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Volume One’s guide to bootstrapping your own business Whether you’re contemplating starting your own business, have already recently done so, or have a decent base of operations and now want to expand, Volume One is fully behind you. The Chippewa Valley is an area rife with opportunities and resources for entrepreneurs, and this annual guide has gone and gathered them up for you. Everything from success stories, tips, and trends to how-to’s, expert advice, and FAQs. Think outside the box and zig when others zag because, you never know, your small idea combined with this guide’s resources could one day be the next Menards, Presto, Silver Spring, or Erbert & Gerbert’s.

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Writers/Editors:

Thom Fountain + Tyler Griggs + Tom Giffey + Ed Hudgins /// Design: Josh Smeltzer VolumeOne.org 27 Feb. 14, 2013


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Entrepreneurship in the Valley PROs & CONs OK, you want to start a business. You can’t control every factor that could lead to success or failure, but there is one major element you can: geography. So should you pack up your amazing idea and head elsewhere, or is the Chippewa Valley the place to be for a budding businessperson like yourself? We queried local entrepreneurial experts about the pros and cons of beginning a business right here at home. PRO:

CON:

Keeping it local. “The community is supportive of locally owned businesses, which is a real pro. We, as a community, we support grassroots businesses over large, out-of-town corporations.”

Brain drain. “I think as a community we have a trouble with brain drain. The larger communities seem to steal our rising stars.”

PRO: Sociable small town. “You can really get a word-of-mouth strategy. it’s easy to connect with people in a small community.”

PRO: Available capital. “I think we are more conservative, but I don’t think our financial institutions are more conservative than elsewhere.”

PRO: Higher education. “I think we have a really strong education system in the community, with UW-Eau Claire and CVTC. There’s a lot of smart people in town.”

CON: People tend to be risk-averse. “A lot of (entrepreneurs) are on their first or second try on a business, and sometimes it takes more tries to be successful.”

– Jim Mishefske, director of the UW-Eau Claire Small Business Development Center

PRO:

PRO:

Quality of life. “This is vague, but the Chippewa Valley is a great place to start a business because people want to live here. People start businesses because they intentionally want to live here rather than get a job in some other part of the world.”

Workforce. “With UWEC, CVTC and Globe (University), Eau Claire is churning out a large number of highly educated, skilled and talented young adults craving meaningful and challenging employment opportunities. As entrepreneurs grow their businesses, they have the opportunity to recruit and employ fresh grads who are raring to go.”

CON: Lack of market. “Eau Claire lacks the size of a large metropolitan area. This can create a problem in attracting a large enough customer base to support your business. However, in this day and age, successful businesses are born global. It is no different for entrepreneurs in the Chippewa Valley. There is simply no longer a reason or excuse to limit your market to your immediate geographic region.”

PRO:

PRO:

Art scene. “Eau Claire’s creative class has developed and grown in size and self-respect in the past few years. That translates into Eau Claire being an environment that truly values and encourages ingenuity and entrepreneurship.”

Financial resources. “Unlike other parts of the country or even the state, there are a number of business financing options available to entrepreneurs in the Chippewa Valley through the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, the city of Eau Claire and, of course, all the traditional lenders.”

– Karmen Briggs, director of jobs and business development for Western Dairyland Community Action Agency

PRO:

PRO:

Available financing. “Most of the financial gaps have been addressed to the point where I’m not saying everyone will get a loan, but the programs that are structured and have a management strategy can start to move forward.”

Market size. “Our geographic market is large enough that you can reach it and the three communities in it without a lot of difficulty. ... If it sells here, you know you have the ability to go elsewhere.”

PRO:

CON: Lack of mentors. “There isn’t a good mentoring network in place yet, but that’s something that hopefully we’ll have in the next couple of years.”

Access to technology at UW-Eau Claire’s Materials Science Center, UW-Stout’s Discover Center, and Chippewa Valley Technical College’s NanoRite Innovation Center. “The technical assistance available is top-notch.”

– Brian Doudna, executive director of the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp.

PRO:

PRO:

Available resources. “One of our strong points here is we have a couple of very active groups (for entrepreneurs). The economic development committees do a fine job. They offer an awful lot of help to people who want to start a business.”

Family-friendly community. “It’s a conservative community, but it’s very family-oriented with good school systems. That’s attractive for people who want to start a business here. They always have ask this question: ‘How is this going to affect my family?’ ”

CON:

PRO:

Inflated expectations. “When we do talk to our clientele, most of them are looking for free money, and there’s no free money out there.”

Affordable labor costs. “In this market there’s so many people looking for work. Wages are competitive with other communities.”

– Don Parkhurst, Linda Putnam, Al Rolland, and Barb Rolland, certified counselors for SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) VolumeOne.org 28 Feb. 14, 2013


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Secrets of Success: MICKEY JUDKINS entrepreneur’s vision valued, froM water street to the white house WORDS: TOM GIFFEY // PHOTO: ANDREA PAULSETH Business comes instinctively to Mickey Judkins. Consider her initial venture: When she opened her first clothing store in Eau Claire, she did a market analysis without even knowing it. While studying at the University of Arizona in the mid-1970s, she had fallen in love with a funky clothing store in Tucson aimed at college students. When she returned home to Eau Claire in 1977 to finish her degree, she noticed there was no similar business in town. It seemed like a niche that Judkins could fill (finding a lucrative niche is part of market analysis), so she opened her clothing and costume store, Butterfly Exchange, on the same day she registered for junior year classes at UW-Eau Claire. More than 35 years, two successful retail businesses, and a side career as a globe-trotting evangelist for Wisconsin’s economy later, Judkins is still an entrepreneur. Her latest venture is serving as a self-described “economic matchmaker,” a consultant who helps match budding technology with investors and large companies that can make use of it. “I’m always looking for new ideas,” Judkins said during a recent interview in the neat-as-a-pin office she keeps in the back of her women’s clothing store, Details, 502 Water St. And, for those who have new ideas, Judkins has plenty of wisdom to offer. “Be passionate about what you do,” she advises. “You need more than money to keep you interested.” Money was hard to come by for female entrepreneurs when Judkins entered the business world a little more than a generation ago. She began her first store with a $2,000 investment from her family. When she decided to open Details in 1985, she went a more formal route: She created a detailed business plan and a target market analysis she could take to lenders. “At that time it was very difficult for a women to get credit at a bank,” she said, noting that it wasn’t until the 1970s that a woman could obtain a credit card in her own name without her husband co-signing for it. For Judkins, the work paid off: This spring will mark the store’s 28th year in business. In addition to taking the time to create a business plan, Judkins said she’d recommend that entrepreneurs take another step she did: finding a mentor. Judkins contacted SCORE – the name stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives – a nonprofit group that provides free mentoring services for busi-

nesses. They connected her with a retired business owner who shared her passion for retailing and could offer advice. “I highly recommend that a person starting in business, whatever age, should find a mentor,” she said. Just as with her first store, which closed in 1987, Details meets a particular need in the local retail scene, which has helped it compete against big-box clothing retailers. “This was a niche market,” she said. “Details caters to a high-end, high-quality product.” Because the store is comparatively small, it can turn over its inventory more quickly than its larger competitors and can provide more personalized service to its customers, Judkins said. Among those customers is Mary Ellen Schmider, who became a friend, mentor, and occasional fashion model for Judkins after moving to Chippewa Falls in 1995 following an academic career at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Schmider said Judkins stands out because

words of wisdom for new entrepreneurs “Do a market analysis, know who your competition is, and be able to say how you’re different and why. If you can’t answer those questions, there might be a problem.” “Test your idea first. You may hate the work.” “Commit yourself to lifelong learning. One thing you can be guaranteed is that the market is going to change. ... You don’t get an education and forget about it for the rest of your life.” “Define success. Whether you want the next blockbuster creation or whether you want to finance your children’s education or pay for a family vacation.”

of her product line (higher-end clothing that isn’t so high-end that the price tags scare away customers), her well-trained and helpful employees (who’ve been known to call husbands with shopping tips after observing wives browsing in the store), and her entrepreneurial savvy. “She has a very good business sense, for one thing,” Schmider said of Judkins. “She’s a serious businesswoman. She understand something about the economy. She understands about what will work and what will bring value at the same time.” Schmider continued: “Her interests are not for power, but for doing something useful in the world. She cares about the environment, she cares about the sense of responsibility for quality of life and community.” Always looking for a new opportunity, Judkins was an early believer in the potential of e-commerce. In 1995, she created the first commercial website in Eau Claire, detailsdirect.com. “I saw this new technology coming and I knew it was going to be very disruptive,” she said, noting that online sales account for 10 to 20 percent of the store’s business. “The globe has really become a marketplace for us. We’re shipping things to Russia, to Europe.” Judkins’ business savvy brought her to the attention of Gov. Jim Doyle, who appointed her administrator of the Global Ventures Division of the state Department of Commerce in 2007, a post she held until Doyle left office two years ago. Judkins job

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was attracting domestic and international investment to Wisconsin, an effort she pursued after first identifying the areas in which the state had a global advantage, such as advanced manufacturing and agriculture, biotechnology, information technology, and sustainable energy. The position took her around the nation and world, meeting with industry leaders and trying to connect them with innovative Wisconsin businesses and ideas. For example, she might meet with a firm about the components it needed for its products, then reach out to find Wisconsin manufacturers that could match those needs, trying to bring the two groups together in the same place. “It was like speed dating for the economy,” she quipped. Even though her appointment with the Department of Commerce ended when Gov. Scott Walker took office in January 2011, Judkins hasn’t simply returned to her initial calling as a retailer. In the past year, she’s been among the small-business leaders invited to Washington three times by the Obama administration for discussions about issues ranging from the “fiscal cliff” to technical innovation. She also launched her “economic matchmaking” consulting business to continue the kind of work she did for the Department of Commerce: creating alliances between entrepreneurs and industry leaders and investors. “There are people all over the state of Wisconsin who have innovative technology,” she said.


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Working Together SHARING SPACE AND MAKING CONNECTIONS IN EAU CLAIRE’S FIRST COWORKING FACILITY

WORDS: THOM FOUNTAIN // PHOTOS: NICK MEYER The office is a classic setting for films, sitcoms, and half-witted comic strips. You have office politics, cubicle decorating and the classic fridge-heist (which often results in passive-aggressive notes about not taking something with someone else’s name on it). But despite all of these easily joked about and exaggerated quirks of office life, there’s a reason offices have survived the interconnected technology age. The social interaction not only can create a sense of community, but can encourage higher productivity, especially in creative fields.

coffee shops are loud and you’re not guaranteed a spot. Luckily, there’s a solution. Coworking spaces have been popping up around the world over the last five years, providing some relief for freelancers and entrepreneurs. At their core, coworking spaces are just rentable office space with several perks you can’t get if you rent on your own – things like high-speed wi-fi, shared printers, furniture, and more. But there is something much more than that. Coworking spaces provide a community for independent workers to join

The space offers eight desk spots with plenty of room to sprawl out your work, an open lounge area, gear storage, and two private meeting rooms, plus a full kitchen and robust coffee station that’s shared with the Volume One staff. There is, however, a whole segment of the workforce that doesn’t have the opportunity to be surrounded by like minds day in and day out – so they miss out on the collaborative and social aspects of work. Freelancers – including everyone from Web designers to photographers to accountants – generally work from home or on a rotation of area coffee shops. The same is true of entrepreneurs just starting up, before they have a brick-and-mortar space. Working from home can feel constrictive (imagine not leaving your house for five days) and distracting (don’t pretend you won’t paw at that remote), while

into and potentially collaborate with – whether that’s through an intense discussion about new technology trends, or simply water cooler chatter about last night’s Packer game. The recent coworking concept started in San Francisco in 2005 with The Hat Factory, a collaborative space for tech workers, and has since grown to over 700 coworking spaces in the United States and many more worldwide. Keeping up with the trend, Eau Claire now has its own coworking space. WorkSpace – which is operated by Volume One and in the lower level of the V1 World Headquarters, 205 N.

Dewey St. – opened late last year. The space offers eight desk spots with plenty of room to sprawl out your work, an open lounge area, gear storage, and two private meeting rooms, which can be reserved with a month-to-month WorkSpace membership, or rented on their own. Plus, access to an even larger space, accommodating occasional groups of up to 35, can also be available. Along with the actual office space, WorkSpace also has a kitchen and a robust coffee station that’s shared with the Volume One staff to encourage more

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collaborative chatter. All-inclusive memberships for WorkSpace come in daily, weekly or monthly doses and include all sorts of benefits at different stages including a professional mailing address, discounted space rentals and, of course, all the free coffee your heart can handle. Anyone who wants to try out the space is welcome to a free one-day pass to see how they like it. You can find out more info and rates at VolumeOne.org/workspace. Or call (715)552-0457.


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A Class Act for Entrepreneurs

Local universities offer coursework geared towards STARTING YOUR BUISNESS

Experienced Commercial Lenders Offering service to your business.

WORDS: ED HUDGINS Over the past several years, I have come to a much better understanding of who I am, how I tick and what drives me. I have come to not only realize, but fully own, the fact that I like to start stuff. And, if I can’t start something from scratch, I want to be able to take something that’s already there and overhaul it to make it the best it can be. It’s how I’m wired. I love strategy, vision, culture-building and working toward organizational potential. The entrepreneurial spirit lives deep within me. Those who are wired like me long to be unleashed, to be given permission to start something, to build something great. Being “unleashed” is essential, but so is discipline and preparation. We are very fortunate here in the Valley to have formal education at our disposal to help prospective entrepreneurs develop emotional, mental and relational disciplines as well as the educational preparation necessary for them to reach their potential.

NB’s Business Banking Team

For Your Business FinancingCome to the Bank “Where People Matter”

UW-EAU CLAIRE UWEC offers an elaborate and multifaceted training for entrepreneurs in the area through the Dennis L. Heyde Entrepreneur Program, a part of UWEC’s College of Business. The focus of this program is to help students move forward in the progression and development of their business ideas, to help prepare them to think critically about their ideas, refine them, and begin thinking about implementing those ideas. The Heyde program offers two main courses of study toward those ends. One course of study offered as a part of the Heyde Program is the entrepreneur emphasis which can be taken within the management major at UWEC. Students pursuing this program are “encouraged to think in terms of what they see as the “next logical step” in the evolution of a business idea. They examine and communicate the feasibility of  the idea through a business plan, which they present to a panel of entrepreneurs, development specialists, and investors. Some of the classes offered in the entrepreneur emphasis that are unique to this particular program are: This course of study is the most elaborate of the entrepreneurship offerings at UWEC and seems to offer a broad understanding of not only entrepreneurshipspecific ideas, but also business-related ideas that the entrepreneur must consider once attempting to launch a new business, overhaul his or her department at work, or start whatever revolution he or she is passionate about.

Chippewa Falls, 715-723-4461 Eau Claire, 715-839-8642

UWEC Courses Business Plan Considerations and Drafting Applied Quantitative Methods Business Law

UW-STOUT As a part of the bachelor of science in business administration program at UW-Stout, students may choose to pursue the entrepreneurship emphasis. This 12-credit program is “the fastest growing emphasis area out of a total of 26 options” within the business administration program, according to Mark Fenton, program director for the entrepreneurship emphasis. Not only is this course of study popular among the business student population, but local employers seem to be excited about it as well. Fenton mentioned that, even though the entrepreneurship emphasis program is only two years old, he has already received positive feedback from employers who have become acquainted with it. Along with the undergraduate option mentioned above, this fall UW-Stout is launching a new graduate certificate program. This is a four-course program that will be facilitated totally online, which will allow working professionals to engage in the program. According to Fenton, this program “will lead to a significant understanding of what it means for an individual to be innovative and entrepreneurial in the professional environment.” The classes in the program are: As a part of this program, students will have the opportunity to do industry, competitive, and market analyses; explore financing options; and develop a business plan. VolumeOne.org 31 Feb. 14, 2013

Stout Courses Entrepreneurial Leadership Strategic Marketing for Entrepreneurs Financial Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Innovative Organizations Discovering and Developing Entrepreneurial Opportunities


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WANTED: INNOVATORS

FOUNDATION HELPS MATCH HOT NEW IDEAS WITH ADVICE, MONEY WORDS: TOM GIFFEY Even those who work in the world of economic development acknowledge that the alphabet soup of resources available to entrepreneurs – from the EDC to DECI to the SBDC – can be confusing. And although novice entrepreneurs may get tongue-tied, they’re lucky that the Chippewa Valley offers so many options to give them a boost. A fairly new item on the local economic assistance menu is the Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin, a nonprofit, Eau Claire-based group whose stated goal is “advancing innovation-based companies through strategic placement of human and financial capital.” In plain language, that means the foundation links people who have big new ideas with the seasoned pros and the cash they need to get off the ground. “The foundation identifies skill sets and the gaps in management teams and works side by side with a company to advance a project,” explained Brian Doudna, executive director of the Eau Claire

Area Economic Development Corp., one of the driving forces behind the foundation. Other agencies might provide assistance with a business plan or offer management advice, but they aren’t as actively involved in start-ups as the Innovation Foundation is, Doudna said. The foundation is designed to help the creators of innovative products and services that could meet large, addressable markets and whose businesses could locate or expand in western Wisconsin. One example: A local resident developed an idea for a new product for the salon industry, but needed support to develop a prototype, file a patent, and pursue manufacturing. The foundation helped the entrepreneur with a matching grant. The cost of outside assistance brought in to help client businesses is split 5050 between the foundation and the clients themselves. In 2012, the foundation worked with nine clients and awarded more than $75,000 in innovation funding, which was more than matched by clients.

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The foundation was created in 2011 and officially received status as a nonprofit organization last year. It has received $95,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation as well as $100,000 in October from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state’s public-private economic development entity. The foundation, which will soon hire an executive director, has the backing of a variety of regional economic development groups, community foundations, and businesses. Its board is loaded with CEOs and entrepreneurs from numerous local firms, including RealityWorks, Xcel, American Phoenix, and Market & Johnson. To learn more about the Innovation Foundation of the Chippewa Valley, visit ifww.org or call 715-894-7209.


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Entrepreneurial LISTINGS “When I first started working in this industry, I was very confused about the various resources available for entrepreneurs at various stages of development,” said Karmen Briggs, the Business Center manager for Western Dairyland Community Action Agency. “Now, I kind of look at it like a map of overlapping and intersecting circles of funding resources, business planning resources, governing/regulatory bodies, and specific or technical product development resources. There are also state-wide networks and resource websites. It can be kind of a tricky map to navigate.” A big reason Volume One put together this guide for you is because of this. There’s a ton of great resources in our area, ready to help you (often for free!), but it’s hard to know where to start. Well now you do.

BUSINESS PLANNING

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. 203 S. Farwell St. Eau Claire • (715) 839-4914 • downtowneauclaire.org DECI is available to help businesses navigate the vast variety of resources available when they are first getting started. Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation

101 N. Farwell Street, Suite 101, Eau Claire • (715) 834-0070 • ec.info@eauclaire-wi.com • www.eauclairewi.com The Eau Claire EDC can work with entrepreneurs in the early stages of development and assist with writing business plans. Additionally, they can serve as a guide towards other resources helpful for entrepreneurs.

Stout Technology Transfer Institute UW-Stout,

Menomonie • (715) 232-5024 • discoverycenter@uwstout.edu • www.uwstout.edu Services include feasibility assessment, product engineering and design, prototype development, product evaluation, and patent advice.

UWEC Small Business Development Center 210 Water St. Eau Claire • (715) 836-5811 • ce@uwec.edu • www.uwec.edu/ce As/cesists in deciding the feasibility of new business ideas and will assist with business plan writing. No Cost. Western Dairyland Business Centers (715) 836-7511

• jbdassist@westerndairyland.org • www.successfullbusiness.org Works with entrepreneurs through one-onone case management. Focused on the development of a business plan as well as assisting with creating financial projections and marketing plans. -+They can also help with website development and establishing a business organization structure.

Western Wisconsin SCORE 500 S. Barstow St. Federal Building Rm B11(Lower Level), Eau Claire • (715) 834-1573 • www.score-eauclaire.org SCORE is sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is comprised of retired entrepreneurs that offer advice to current entrepreneurs. They offer counseling services regarding management, bookkeeping, accounting, construction, design, administration, economics, budgeting, and more at no cost. Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network 423 Ext. Bldg. 432 Lake Street, Madison • (608) 263-0398 • www.wenportal.org WEN provides access to a statewide network of

resources and expertise, identifies high-potential entrepreneurs and helps move their businesses forward, and facilitates collaboration between entrepreneurs and outside organizations. Free.

Wisconsin Innovation Service Center 1200 Hyland Hall UW-Whitewater, Whitewater • (262) 472-1365 • innovate@uww.edu • www.uww.edu/wisc Wisconsin Innovation Service Center specializes in new product and invention assessments and market expansion opportunities for innovative manufacturers, technology businesses, and independent inventors.

LOCATING Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation • (715) 723-7150 • www.chippewa-wi.com The

Chippewa County EDC offers an easy-to-use webbased tool designed to help entrepreneurs find locations to rent or buy in the Chippewa Valley.

Claire • (715) 839-4914 • downtowneauclaire.org DECI offers grants, loan programs, and credit programs to help businesses that are creating new job opportunities, expanding their operations, or bringing new technology to Eau Claire. They also organize the Jump-Start Downtown Business Competition that awards up to $5,000 in start-up capital for a new business to locate downtown.

Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation

101 N. Farwell Street, Suite 101, Eau Claire • (715) 834-0070 • ec.info@eauclaire-wi.com • www.eauclairewi.com The Eau Claire EDC works with both existing companies and start-ups. In addition to other financial resources, such as a variety of grant programs, they host the Idea Challenge, which is an ongoing contest for individuals or businesses with an idea for a new product or service with the chance to win a grand prize of $5,000.

Economic Development Division • (715) 839-4914 • mike.schatz@eauclairewi.gov • www.eauclairedevel-

opment.com Offers grants, loan programs, and credit programs to help businesses that are creating new job opportunities, expanding their, or bringing new technology to the City of Eau Claire.

Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin P.O. Box 123, Eau Claire, WI 54702 • 715-894-7209 • info@ ifww.org • www.ifww.org The Innovation Foundation works with innovators, entrepreneurs, and businesses to help develop business and product ideas into success stories. By assessing gaps and bringing critical human capital to the project, the Foundation seeks to increase the number of vibrant business ventures tied to innovative products. UWEC Small Business Development Center 210 Water St. Eau Claire • (715) 836-5811 • ce@uwec.edu • www.uwec.edu/ce The Small Business Development Center can assist with the preparation of financing documents at no cost.

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (715) 839-4914 • down-

towneauclaire.org DECI lists available properties to rent or own on their website, as well as information regarding industrial parks.

Economic Development Division (715) 839-4914 • mike.schatz@eauclairewi.gov • www.eauclairedevelopment.com Lists available properties to rent or own on their website, as well as information regarding industrial parks.

FINANCING

Angel Investors Network, LLC. 2322 Alpine Rd Suite

7, Eau Claire • (715) 878-9791 • cvangels@execpc. com • www.momentumwest.org Angel Investors provide equity capital to local entrepreneurs in order to bridge the gap between initial seed funding and institutional financing.

Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation • (715) 723-7150 • www.chippewa-wi.com The

Chippewa County EDC provides entrepreneurs with access to certified economic development staff to assist with initiatives and incentives, including a revolving loan fund.

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. 203 S. Farwell St. Eau

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West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission • (715) 836 - 2918 • wcwrpc@wcwrpc.org • www.

Northern Wisconsin International Trade Association

Western Wisconsin SCORE 500 South Barstow St. Federal Building, Room B11, Eau Claire • (715) 834-1573 • www.score-eauclaire.org SCORE offers financial advice and information regarding loans, as well as helping entrepreneurs secure guaranteed loans from banks.

ReBAR www.rebardirectory.com Searchable Database that can help your business or organization find valuable resources to aid your success.

wcwrpc.org The West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Committee has established the Regional Business Fund, which offers low-interest loans to businesses that expand within the region, diversify the economy, add new technology, revitalize buildings in the region’s downtowns, and create quality jobs and capital investment in the region.

Wisconsin Business Development 3610 Oakwood

Mall Dr. Suite 201, Eau Claire • (715) 834-9474 • www. wbd.org WBD facilitates financial assistance for your business by working with your local lender and federal loan opportunities.

Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network • www.wenportal.

org Offers grants to help with business plan development and proposals for federal research and development grants. Free.

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority 201 W. Washington Ave. Ste. 700, Madison •

(608) 266-7884 • info@wheda.com • www.wheda.com WHEDA uses funds from Wisconsin’s State Small Business Credit Initiative to support programs that leverage private lending to help finance creditworthy small businesses. These programs include Capital Access Programs, loan guarantee programs, and venture capital funds.

PERMITS/REGULATIONS

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (715) 839-4914 • downtowneauclaire.org Assists with finding and filling out the right paperwork for local and state permits and regulations.

Economic Development Division (715) 839-4914 • mike.schatz@eauclairewi.gov • www.eauclairedevelopment.com The Economic Development Division will help local businesses with finding and filling out the right paperwork for local and state permits and regulations. UWEC Small Business Development Center 210 Water St. Eau Claire • (715) 836-5811 • ce@uwec.edu • www. uwec.edu/ce Assists with locating and properly filling out the right paperwork that is required for local and state permits and regulations at no cost. Western Wisconsin SCORE 500 South Barstow St. Federal Building, Room B11, Eau Claire • (715) 834-1573 • www.score-eauclaire.org SCORE can help entrepreneurs obtain and fill out the proper forms for local and state permits and regulations.

MARKETING/BRANDING

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. 203 S. Farwell St. Eau Claire • (715) 839-4914 • downtowneauclaire.org Have resources available to help local businesses with marketing and branding strategies and techniques. Economic Development Division (715) 839-4914 •

mike.schatz@eauclairewi.gov • www.eauclairedevelopment.com The Economic Development Division has resources available to assist local businesses in developing better marketing and branding strategies and techniques.

Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin P.O. Box 123, Eau Claire, WI 54702 • 715-894-7209 • info@ifww. org • www.ifww.org The Innovation Foundation works with innovators, entrepreneurs, and businesses to help develop business and product ideas into success stories. By assessing gaps and bringing critical human capital to the project, the Foundation seeks to increase the number of vibrant business ventures tied to innovative products. UWEC Small Business Development Center 210 Water St. Eau Claire • (715) 836-5811 • ce@uwec.edu • www. uwec.edu/ce Assists entrepreneurs with marketing and branding techniques and strategies at no cost.

expertise & education

HP&A Solutions 3300 Birch St., Suite 4B, Eau Claire

• 715-577-0803 • www.hpasolutions.com Providing human resource services, payroll processing, and accounting services to organizations in northern Wisconsin. Kelly Hawker and Rick Schemm have 40 years of combined experience in the field of HR and can assist you with workplace issues. They also host monthly seminars on a variety of business management topics.

Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin P.O. Box 123, Eau Claire, WI 54702 • 715-894-7209 • info@ifww. org • www.ifww.org The Innovation Foundation works with innovators, entrepreneurs, and businesses to help develop business and product ideas into success stories. By assessing gaps and bringing critical human capital to the project, the Foundation seeks to increase the number of vibrant business ventures tied to innovative products.

(715) 836-3053 • nwita@uwec.edu • www.uwec.edu/ nwita/ The NWITA provides the support, resources, and networking platform for area businesses as they compete in a global economy. In an effort to foster a strong link between business and education, NWITA assists and mentors area businesses in their international endeavors through consulting, speaker events, newsletters, and online resources.

Stout Technology Transfer Institute (715) 232-5024 •

discoverycenter@uwstout.edu • www.uwstout.edu As a unit within UW-Stout’s Discovery Center, the institute draws on the university’s technical resources, including the expertise of its faculty, staff, and students, and its well-equipped and diversified laboratories.

UWEC Small Business Development Center 210 Water St. Eau Claire • (715) 836-5811 • ce@uwec.edu • www. uwec.edu/ce Provide confidential business counseling that can help entrepreneurs solve specific business problems as well as capitalize on available business opportunities. The Center also offers helpful business classes. Western Dairyland Business Centers (715) 836-7511

ext.171 • jbdassist@westerndairyland.org • www.successfulbusiness.org The Western Dairyland Business Center targets historically under served populations such as women, low-income, minorities, veterans, and disabled individuals primarily within Eau Claire, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, Chippewa, Dunn, and Pepin counties. They offer group training, networking events, and an annual Women’s Business Conference.

Western Wisconsin SCORE 500 South Barstow St.,

Federal Building Room B11 (Lower Level), Eau Claire • (715) 834-1573 • www.score-eauclaire.org Offers seminars regarding important information for entrepreneurs. Past seminar topics include information regarding how to start your own business as well as dealing with specialized markets.

Wisconsin Business Wizard www.wisconsin.gov Using a series of five question-and-answer pages, the Wizard provides customized information to help you start and operate a Wisconsin-based business. Free. Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network www.wenportal.

org Expertise, coaching, and guidance with respect to technology assessment and commercialization, business planning, raising capital, and securing state and federal grants. This includes Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, as well as other state and federal funding programs.

expanding

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. 203 S Farwell St. Eau

Claire • (715) 839-4914 • downtowneauclaire.org Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. will help expand local businesses when they would like to add on to their building, buy new equipment, move from renting to owning, and more. FREE.

UWEC Small Business Development Center 210 Water Street, Eau Claire • (715) 836-5811 • ce@uwec.edu • www.uwec.edu Assists with the expansion of new businesses by directing them to financing opportunities as well as advising on hiring new employees.

incubators Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (715) 723-7150 • www.chippewa-wi.com The Chip-

pewa County Economic Development Corporation offers business loans, scholarships, and incubators.

Chippewa Valley Innovation Center 3132 Louis Ave, Eau Claire • (715) 836-2842 • www.chippewavalleyinnovationcenter.org The Chippewa Valley Innovation Center encourages new and emerging entrepreneurial business by allowing them to utilize community resources and by providing them a temporary start-up facility as well as managerial, technical, and financial assistance. CVIC offers flexible, low-cost building accommodations along with access to local economic development agencies. Stout Technology Transfer Institute (715) 232-5024 •

discoverycenter@uwstout.edu • www.uwstout.edu The UW-Stout Technology and Business Incubator provides a sheltered environment for emerging enterprises. The incubator fosters technical businesses through close relationships with faculty, students, industry, and the UWStout community to better enable Wisconsin to compete in the global economy and sustain employment within the region.

VolumeOne.org 34 Feb. 14, 2013


VolumeOne.org 35 Feb. 14, 2013

Start Up 2013  
Start Up 2013  

Volume One's guide to Entrepreneurship and Business in the Chippewa Valley.

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