(WisBusiness) MON News Summary — 11 August 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The entrepreneurial spirit is rising at UW-Madison and other campuses, and not just among faculty and staff who want to start new companies.

Students are also chomping at the bit to create their own firms, officials say, which is one of the reasons why the University Research Park is opening 10 incubator suites in a former manufacturing site on East Washington Ave.

UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley is predicting an “explosion” of student-run companies. He says there has been a “sea change” over the past decade in attitudes of students, many of whom now want to run their own companies rather than work for someone else.

Wiley cited a $4 million Kauffman Foundation grant to the university to foster campus-wide programs over five years to encourage young entrepreneurs. The program is being coordinated by the university’s Office of Corporate Relations, which is headed by Charles Hoslet.

The goal of the foundation grant, Hoslet said, is to “expand entrepreneurship education and learning beyond just the traditional boundaries of the business school.

See story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=133119

— Farmers in Western Wisconsin continue to come up with innovative methods that fit the geography of the region, minimize impact on the environment and meet demands for organic and healthy food products.

Government continues to notice and recognize the efforts with some monetary grants.

A $69,030 grant to the Coulee Graziers Network and a $2,500 grant to the Deer Run Farm organic beef farm near Coon Valley were among $983,000 in grants Gov. Jim Doyle announced last week.

The nearly $1 million in grants is part of the Wisconsin Grazing Lands and Conservation Initiative, which protects land and water through education, technical planning assistance, and research for dairy and livestock farmers.

See Gregg Hoffmann column: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=202

— Harley-Davidson, Inc. has completed its purchase of the privately held Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group.

Milwaukee-based Harley has acquired 100 percent of MV Agusta Group shares for total consideration of approximately $108 million, which includes the satisfaction of existing bank debt for approximately $69 million.

Retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles have grown at a double-digit rate in Europe in each of the last three years, as the company has increased its strategic focus on global markets.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/8/8/#harley-acquires-italian-motorcycle-manufacturer


WISBUSINESS LUNCHEON: Global Warming Task Force Co-Chairs
Tuesday, August 12, 11:45 am, The Madison Club

WisBusiness.com, The Madison Club and Madison Magazine present “The Madison Business Luncheon” on Tuesday, August 12, with featured guests Global Warming Task force Chairs Roy Thilly of the Wisconsin Public Power and Tia Nelson of the Board of Public Land Commissioners.

Learn more about the Global Warming Task Force: http://dnr.wi.gov/environmentprotect/gtfgw/

Sponsored by Xcel Energy.

This event is open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19. Call the Madison Club to register at (608) 255-4861. The luncheon starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.



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Press Releases
Harley-Davidson Completes Acquisition of MV Agusta
$105 Million Settlement Reached in Power Plant Cooling System Dispute
Aurora Health Care Employee Named YMCA Black Achiever of the Year
Brookdale Announces Second Quarter 2008 Results
Cygnus Business Media Partners With Directory
Kohl’s July sales decline
Lake Lawn Resort Receives Final City Council Approval for Next Phase of Development
Midwest Air Group Reports July Performance
National City Opens New State Headquarters in Downtown Milwaukee; Announces Plans to Expand Branch Network
Schneider National Owner-Operators Now Paying Just $1.085 for Diesel
We Energies, Madison Gas & Electric, Wisconsin Public Power Commit to Additional Environmental Initiatives
Wisconsin Based K2 Sourcing Named as a Top Supply Chain Innovator by Leading Business Magazine
ZBB Energy Corporation Announces Sales Distribution Agreement With New Age Energy, Inc.

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


Picking Commerce secretary is tricky: With the abrupt resignation of Secretary Jack Fischer last month, the state Department of Commerce is looking for its fourth leader in four years — and at a critical time for the state. The state is seeing thousands of layoffs in the auto, paper, airline and other industries amid a flagging economy. And investments in technology-based businesses in Wisconsin continue to lag behind other states. “If there’s any time to have a good person in this job it’s now because it’s going to take help from the Department of Commerce to help some of these communities recover from these job losses,” said Mark Bugher, director of the University Research Park in Madison.

Harley-Davidson finishes acquisition of Italian firm: Harley-Davidson Inc. said it has completed its $108 million acquisition of Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group. As part of the deal, Harley assumes MV Agusta’s existing bank debt of $69 million, the company said. Harley announced its plans acquire the premium sport bike maker last month as part an effort to boost sales in Europe, where sport bikes account for about 80 percent of sales. Harley has seen its own sales grow in the double digits in Europe for the past three years. At home, the situation has been more difficult for Harley as it grapples with lower sales brought on by the economic slowdown, a weak consumer environment and the surge in gas prices. Earlier this year, Harley cut shipments to its motorcycle dealers and trimmed its work force.

Still no movement on mill: More than a month after Domtar closed its Port Edwards mill, village officials are hoping the company will act soon to market the property in an attempt to lessen the closure’s impact on the economy. “We’re anxious to know if Domtar is going to list it for sale, if they have offers pending … so we can try to get use of that property and the best value of it,” said Joe Terry, village administrator. “We want to see something happen there as soon as possible.” A spokesman for the Montreal-based papermaker would not comment on any plans the company might have for marketing the property. “We’re not making any specific comments on the future of the Port Edwards site,” Craig Timm said.

High gas prices mean good business for Milton company: The skyrocketing price of oil has meant dollar signs for a Milton company. ANGI International, 15 Plumb St., is one of a handful of companies nationwide that make refueling stations for vehicles powered by natural gas—the same gas used to heat homes, water and stoves. As oil prices shoot up, so does interest in ANGI’s product, President Andy Grimmer said. Revenue has grown by 50 percent in the last year, and the company is looking to expand, he said. “All around the world, there’s an increased interest in using (natural gas) for transportation fuel,” he said. ANGI has created large, colorful natural gas refueling stations for 25 years, and the Grimmer family—including Andy and his brother, CEO John Grimmer—has owned it 11 years.

Modine Manufacturing sees stock boost in July: Modine Manufacturing Co. (MOD) generated some unexpected heat in July. It posted the best investment return for the month among Wisconsin public companies. The Racine-based maker of radiators and other heat transfer systems did so even though it is in the midst of a large restructuring and is dependent for much of its success on the sale of trucks in the United States, which has been a very soft market. Nevertheless, after the company reported quarterly earnings July 29, its shares jumped. Coupled with a June that had seen them beaten down as part of a general market malaise, that was enough to put Modine at the top of the percentage gainers among state stocks in July, as compiled by Bloomberg News.

State loses bid to house bio lab: Mississippi site choice ‘suspicious’ to UW researcher… The Homeland Security Department swept aside evaluations of government experts and named Mississippi as a top location for a new national laboratory to study some of the most virulent biological threats. Wisconsin was among six states where locations for the $451 million lab were eliminated despite earning scores higher than Mississippi. Mississippi’s lawmakers include the Democratic chairman of the department’s oversight committee in the House and the senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is expected to approve money to build the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. The two lawmakers said they were unaware of the evaluation system that scored the Mississippi site so low.


GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Area demand strong for digital TV converter boxes

– Love of films led to career with Sony

BIOTECH (back to top)
– High-tech tools help farmers grow more

– Race series finds advantage in ethanol

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Gasoline prices should continue to drop: expert

– K-tech buys Appleton cleaning company

– Wisconsin GED completion lags behind other states

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– City asked to help pay for GM retention efforts

– Neenah company deals in clean air

LABOR (back to top)
– 68 New Berlin layoffs part of bank downsizing

– State slams job estimates

– Food drive helps laborers who have little agricultural work this season

– Rethinking retirement: Economy, desire to work are keeping Americans in workplace longer

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Prophit-ing from Disney philosophy

INVESTING (back to top)
– Long-term gains projected for energy, financial stocks

– Badger Meter increases dividend

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Developers focus on apartments

– Developers respond to demand for higher-quality student housing

– Legal housing discrimination?

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– About 872,000 Attend 2008 Wisconsin State Fair

– Dairyland Seed Being Sold to Dow AgroSciences

– Doyle Announces Wisconsin Grazing Lands Grants

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Colleges peddle bikes to car-loving students

– Airline woes threaten O’Hare expansion

– Wisconsin DOT begins installing traffic cameras in area

– School bus company won’t profit from Metro route changes

– Little airline fills vital role

RETAIL (back to top)
– Beer festival brings out the love

– Entertainment center in the works

– Cedar Crest gives the inside scoop

– Kohl’s July numbers miss estimates

– Milwaukee Public Market gaining space

REGULATION (back to top)
– Hearings set on proposed state fee hikes

– State hatches plan to restore lake trout

– Wisconsin No Call List to include cell numbers

– Does Wisconsin’s ‘Overserving Statute’ need an overhaul?

– Clinton suing downtown building owner

TOURISM (back to top)
– High water drains profits of lake-centered businesses

– Fair is reporting largest turnout ever

– Officials have high hopes for old ammo plant

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Doyle restates support for studying nuclear power

– Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District honored

– Melrose board OKs costlier water project

– Jitters drove energy deal

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Federal CDC director to speak at pandemic conference

– Disaster victims can apply for aid online

– Workshops to focus on managing credit

– Bigwigs didn’t win as big in pension plan

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Edgewood College offers local leadership course

– Stadium board works to protect taxpayers’ investment

– City estimates $155K from baseball team at Frame Park

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Tom Saler: Is the time right for snapping up bargains on Wall Street?

– Scott Bushkie: Add value beyond revenues

– Lisa Cruz: Companies large and small catching Twitter bug

– John Torinus: It’s not easy being green when EPA gets involved

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–CNBC BUSINESS NEWS: http://www.cnbc.com
–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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