Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Press Release

WEDC Names New Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Aaron Hagar combines strong entrepreneurial track record with broad economic development insights

By - Sep 15th, 2015 03:34 pm

MADISON, WI. Sept. 15, 2015 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has named Aaron Hagar as the organization’s vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Hagar previously served as WEDC’s senior technology investment manager, where he gained valuable experience helping technology-based Wisconsin companies achieve their growth potential.

With more than four years of experience at WEDC, Hagar has also played a critical role in establishing and fulfilling the organization’s operational objectives. In that time, he has also built strong relationships within the state’s entrepreneurial community, which will allow him to quickly advance ongoing efforts to strengthen Wisconsin’s startup climate.

WEDC board member Paul Radspinner, who served on the selection committee for this key WEDC role said, “I am very excited about Aaron’s promotion to vice president of WEDC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Division. The external candidate pool for this position was very strong, and Aaron’s appointment from within demonstrates the talent and commitment of the existing staff at WEDC.”

“As Wisconsin continues to work with visionary early-stage companies seeking to lay strong roots in the state, I have complete confidence that Aaron will serve as a champion of the entrepreneurs we need to help build Wisconsin’s future,” said Tricia Braun, WEDC’s deputy secretary and chief operating officer.

Hagar possesses a Master’s degree in urban and regional planning with a focus on economic and workforce development from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in medical microbiology and immunology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“I look forward to working with my extraordinarily capable and dedicated colleagues at WEDC to help Wisconsin’s entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams,” said Hagar. “The continued health of Wisconsin’s economy depends upon a strong pipeline of new business startups.”

Prior to joining the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, WEDC’s predecessor agency, in 2010, Hagar served as an economic development consultant in Minneapolis, where he worked with the city’s East Downtown Council to develop policy recommendations to support community revitalization goals.

Hagar replaces Lisa Johnson, who became the CEO of BioForward, Wisconsin’s biotechnology industry organization, in May.

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.

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