University of Wisconsin - Platteville

Innovation Driving Entrepreneurship Accelerator - IDEA Hub of Southwestern Wisconsin

Platteville, WI

Venture Challenge

Federal Share: $538,426
Local Match: $538,426

The Innovation Driving Entrepreneurship Accelerator (IDEA Hub) of Southwest Wisconsin of the Venture Challenge Build grant will harness the innovation, science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) capacity of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the strong regional economic development network of Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SWWRPC) to strengthen scalable technology entrepreneurship across the rural region between Madison, WI and Dubuque, IA, by developing a pipeline of entrepreneurs, accelerating ventures into scalable tech businesses, and inspiring a culture of innovation. The IDEA Hub will do this through the following actions: 1. Build a Pipeline. Concerted referral networking, skill development, and recruitment events to ensure entrepreneurs are prepared to scale. 2. Accelerate scalable technology. Accelerator programming, mentor and funder networking, and risk management to filter, launch, and scale the next great enterprises.  3. Inspire a culture of innovation. Regional program outreach, entrepreneurial leadership development, and partner activity alignment to shift from a risk averse and traditional career field perspective to a “learn to fail” and future of work mindset. Leveraging UW-Platteville, SWWRPC, regional, and State resources, the IDEA Hub’s focused team will find the next great entrepreneurs where they are, provide impactful access to collaborative workspaces and training, and demonstrate alternative pathways to success. IDEA Hub expects to create 15 scalable technology businesses, serve 20 new entrepreneurs, and generate 55 new jobs in the first three years.