Regional Engagement: Progress 2010-2012
Goal 1: Identify ways to better connect units in the university with the technology park, and better foster entrepreneurial activity throughout the university.
The Whitewater Technology Park is a joint venture of the City of Whitewater and the University that is meant to aid cooperation between university faculty and the community with the mission of creating new businesses. Several clients of the Tehcnology Park assist the University in moving toward greater regional engagement.
The Whitewater Incubation Program (WhIP) consists of the several programs which are designed to provide coaching, mentoring, support, & service to new business ventures linked to the Whitewater University Technology Park Innovation Center.
- The Innovation HUB (or iHUB) is both a collaborative space located in the Innovation Center and a series of programs designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial companies (particularly start-ups) through an array of business support resource and services.
- The Launch Pad is the WhIP student incubator. Students are invited to apply to become a participant of the program and work closely with the Launch Pad co-directors and iMentors to develop their business plans.
In the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Innovation HUB iFellows Program, iFellows receive up to $10,000 to develop and/or implement a suitable plan to establish a start-up company or to conduct applied research leading to the development of intellectual property that could be commercialized. There is also support available for faculty/staff conducting market analysis of a business/technology concepts.
To further develop these efforts, the University has hired an Executive Director reporting to the Chancellor and the Whitewater Technology Park Board. The Executive Director's focus is to bring growing businesses into the Innovation Center and established businesses to available real estate in the Technology Park.
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) also hosts Outreach Events such as the Social Media for Businesses and Entrepreneurs Outreach Event and the Supply Chain Power Networking Outreach Event. The ORSP launched a new program in spring/summer 2012 called the Outreach Scholars Program which will support four UW-Whitewater faculty/staff teams seeking to develop new campus Centers, Institutes, and/or outreach efforts to provide business development and other services to the region.
Our campus also participates in The State of Ingenuity Project, a regional collaboration that provides a seamless network of entrepreneurial support at every stage of business development through the sharing of resources, facilities, curriculum, training, and collective expertise. State of Ingenuity represents a collaboration of organizations from a six-county region of southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Through the State of Ingenuity project, ORSP partnered with US SourceLink, an integrated economic development system designed to connect entrepreneurs and business owners to a large network of business-building resource organizations.
The various outreach events, a list of current and incoming iFellows, funded Technology Transfer Initiatives, the Outreach Scholars Program model, and the EUI core principles and goals are described in an ORSP report.