UW-Extension: Nomination open for Wisconsin Companies to Watch through January 13, 2012

 For release: December 15, 2011
Contact: Emily Barth
(608) 263-7794
Email: [email protected]

Program raises second stage company profiles and offers peer leadership training

Act now to support Wisconsin businesses across the state. Anyone can nominate a second-stage company for the Wisconsin Companies to Watch award honoring innovators and potential job creators. Nominations of these companies–beyond the startup phase and poised to impact their markets, communities and state–are due Jan. 13, 2012.

After researching what kind of companies create jobs, the Edward Lowe Foundation started the Companies to Watch program to honor companies in all industries for their high performance in the marketplace and to highlight innovative products or processes such as that of 2011 Companies to Watch award recipient AquaMost Inc. of Madison (see video at http://bit.ly/rHsrbx).

“We want to raise the profile of Wisconsin’s emerging companies such as AquaMost and provide them access to resources including vendors, employees and high level networking,” said Gayle Kugler, associate director of the University of Wisconsin-Extension Division of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. That division manages the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network and the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network, which host this awards program in Wisconsin.

Companies must be privately held commercial enterprises with the intent and capacity for further growth. Candidates may be nominated or apply directly. Details are available through www.Wisconsin.CompaniesToWatch.org or Emily Barth, [email protected]

The economic impact of the 33 2011 Wisconsin Companies to Watch awardees includes:

$218 million in total annual revenue
57% increase in total annual revenue compared to 2009
1,045 full-time equivalent employees
180 net new jobs projected for 2011

The 2012 Wisconsin Companies to Watch awardees and their guests will be invited to a gala celebration in their honor on May 17, 2012, at the Marriott Milwaukee West.
About WEN: The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) was established in June 2005 as a joint venture between the then Wisconsin Department of Commerce (now Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation or WEDC) and the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Division (DEED). WEN and its partners strive to provide seamless access to the statewide network of entrepreneurial resources and expertise to create new ventures, help grow existing business and move forward high-potential entrepreneurs to enable Wisconsin to be competitive in a global economic environment. For information, visit www.wenportal.org.

About the Edward Lowe Foundation: Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition and educational programs, which are delivered through entrepreneur support organizations. The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. For information, visit www.edwardlowe.org.

About Wisconsin Companies to Watch: A nationwide program, Companies to Watch started in Wisconsin in 2010, hosted by the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network and the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network. Winning companies must employ between 6 and 99 fulltime equivalent employees and have between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue (including working capital from investors or grants) in the calendar year 2011.