While the Madison Region continues to receive awards and accolades as a great place to start and grow a business, the volume of resources can be overwhelming. Hundreds of organizations provide services to both emerging and existing small businesses locally and across the state. However, an entrepreneur can spend a great deal of valuable time trying to find the right service at the right time.
The solution? Start In Wisconsin, a comprehensive online directory of resources and a calendar of entrepreneur-focused events. The Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP), StartingBlock Madison, and UW–Madison’s Innovate Network led the development and implementation of Start In Wisconsin for the Madison Region.
The directory helps entrepreneurs find the vetted local, regional and state resources that best suit their needs. Resources are searchable by ZIP code, type of business assistance and many other categories. It can be found by choosing the Madison Region at StartInWI.com or on the Start In Madison Region website at StartInWI.com\Madison-Region.
“This resource is simple, convenient and up to date, fostering important connections across the entrepreneurial ecosystem of our Region,” said MadREP President Paul Jadin. “Start In Madison Region will support our already attractive innovation and entrepreneurship environment.” Most recently, Business Facilities Magazine ranked Madison #3 on their list of Best Business Climate in Mid-Sized Cities.
Nora Roughen-Schmidt, StartingBlock Madison’s new executive director, stressed how grateful her organization is for the opportunity to work with partners at the WEDC, UW Madison, and the Madison Region Economic Partnership to successfully launch Start-In Madison Region adding, “this user-friendly platform offers numerous opportunities for small businesses, startups and gig economy entrepreneurs to explore resources and to showcase their services.”
“Several years ago, we began to envision a tool that would connect community and campus entrepreneurs to the many great entrepreneurial resources in our region,” said Andy Richards, director of the Discovery to Product (D2P) program at UW–Madison. “We are excited to formally announce the fruits of our labor and are appreciative of the strong partnerships with StartingBlock, WEDC, UW System, and MadREP that have made this possible.”
“We started this project along with our partners because of the need to help entrepreneurs identify and connect to support, but also to help the supporting organizations connect to each other, said Aaron Hagar, vice president of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s division of entrepreneurship & innovation. “While this initiative was conceived prior to COVID, entrepreneurship is a key ingredient to our emergence from these challenging times and the need to offer new ways to connect and communicate is even more important now that we are limited in our face-to-face interactions and events.”