and small start-up costs. Five of those 15 program members will also be awarded $14,000 at the end of the two-year program to aid in build-out costs for a space at the market, planned for the corner of East Washington Avenue and First Street. "Our program is specifically geared at under represented business owners. We've had so many people contacting us and showing interest in the program," said  Abha Thakkar, executive director of the Northside Planning Council, which is administering the MarketReady program. Applications to enter the MarketReady program are due by July 1st.

Regional Economy:
Canadian general consul comes to Madison, emphasizes the importance of trade

John Cruickshank, Canada's general consul in the upper midwest, made a trip this week from Chicago to Madison to emphasize the importance of trade between Wisconsin and its biggest trading partner to the north. "Having that relationship makes us better in Canada; I think it makes lives better in Wisconsin," he told "So it's something that's valuable, that's historic, and something that should not be just preserved, but we want to encourage more investment on both sides of the border." The state exports $6.6 billion in goods to Canada each year; 17 percent of that number comes from agriculture. And Wisconsin exports more goods to Canada than to its next four largest foreign markets combined.

Regional Economy:
Wisconsin a top 10 state for business, CEOs say

The nation's top business executives have put Wisconsin in the top 10 states in which to do business. Chief Executive magazine polled over 500 CEOs in ranking states for the 13th year and released the rankings on Tuesday. Wisconsin is 10 on the list, making a steady climb from 17 over the past five years. The top business states are (from 1 to 10) Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin. The survey looked at different factors to get the results, including workforce quality, living environment, taxes and regulations and business incentives, and also broke it down by industries, including health care, manufacturing, technology and retail. Wisconsin ranked 14 in workforce quality, 15 in living environment and 26 in taxes and regulations, but did better in industrial rankings, coming in at 6 in health care, 7 in manufacturing and 8 in retail.

MarketReady Information Session
May 21, June 6
Various Sites, Madison

MarketReady -- a program for entrepreneurs interested in becoming Madison Public Market vendors -- will host in-person information sessions at various community sites to answer questions about the program and application process. Learn more and contact Ian Aley at 608.204.7029 for more info.
WIN Luncheon: Gig Economy
May 23, 11:30am-1:30pm
Sheraton Hotel, Madison

Learn how the gig economy is changing traditional business models at the May 23 Tech Council Innovation Network luncheon meeting. Tech Council President Tom Still will moderate a panel on trends such as regulation, competition and how contingent works are changing the hiring process. Find out more.
Bionetwork Power Hour With a Purpose
May 25, 4-6:30pm
510 Charmany Drive, Madison

A free networking event for biotechnology professionals of all levels to meet others in their profession and exchange ideas, all employees that work for biotech, life science, medical device or a biotech related supply/service industry are encouraged to attend. View the event flyer.
Cultural Competence Training
June 1

The Davis Group offers local businesses and organizations the opportunity for their employees and leadership to attend cultural competence training that is positive, interactive, and focused on solutions. Each half-day session will have up to 30 participants. View the event flyer and contact Stan Davis at 608.469.7208 for more info.
Doyenne Group 5x5x5 
Application Deadline: June 4 
Applications are being accepted for Doyenne's fourth annual 5x5x5 event. As Doyenne's signature event, 5x5x5 provides five women-led businesses each with five minutes to pitch their business to a panel with the goal of securing a $5K seed grant to grow their business. Learn more.
Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference
June 6-7
Union South, Madison

This two-day conference is one of the Midwest's premiere "how-to," hands-on events for entrepreneurs of all ages and experience levels. Attendees range from 'treps who are still developing their ideas to emerging company leaders who have already attracted angel and/or venture funding. Register online.
View more events and opportunities at

Thank you to Unity Point Health-Meriter and all of our investors.


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