Fostering Innovation

Innovation abounds in the Madison Region, thanks to a cadre of smart, creative people supported by an entrepreneurial infrastructure that helps bring discoveries to the global marketplace.

Globally Recongized R&D Capacity

Many of the industry advancements the Madison Region is making are due to our globally recognized research and development community. The University of Wisconsin – Madison, the flagship campus of Wisconsin’s state university system, leads the charge with more than $1.1 billion per year in academic research and development, consistently ranking among the nation’s top five in both research expenditures and patent generation.

An Abundance of Innovative Spaces

Beyond the university, innovation is alive throughout the region, as demonstrated by an increasing number of incubators, accelerators and makerspaces, such as the Whitewater Innovation Center, Sector67, Portage Business Enterprise Center, gener8tor, 100state, and the Janesville Innovation Center.

The forthcoming entrepreneurial hub known as StartingBlock Madison will catalyze start-ups by providing a collaborative environment of learning, mentorship, and resources through flexible leases, professional advisors, investment opportunities, and community programming in Madison’s Capital East District.

Collaboration that Fosters New Ideas

Key to the success of our region’s innovation is the collaborative community that exists between education and industry to help translate ideas into solutions viable for business. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) helps commercialize scientific research for the benefit of the university and the private sector, while the WiSys Technology Foundation connects UW System innovators with industry leaders and improves technology transfer through patent and licensing activities. Discovery 2 Product (D2P) is a new partnership between UW-Madison and WARF that is focused on moving university technology and innovation to market.

Cooperation between entrepreneurs and firms is fostered through organizations like the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Wisconsin Innovation Network, and Wisconsin Angel Network. These kinds of partnership bring our region’s pioneering spirit to life and help make worldwide distribution of our products a reality.

“Madison definitely [belongs] on that short list — with a Portland, with a Boulder, an Austin — of places that [represent] the right type of entrepreneurial environment.”

– Greg Robinson, 4490 Ventures

Madison, WI: #7 Best City for Entrepreneurs
Forbes, 2016

UW System: #8 World’s Most Innovative Universities
Reuters, 2015

Madison, WI: 10 Underrated Hotbeds of American Innovation
Fast Company, 2012