UW-Extension, WEDC award Ideadvance entrepreneurial grants

UW System- and WEDC-funded initiative opens second round of proposals due July 

May 21, 2014. MADISON, WI – The University of Wisconsin-Extension and its partners have selected 12 UW faculty, staff, students and affiliated companies to receive up to $25,000 each through the Ideadvance Seed Fund. The grants also include business mentoring to help awardees develop a strategic business model for ideas and technologies generated at UW campuses. UW System and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) created the $2 million seed fund, which launched in February.

“The grant recipients represent a broad range of commercialized technologies, solutions to problems and creative ideas enhancing the world in which we live,” said Lisa Johnson, WEDC vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation and member of the Ideadvance investment committee. “Ideadvance creates a foundation for university entrepreneurs by setting the stage where they can take their ideas and technology to commercialization and a successful company launch – right here in Wisconsin. It also demonstrates that university entrepreneurship can lead to long-term economic growth through company formation and job creation.”

The awardees include four students, three faculty, two staff and three companies licensing technologies from the WiSys Technology Foundation or the UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation. Teams that complete this first stage of Ideadvance activities will be eligible for stage two funding, which offers grants up to $50,000.

The inaugural stage-one awardees include:

  • NanoAffix Science led by Junhong Chen of UW-Milwaukee
  • Innovative Foundry Technologies led by Dan McGuire of UW-Whitewater
  • EChemNanowires Educational Foundation led by Mike Zach of UW-Stevens Point
  • Cyder Technology led by Nathan Gullick of UW-Extension
  • Tali Payments led by Carlton Reeves of UW-Milwaukee
  • CSA Pros led by Kory Peterson of UW-Eau Claire
  • Grypshon led by Tom Burden of UW-Milwaukee
  • HealthPet led by Jonathan Geissler of UW-Platteville
  • Paddle-Kicker led by Ashton Brusca of UW-Platteville
  • Organic Research Corporation licensed technology from UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation
  • Microionics patents through WiSys
  • Procubed licensed Technology from WiSys

In addition, UW-Extension’s Division of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development is opening another stage one funding round. Proposals are due July 25. Idella Yamben, New Idea Concierge for the grant program, invites potential applicants to contact her at uwideadvance@uwex.edu or 608-263-3315 for assistance in identifying resources to prepare a competitive proposal.

The Ideadvance Seed Fund provides support for entrepreneurs as they evaluate product or service ideas, explore key markets, validate demand and develop strategies for investment sources. Unlike most early stage funding, this seed fund encourages ideas from all disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences and liberal arts.

Grants are available for faculty, staff and students who are part of the UW System or affiliated with WiSys or the UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation. Those affiliated with UW-Madison are not eligible as primary clients but may contribute to projects with eligible applicants from the other institutions.

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UW-Extension, which receives the third largest amount of federal grants in the UW System, serves Wisconsin families, businesses and communities statewide through offices in all 72 Wisconsin counties and three tribal nations, continuing education services through all 26 UW System campuses, the statewide broadcasting networks of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television, and entrepreneurship and economic development activities by county throughout the state. Follow @UWC_UWEX and @IdeadvanceFund on Twitter.

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.