The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the City of Whitewater are dedicated to the economic development of the region and offer extensive resources for startups and entrepreneurs. In addition, a network of affiliated companies and educational institutions in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois provide a range of consultative services and assistance
Business Incubation Services
Innovation Center clients may have access to the following services and resources:
- Business plan assistance
- Business development and strategic plannning
- Management and Training
- Process Improvement
Marketing and Sales
- Public relations support
- Promotion and sales consultation/support
- Search engine optimization
- Social media strategies
- Professional networking
- Research and Development
- Grant Writing (SBIR, STTR)
- University guidance/referrals
- Regional services referrals
One-on-one consulting is offered for business plan development, pre-venture planning, business regulations and licenses, operational planning, product development/prototyping and testing, and contract compliance advice.
GrowthWheel Business Coaching
The lack of time to get everything done is a challenge for entrepreneurs. An IT system can support daily operations, make your business more effective than the competition, and increase productivity. How can one determine the right IT system to invest in?
As an entrepreneur, it is not uncommon to feel as if there is a strained relationship with the bank. However, this does not have to be the case. Banks are in the business of lending money and in reality, the right banker can be your ally. How can entrepreneurs prepare and negotiate to get the necessary line of credit and best terms?
Even through entrepreneurship comes with a great amount of uncertainty in terms of revenues and expenses, a budget is still valuable to an entrepreneur. How can an entrepreneur create a budget that will help them develop their business?
The Operations framework focuses on developing effective administration and management. The goal is for entrepreneurs to increase their productivity and obtain healthy financials. Operations are all about the financials of the company, funding, production, distribution, and IT.
Entrepreneurs build businesses from the ground up. At some point, the entrepreneur will need to standardize the business procedures to make day to day operations run smoothly. How can an entrepreneur set up the right procedures to run daily operations smoothly?
There is not enough time in the day for an entrepreneur to accomplish everything they need to do. There will come a time when the entrepreneur has to delegate. Eventually, the business owner becomes a bottleneck in the company’s processes. How can you learn to delegate more?
There will come a time when you need to hire employees. Employees can make an entrepreneur's life easier during busy times, but can also be a costly liability if they are not working on the right things. How can you craft job description that makes sense for the business as well as the employee?
If you want a business that creates more value than a single person can produce, you need to hire the next employee and make a decisive step towards business growth. How do you recruit new employee and ensure that this decision will create value for your business?
In the beginning, many entrepreneurs focus on starting their business but it is also important to consider that there may be a day when it is in the business’s best interest to change ownership or when you no longer want to run the business. How can you prepare yourself for a change in business ownership?
As an entrepreneur, it is important to have a close group of professionals who can help support your business development and provide expertise from the outside. Why should you establish a board?
Within the Organization framework, you can (1) specify the organizational design, (2) determine the structure of management and employees, and (3) develop legal agreements for partners and suppliers.
With greater brand awareness and recognition, it is easier to attract more customers and it is possible to set higher prices. How can we create a credible and authentic brand for our entrepreneurial company?
With limited budgets for advertising, entrepreneurs benefit from free media coverage. Media coverage offers exposure to potential customers and partners. How can you get the media to take an interest in your startup?
As entrepreneurs, we have to assume the role of a salesperson now and then to get more orders. How can we get better at assuming the role of a salesperson to increase our sales?
As entrepreneurs, how can we better understand our customers to increase sales? Instead of focusing on selling, entrepreneurs should begin by asking questions and understanding the customer. A survey is a great starting point.
Instead of seeing marketing as an expense, it should be seen as a way to generate more revenue. When marketing is effective, your business attracts new customers and receives more orders. Ask yourself, “How can I market my business while getting the most for my money?”
Networking is a critical aspect of entrepreneurship. Through networks, entrepreneurs not only get inspiration and support to start and develop their companies, but also meet their first customers. The best networks increase your bottom line.
An entrepreneur can leverage the Customer Relation tools to strengthen customer relations and increase revenue. Customer Relations revolves around the development areas of marketing, branding, communication and PR, sales and services, and networking.
A good business idea does not necessarily have to be unique or brand new, rather the business idea needs to distinctive and better than competitive offerings.
Choosing the right customer segments is one of the most important decisions an entrepreneur will make. Simply relying on the customers who find you is not enough. It is best to proactively identify and seek out your best customers.
Typically, entrepreneurs are good at producing and delivering their products to customers. However, determining the right price level is often a challenge.When the price starts too low, it can take years of adjustment to find the right level.
The difference between having a good idea or a good business idea is the business model. For a good business idea, the entrepreneur needs to identify how to make money with a revenue model.
With a business idea in mind, an entrepreneur begins to develop their product range or portfolio. A product portfolio generates higher turnover and revenue. Instead of narrowly focusing on a few key products or services, one should keep a broad focus and develop the total product range.
What is the meaning of life in your business? Why did you start the business? What are you passionate about? No matter how busy you are as an entrepreneur, it is crucial to keep the purpose of your business in mind and not lose sight of your passion.
An entrepreneur can leverage the Business Concept tools to create a viable, scalable business concept. The entrepreneur can define the company’s products and services and then analyze how the products and services meet customers’ needs and how the product and services compare to the competition.
As GrowthWheel suggests, the real question is, “What kind of life do we want for our business and for ourselves within the business?” Business owners can select from seven inter-connected growth strategies to develop their business.
When starting and growing a business, entrepreneurs face a continuous stream of challenges. When one hurdle is overcome, another challenge presents itself. Learn to predict and overcome potential barriers to growth.
A great idea is a starting point, but the ability to take action is what separates aspiring entrepreneurs from successful entrepreneurs. Learn how GrowthWheel Business Coaching can shape your company's future.
UW-Whitewater Business Centers
Innovation Center clients may benefit from university resources and business outreach services. As one of the four colleges at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, the College of Business and Economics (CoBE) is accredited by AACSB International and serves businesses through a variety of business outreach centers offering faculty and professional staff expertise and employing student interns.
- The Fiscal and Economic Research Center (FERC)
- The Institute for Sales Excellence
- The Institute for Water Business
- The Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
- The Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC)
The business outreach centers are located in the Kachel Center on the first floor of Hyland Hall.
Students in Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurial minded students are encouraged to join and participate in the following student organizations:
Business Innovation Ecosystem
A group of interconnected organizations striving to foster an environment of economic development in Wisconsin.