Every startup begins with an idea that becomes a passion, whether it’s an exciting research discovery at one of the state’s universities or an employee who decides to go out on her own to offer something new to the market. From there, the race goes to the swift, the smart and the lucky. Here, in no particular order, are 10 up-and-coming Wisconsin companies to keep your eye on.
Location: La Crosse
What they do: Manufacturer of custom fat tire bikes. Consumers go online to design their own bike, picking the tire size, seat, handlebars and more. The company then makes and ships it direct. By combining the mass production process with flexible customization, Wyatt Bicycles’ actually cost less than similar custom versions.
Location: River Falls
What they do: Design and manufacture sustainable flooring from recycled plastic and natural fillers. The recyclable product is odorless and free of toxic chemicals often found in flooring, including chlorine and plasticizer. Spun off from Interfacial Solutions LLC, a contract research and development technology company.
What they do: Custom curtain wall manufacturer specializing in the design and production of high performance, energy-efficient commercial framing systems. Company founder Todd Fredrick worked with fiberglass pultrusion companies to integrate the thermal break directly to the curtain wall, allowing more control and flexibility in building design.
What they do: Developers of a sensor that attaches to inhalers and connects with its mobile apps and services to help patients better manage their asthma and COPD. The company said in October 2016 that it raised $21.5 million from investors to help expand its therapy platform.
What they do: Water testing company that uses advanced DNA sequencing to identify and quantify nearly all of the microbes in a sample of water. This process simplifies and improves accuracy in recognizing potential threats to the water supply being tested, and is used by both modern municipalities and developing-world communities.
Location: Green Bay
What they do: Creators of Xensr Air 3D, a wearable, three-dimensional GPS device that tracks athletic performance. While it can also be used for skiing, running and cycling, Xensr Air 3D is marketed to extreme sports enthusiasts, including kiteboarders, surfers and windsurfers. Founder David Troup spent four years researching and developing the device with extreme athletes around the world before returning home to Green Bay to design and manufacture the device.
What they do: Now in the final testing phase, founder Peter Petit has developed an inexpensive vacuum insulated glazing (VIG) for windows that retains more heat than triple-glazed windows, but at the same cost. V-Glass won the 2013 Governor’s Business Plan Contest and has received numerous grants to further its work.
Dental Metrics Laboratory
Location: Iron River (Bayfield County)
What they do: In his micro-manufacturing facility, founder Merlyn Coy and his team use leading edge technology to design and manufacture bridges and implants for dentists within a 400-mile radius of Iron River. Dental Metrics not only fills an important need in the region, but serves as a model for location-agnostic specialty manufacturing.
What they do: Lightweight software product that uses real-time voice and movement sensor data to improve responsiveness and customization of its clients gaming, fitness and lifestyle apps, as well as wearables.
What they do: Zack Pawlosky founded the integrated marketing agency while still a student at UW-Oshkosh. The company started with three employees and now employs 20. Candeo Creative acquired eBiz Results in 2015 to expand its web design and development services.