20 Feb Whitewater makes plans for business incubator
Whitewater, Wis. – In an effort to spur growth in the community and provide opportunities for University of Wisconsin-Whitewater graduates, the city of Whitewater and the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center at UW-Whitewater are developing a business incubator, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.
The city, which last year received a $10,000 state grant to determine the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful incubators throughout the nation, will not limit the incubator to any one type of industry such as information technology, the report said.
“There were a lot of questions asked about whether or not this could work in the community, but I think the feeling is that it’s worth the effort to pursue it further,” city manager Kevin Brunner told the Wisconsin State Journal. “One of our chief findings was that a mixed-use facility would likely be more successful than a strictly IT incubator.”
Information technology is considered a strength of UW-Whitewater, and WISC, a service of the university’s Small Business Development Center, was established to provide technical and market assessments of new product ideas.
Business incubators encourage new business development by allowing start ups to share services and equipment and collaborate in the same facility. Examples include the MGE Innovation Center at University Research Park in Madison.
In addition to helping new companies survive, the incubator could house companies that would be potential employers for UW-Whitewater graduates, enabling them to stay in the community, Brunner said.
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