MadREP Report: April 19, 2018
Nearly 300 Companies attend Foxconn Informational Sessions in the Region

MadREP was pleased to play host last week to nearly 300 companies from the eight-county region and beyond, who learned how they could play a role in the $10 billion Foxconn project in Racine County. 

Companies that had an interest in becoming a vendor, subcontractor, supplier or service provider gathered at Madison Area and Blackhawk Technical Colleges to hear from representatives of General Contractor, M&W Gilbane and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) about how to get registered, what the status of the project was and how the company will be encouraging participation of disadvantaged, minority and women-owned enterprises.

Foxconn has an obligation to do $1.4 billion in business with suppliers in Wisconsin. Companies from our region should be able to benefit from that but need to make sure they are registered with M&W Gilbane at and with the Supply Chain Marketplace. MadREP engaged with New North, the WEDC and four other state partner regions in 2017 to build a statewide supply chain database and that site,, is now populated with 114 companies in the region. 

The last site that is important to interested companies is This site will provide you with general news and project updates, including public infrastructure bid notifications that may be forthcoming. It is necessary for companies to register for each site to ensure that the correct information is captured to receive project updates. As always, you may also contact us at MadREP if you have any questions.   Paul Jadin: (608) 571-0401 


REGISTER TODAY! Early bird pricing extended to April 30.
View more information and register online at .
Early Bird Rates (by April 30): $199 Standard | $99 Government/Nonprofit rate
After April 30: $249 Standard | $119 Government/Nonprofit rate
All rates include full Summit & Luncheon.  Sponsorship and group rate benefits  are also available.


Special thanks to our co-presenting sponsors: 

Innovation & Entrepreneurship:  
New owners of The Mercantile hold 'big vision' for Portage cooperative 
What better way to show appreciation for The Mercantile's past than invest in its future? "It's a cornerstone of downtown Portage," said Tracy Cooper, who along with her daughter, Olivia Fuqua, purchased the cooperative's building from Mila Stahl in February. "We didn't want one of the more iconic pieces of Portage to go away," Fuqua said of The Mercantile, which is located on East Cook Street and involves 11 businesses.

Infrastructure Development:   
IN DEPTH: Counties want long-term solution to Wisconsin's infrastructure crisis

Merrimac resident Dean Voeks has a choice where he spends his money: Baraboo, Lodi or the Sauk Prairie area. But because of the condition of State Highway 78 between Merrimac and Prairie du Sac, the Sauk Prairie area isn't typically high on his list. 
"If I have a choice, I won't drive it," Voeks said. "Now that the ferry is running again, I'll take the ferry and use 60 instead. It's a lot less bouncy and hard on my vehicle."

Economic Development: 
New economic development specialist introduced to Dodgeville city council
The Dodgeville City Council members were introduced to the new Economic Development Specialist last Wednesday. Steve Genoway officially started in the position March 12, and presented an expanded work plan to the council members. He stated that he looks forward to meeting everyone. All city council members welcomed Genoway.
  Read More 

Real Estate Development:
Cambridge rebounds with upscale housing, new and expanded businesses and an eye on more tourism
Major road construction projects in 1998 and 2004 did this village no favors.  The Great Recession from late 2007 to June 2009 didn't help either. Restaurants and retail shops have come and gone while bus tours haven't been the norm here for well over 15 years.  But there is new energy in Cambridge that could once again make this village - that touts former NASCAR star Matt Kenseth, Lake Ripley and the historic charm of its downtown - a bustling hub for shoppers and tourists.

  Read More 

New Business Development: 
Janesville, Beloit get special "Economic Opportunity Zones"
The areas surrounding the former General Motors plant in Janesville, most of Janesville's downtown and a south-side industrial park could get a boost from an economic development tool created under the American Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This week, Gov. Scott Walker's office announced the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved three federal census tracts in Janesville the state had recommended for designation as economic opportunity zones.


New Partnerships:  
Playing in the big leagues: Madison game developers team with high-flying partners
PerBlue and Disney combined forces to create "Disney Heroes: Battle Mode," a mobile role-playing game that teams Disney and Pixar characters to save the world from an evil internet virus. "We're excited to be working with some of the most recognizable characters and brands in the world and to bring them together in the new universe we've created," PerBlue CEO and co-founder Justin Beck said.
Workforce Development:
Workers, Housing Scarce In Some Parts Of State

Wisconsin's low unemployment and lack of housing in some areas has made it harder for companies to hire workers - and it's a concern for some local economic development groups.  In recent years officials in eight south-central Wisconsin counties that are part of Madison Region Economic Partnership, or  MadREP,  have been concerned future economic growth could be stymied unless they can find talent. And workers need somewhere to live, preferably close by.

Infrastructure Development:
New broadband expansion grants announced

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has awarded the biggest round of broadband expansion grants in state history, boosting access for an estimated 1,600 businesses.  According to a release from Gov. Scott Walker's office, $7.68 million in total preliminary awards is being matched with over $19 million in private funds. In all, 46 grants are going toward improving high-speed internet access for 1,600 business locations and 18,000 residences. 
Lunch & Learn: Meet our Entrepreneurs in Residence, April 23

Come and meet our Entrepreneurs in Residence - Deb Biddle and Araceli Esparza.

Eat FREE pizza, meet the EIRs and spend some time de-stressing from the end of the semester deadlines.

Madison College - South
2238 South Park Street
Student Lounge
Madison, WI 53713

Dairy Exchange Meeting, April 23

Hosted by DATCP, The Dairy Exchange covers topics of interest to the Wisconsin Dairy Industry. 

This months' featured speaker is Chad Vincent, CEO of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.  

Chad will provide insights into programs of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing and changes within the organization.

Forward Tech Conference Call for Proposals, April 30

The Forward Tech Conference is the cornerstone event of the Forward Festival, this year happening on August 21, 2018 at Memorial Union in Madison. 

They are looking for speaker, panelist and workshop proposals on topics like entrepreneurship/business, technical/development, design and/or design thinking, emerging ideas/emerging tech, or other topics. 

Proposals will be accepted until April 30, 2018.
Simple Steps to Reduce Manufacturing Energy Cost May 1

This meeting is geared for owners, executives, and key decision makers of small-mid size manufacturers engaged in select regionally common industries. 

This meeting will address key energy saving process technologies (see below) and includes an expert panel recruited by the
Industrial Energy Efficiency Working Group to assist with application, resource, and funding questions.

Spring Tech Kickoff, May 2

Technology, business, entrepreneurship, and startups in Madison have another great year ahead. 

To celebrate and get in high gear for an eventful summer, Capital Entrepreneurs, Horizon Coworking, and the Forward Festival invite our community and its supporters to the 6th Annual Spring Tech Kickoff!
Madison Nonprofit Day Conference Call for Proposals, May 5

The "Call for Proposals" has been extended. You now have an additional week to submit your pre-conference and conference workshops, panels, flash session ideas. New and experienced presenters are welcome. 

The Madison Nonprofit Day Conference is looking for dynamic, knowledgeable, and engaging individuals to present- that could be you. So submit one or more ideas.

Thank you to John Deere and to all of our investors.

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