People, place and passion

Innovate Wisconsin 2019

Mark Hogan

Behind every innovation is vision– the ability to imagine a better outcome. And while visionaries are often lauded for their unique individual attributes, their success invariably draws upon the wide-ranging talents of the team drawn together to support their aspirations.

At the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., we celebrate these connections – not only between the people on a shared mission to improve the world, but also between those people and the place where they choose to pursue their passion. For we understand the interdependency of individual, business and community prosperity.

Companies are drawn to thriving communities, which in turn rely upon the creative energy of their residents to build the social infrastructure necessary to spark new interest and investment. It is a pattern we see repeating throughout Wisconsin.

In fiscal year 2018, WEDC invested $5.6 million in 26 community development projects benefitting Wisconsin communities large and small. Together, these projects represent more than $147 million in planned capital investment designed to foster these communities’ quality of life. One such grant supported the recent construction of the Sherman Phoenix, an entrepreneurial and wellness hub on the site of the former BMO Harris Bank in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood. The property, which was damaged by fire in the summer of 2016, now houses small businesses offering a variety of goods and services, including arts and cultural activities. A consistent theme across all of these projects is the increased pride that results from welcoming, shared spaces within a community – pride that fuels further economic growth.

Wisconsin’s investments in its communities and the support we provide to entrepreneurs is drawing nationwide attention. Combined with our state’s strong reputation for educational excellence and unmatched quality of life, Wisconsin’s vibrant startup scene is helping to attract a new generation of innovators, as the many stories in this publication attest.

We are proud to partner with Innovate Wisconsin to showcase the many visionaries throughout our state who are not only imagining a better future, but who are also bringing that future to life. And we are thankful to our more than 600 economic development partners across the state that help fan the flames of innovation in Wisconsin.

Mark R. Hogan

Secretary and CEO

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

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