Five Milwaukee-area companies earn Ideadvance grants

Aquantics, Efoxen among UW System entrepreneurial efforts

UW-Milwaukee Ph.D. student Lindsey Roddy is developing a new product to organize the web of medical lines, cords and tubes by the bedsides of hospital patients. Nurses often turn to makeshift solutions, like using tongue depressors and medicine cups taped to the bed.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:03 pm

Five southeastern Wisconsin small businesses have been awarded grants from the Ideadvance Seed Fund.

Established in 2014 by the UW System Center for Technology Commercialization and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Ideadvance funds the entrepreneurial efforts of UW System staff, faculty, students and alumni, excluding the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To qualify for the grants, entrepreneurs must show “significant progress toward a scalable, profitable business model.”

The grants are given in two stages, and also come with mentorship on bringing the ideas to market. There were nine total businesses awarded statewide.

The local Stage 1 awardees, who can receive up to $25,000 in matching funds over the next six months, are:

  • Delavan-based lake management operations hardware and software developer Aquantics;
  • Kenosha-based cat and dog aggression and anxiety remedy creator Efoxen LLC;
  • Milwaukee-based remote notarization marketplace Public Data Block;
  • and Wauwatosa-based medical line, tube and cord organization device creator RoddyMedical;

In the Stage 2 category, in which companies are up for $50,000 in matching funds over 12 months, Ideadvance selected Milwaukee-based chamber of commerce software developer Grouve.

“Each year, I am more impressed with the diversity of ideas and participants. Ideadvance reflects the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem developing new ideas and businesses around the state,” said Idella Yamben, program manager. “With the Ideadvance Seed Fund, we build on those efforts helping teams to identify growth opportunities that enrich their local communities and beyond.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.