MadREP Report: June 28, 2018
Wisconsin Games Alliance Moves into New Digs at StartingBlock

WGA's new home at StartingBlock in the heart of downtown Madison

This week the Wisconsin Games Alliance (WGA) moved into their new office space at StartingBlock in Madison. This new facility provides WGA with a base of operations for administrative activities, events, and collaboration in a central location in the heart of downtown Madison.

WGA has access to an unparalleled amount of flexible and technologically advanced space at StartingBlock, which will allow them to expand and tailor programming to fit the needs of their members. Some prospective programs include:
  • Incubation for game development startups
  • Workshops, classes, and lectures for professional development and continuing education
  • Meetups and social events for game developers
Being physically located at StartingBlock puts WGA and the Wisconsin game development industry in direct contact with many tech-oriented organizations and businesses daily. 

"StartingBlock appears to be everything that we had envisioned and more and, in that space, the WGA will find just the collisions and synergy it needs to continue its momentum," said Paul Jadin, president of MadREP (which developed the Wisconsin Games Alliance).

StartingBlock and the other organizations housed there provide a wide range of support services to the WGA and its members including talent recruiting, mentorship and printing. Additionally, the team at WGA is very vocal about their appreciation for the free coffee!

Keynote Speaker,  Tommy Palm, of Candy Crush Saga Fame at M+Dev 2017
Second Annual M+DEV Conference to be held in Madison

The Wisconsin Games Alliance (WGA), in cooperation with the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP), is following up on the success of its 2017 event with the second annual M+Dev Conference in the Madison Region on October 19. To be held at the Alliant Energy Center, the conference expects to attract more than 500 engineers, designers, and coders from across the Midwest. Early bird tickets will be available until August 1 and can be purchased at

"With the success of our inaugural conference and the rapid progress the WGA has made in the months since, we are excited to showcase the achievements of our members, companies, and organization at M+Dev 2018," said Tyler Krucas, executive director at the Wisconsin Games Alliance.
2017's inaugural game developers conference provided an experience our 400+ attendees could find nowhere else in the Midwest. The conference offered the first real opportunity for much of the industry to come together in one place, creating a unique and effective networking experience.

MadREP in the News:   
Diversity and inclusion done right is a push for social justice, argues Zendesk leader

It's increasingly common for businesses to start diversity and inclusion initiatives in their workplace. But Khalida Ali, a diversity and inclusion specialist, says "D&I" cannot be treated like a trend.
"It cheapens the efforts of bringing others to the fold when we merely view diversity and inclusion as a buzzword," Ali told a couple dozen people at a presentation at the Madison Concourse Hotel on Thursday.

GE Healthcare to be spun off as standalone company
GE Healthcare will spin off into a standalone company over the next 12 to 18 months, its parent company General Electric Co. announced Tuesday.
The Chicago-based medical technologies and services General Electric subsidiary has about 6,000 employees in Wisconsin, with significant operations in Waukesha and locations in Milwaukee, Oak Creek, West Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, and a plant in Madison. It provides medical imaging, monitoring, biomanufacturing and cell therapy technology.

Life Sciences:
Roche Molecular Systems facility in Madison to close, 79 to be laid off
Roche Molecular Systems will close its Madison facility and lay off 79 employees over the next two years, according to the state Department of Workforce Development.
The layoffs for the facility at 500 S. Rosa Road will begin at the end of the year and end at the end of June 2020.
The layoffs will be permanent, the California-based diagnostics company said in its notice to the department, and employees do not have bumping or recall rights. None of the employees are covered in collective bargaining.

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Agriculture, Food & Beverage
Governor Walker Announces $200,000 Grant to the Center for Dairy Research to Support Entrepreneurship Program
Governor Scott Walker [recently] visited the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to award the center with a $200,000 state grant to expand an innovative program that promotes entrepreneurship within the state's $43 billion dairy industry.
The grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will enable CDR to continue to provide companies with grants of up to $20,000 to support the commercialization of unique dairy technologies and products. 


Information Technology:  
Epic Systems' medical scheduling system for veterans draws initial cheers
A new scheduling system aimed at giving military veterans quicker access to medical care - designed by Epic Systems Corp. of Verona - is getting upbeat early reviews in its first tryout in Columbus, Ohio.
In fact, an executive of Leidos, Epic's partner on the pilot project, is so confident about the success of the entire five-year, $624 million contract, he predicts the system can be rolled out at Veterans Administration hospitals and clinics across the U.S. and its territories within two years at barely more than half the budgeted price.
Advanced Manufacturing:
Madison is still on Foxconn's radar, executive says

Foxconn has not given up on the idea of some kind of involvement in the Madison area, a company executive hinted Wednesday.
But Alan Yeung, director of U.S. strategic initiatives for Foxconn Technology Group, offered few specifics.
Yeung said the Taiwanese electronics giant will not only build a huge factory in Racine County, it also plans to "innovate across many industries."

WEDC's FY19 Global Business Development Grant application packet is now available

Wisconsin companies can apply for the International Market Access Grant (IMAG) to be reimbursed for specific expenses associated with executing their international export activities.

The project level funding is up to $10,000. 

Companies that have graduated from the ExporTechâ„¢ program are eligible to apply for up to $25,000 for assistance in implementing their export strategy.
New Markets Tax Credits

Lift Wisconsin, Inc. was established by the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and a coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with a mission to invest in severely economically distressed areas of Wisconsin communities and to serve as a catalyst for economic development and job creation.  In order to compete for New Markets Tax Credits we are soliciting projects to include in our application with the U.S. Department of Treasury. This pipeline pre-application gives us the potential to compete for NMTC but does not ensure that Lift Wisconsin, Inc. will get an allocation of NMTC.

UpStart is now accepting applications for its fall 2018 cohort, June 30

It takes more than a good idea to start a successful business. Issues like accounting, financing and marketing may seem overwhelming and connecting with the right resources can be challenging. WARF's free UpStart program can help.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants should reside in or near Madison, WI and surrounding communities. Business ideas should be considered a legal business in Wisconsin. Applicants should self-identify as a woman and/or person of color. Applicants should be supportive of an inclusive learning environment.
Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program, August 29

The Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program grant competitions are now open.

 Applications are now being accepted for the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support Grant Competition. 

The submission deadline for applications will be Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

A Strength-Based Approach to Negotiation, September 26

Did you know 70% of woman lose almost $2 million over their lifetime as they try to climb the leadership ladder? WHY?
Because they do not negotiate.
In this session, we will help you identify your specific talents (using Gallup's StrengthsFinder) and teach you the art of negotiating.
Whether you never have negotiated or you're a pro this action-oriented session is for you!

M+DEV is a video game development conference for professional game developers and those seeking to become professional game developers.
This conference provides a gathering place for game developers in the state, the region and beyond to discuss and share the latest information on the science, art, mechanics and business of making games.
M+DEV is for anyone who is currently a professional video game developer or contractor, or who wishes to become one.


Thank you to Alliant Energy Corporation and to all of our investors.

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