Racine Launches New Program to Boost Entrepreneurism
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation grant provides capital for high-tech ventures
MADISON, WI, Nov. 4, 2015 – A new initiative launched in partnership by the City of Racine and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will provide funding to support innovative business ventures in Racine County.
The two organizations are contributing equally to a $200,000 fund designed to assist entrepreneurs in developing new technologies in fields with high-growth potential. The program, which received a $100,000 award from WEDC’s Capital Catalyst Program, will be administered by the Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC).
“The long-term vitality of a community relies on the creation and growth of new businesses that provide both valuable products and high-quality job opportunities to the region,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan. “WEDC is pleased to support Racine’s efforts in this mission, and I applaud community leaders for their commitment in bringing this exciting project to reality for area entrepreneurs.”
The program will make funds available through both loans and grant financing. While RCEDC has a long history of providing financial assistance to area companies through its existing loan program, the new fund demonstrates a renewed focus on supporting promising high-tech businesses at their earliest stages when access to small amounts of capital are critical to development.
“Racine’s legacy companies such as Horlick Malted Milk, SC Johnson, J.I. Case Company and others started with an idea and the drive to take that idea and make a business out of it,” said City of Racine Mayor John Dickert. “Today Racine continues to draw dynamic innovators including DeltaHawk Engine, Vista Dental and Butter Buds, just to name a few. We realize, however, that innovation requires capital to convert ideas into sales. The City’s leadership wants to continue these patterns, and this new loan program intends to foster high growth companies in Racine.”
Establishment of the fund follows recent initiatives in the region supporting entrepreneurism, including the WEDC-supported “Launch Box Growth Accelerator” at Gateway Technical College, which provided five local startups with an array of resources and guidance in advancing their companies.
Nine communities and organizations throughout Wisconsin are drawing upon WEDC’s Capital Catalyst Program to support early-stage company development within their areas. The Capital Catalyst Program leverages strong partnerships between WEDC and local economic development partners to effectively deploy capital to spur new business generation.
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.
The Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC) mission is to ensure the economic vitality of Racine County. We accomplish this goal by utilizing local, State and Federal financial and technical resources along with engaging partner organizations. The four divisions of RCEDC include Business Development (business recruitment and expansion); Business Finance (using local, State and Federal loan programs to support private investment and job creation); Community Development (including brownfield assessment and remediation as well as technical assistance to “Main Streets” throughout our County); and Workforce Development (direct assistance to businesses in its need for talent development and workforce expansion needs). Visit www.RacineCountyedc.org to learn how we can help your company.
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Nominations must be submitted by Jan. 27