Wisconsin Innovation Network: launches Chippewa Valley chapter
1/28/2004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tom Still or Sally Muller at 608-442-7557

MADISON – The Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) Foundation has created a membership chapter in one of Wisconsin’s most vibrant high-tech regions, the Chippewa Valley.

The WIN Foundation is the membership subsidiary of the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is the independent, non-profit science and technology adviser to the Governor and the Legislature. With existing chapters in Madison, Milwaukee and Northeast Wisconsin, WIN is a networking group aimed at entrepreneurs and others with ties to high-growth businesses. It serves as the local eyes and ears for the statewide Tech Council.

The Tech Council and its WIN chapters also produce some of the state’s premier high-growth events and programs, such as the Wisconsin Life Sciences & Venture Conference, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference and the Governors’ Business Plan Contest (www.govsbizplancontest.com).

The WIN chapter in the Chippewa Valley will be closely tied to Momentum Chippewa Valley, an economic development group for Eau Claire, Chippewa and Dunn counties.

“The most successful cities and states in the emerging “knowledge-based economy” of the 21st century are those with an ample supply of well-trained workers who are steeped in a culture of entrepreneurship -- and who regularly network with others like themselves,” said Darcy Way, executive director of Momentum Chippewa Valley. “Wisconsin doesn’t have enough of those people or networks – yet – but the foundation for a knowledge-based economy is being laid in the Chippewa Valley. If technology and venture capital are the building blocks for this economy, then people and networks provide the mortar that holds them together.”

Over time, speakers at WIN events in Madison, Milwaukee and Northeast Wisconsin have included people who have started some of Wisconsin’s most successful high-growth companies, venture capitalists and other private equity investors, researchers and government leaders with a stake in facilitating Wisconsin’s economic growth. There will be quarterly meetings in the Chippewa Valley.

“For our part, we were attracted by a growing entrepreneurial spirit in the Chippewa Valley and Northwest Wisconsin,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council and WIN. “Independent studies have shown that business start-ups are as likely to take place in the Chippewa Valley as anywhere in Wisconsin. People in the Chippewa Valley are not content to wait for the next economic trend. They want to help create that trend.”

To join the WIN Foundation or to learn more about its benefits, go to www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com or call program director Sally Muller at 608-442-7557.


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