For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher Konop, Ph.D. 608.358.7862
WiSolve Receives $50,000 State Grant to Support Entrepreneurship
Madison, WI January 23, 2018– WiSolve Consulting has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to help fund the organization’s efforts to advance the climate for entrepreneurship throughout the region.
WiSolve is one of 11 Wisconsin organizations to receive grants under WEDC’s Entrepreneurship Support Program, which helps fund activities such as the promotion of entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial education, mentorship and training; and business development and financial services. WEDC awarded $500,000 in matching grants statewide.
“WEDC congratulates WiSolve for developing an innovative proposal that resulted in this grant,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “We look forward to working with WiSolve to further increase the availability of resources for entrepreneurs and innovators in the region.”
WiSolve provides entrepreneurial support to Wisconsin businesses through consulting services delivered by teams of trained graduate students and postdoctoral scholars under the guidance of experienced mentors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and surrounding business community. Dr. Jonathan Lenz, a Founder and current Director of Operations for WiSolve, says, “by gaining local employment connections through consulting engagements, our program also contributes to the goal of retaining young professionals in Wisconsin. In addition, we feel taking the knowledge gained at the UW and putting it to work for the benefit of economic development embodies the Wisconsin Idea.”
The WEDC funds, along with a generous matching donation from Thomas “Rock” Mackie, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus and a Founder of ACE), will be used for operational expenses in 2018, including funds to help offset the costs of helping early stage, pre-revenue ventures. “We have had a lot of interest from companies that have not yet started fundraising, and this grant gives us the chance to work with those clients at the earliest steps of their commercialization process,” said Dr. Nasim Jamali, a Founder and current Director of Professional Development at WiSolve.
As part of its 2018 project, WiSolve will merge with the Madison-based Advocacy Consortium for Entrepreneurs (ACE). “A unique part of WiSolve’s model is to have each client engagement advised by subject-matter experts and proven entrepreneurs. The merger establishes a consistent pool of these experienced advisors and provides continuity to our efforts” said Dr. Christopher Konop, the new Executive Director and cofounder of WiSolve. “By bringing together the excitement of young scholars with the knowledge of experienced academic entrepreneurs, we are able to expand upon our mission and promote entrepreneurship here at the UW and throughout the State of Wisconsin”.
While WEDC has a variety of programs to support the formation, development, growth and financing of technology-based and growth-oriented startup and early-stage businesses, the Entrepreneurship Support Program provides funding to organizations and communities whose efforts may not meet the eligibility criteria for existing programs.
The Entrepreneurship Support Program, now in its second year, is the latest addition to WEDC’s suite of entrepreneurship resources, which includes support for startup accelerators, seed capital funds, investment tax credits and technology development loans. In addition, WEDC supports and engages an existing statewide network of partners that offers business training, mentorship and financing to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Other grant recipients include: BizStarts, Milwaukee; BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Milwaukee; Couleecap Inc., La Crosse; Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) 3, Fennimore; Indianhead Community Action Agency, Ladysmith; Green County Development Corporation, Monroe; Heart of Wisconsin Community Incubator, Wisconsin Rapids; Nicolet Area Technical College, Rhinelander; Oconto County Economic Development Corporation, Oconto; and UW-Stout Center for Innovation and Development, Menomonie.
WiSolve is a non-profit organization composed of postdoctoral researchers, graduate students and experienced entrepreneurial academics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. WiSolve provides research-based business recommendations to address challenging problems in the Madison business community. Simultaneously, WiSolve consultants acquire business acumen and experience to further their professional development. Visit www.WiSolve.org and follow WiSolve on Twitter (@WiSolveGroup) or LinkedIn for more information.
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit www.wedc.org or follow WEDC on Twitter @WEDCNews to learn more.