Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network: 2011 Companies to Watch winners announced!

Contact: Gayle Kugler, Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network, 608-263-7812, [email protected], http://www.wisconsin.companiestowatch.org

MADISON – Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) State Director Gayle Kugler today announced the winners of the second annual Wisconsin Companies to Watch (WCTW). Companies to Watch (CTW) is a distinctive awards program developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation to honor second-stage companies that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace, exhibit innovative products, services or processes, or otherwise make their company “worth watching.”

“I’m pleased to recognize the winners of the Companies to Watch Award,” said Department of Commerce Secretary Paul Jadin. “These companies are poised for future growth and will help drive investment and job creation in Wisconsin.”

“CTW acknowledges companies at the crucial stage of growth where financial potential, concept and management have been established, and attracting talented workers, solid vendor relationships and access to peer learning are key components of future growth,” added Gayle Kugler. The Edward Lowe Foundation’s studies have shown second-stage companies are the ones who generate jobs and economic growth in their communities.

The 33 Class of 2011 Wisconsin CTW Award Winners are as follows:

Advanced Laser Machining; Chippewa Falls
Air Motion Systems, Inc.; River Falls
AquaMost, Inc.; Madison
Aurizon Ultrasonics, LLC; Kimberly
BioSystem Development, LLC; Madison
Bjorksten | bit 7; Madison
Bock Water Heaters, Inc.; Madison
CaP Biomaterials, LLC; East Troy
Cascade Asset Management; Madison
Cell Line Genetics; Madison
Cellectar, Inc; Madison
Centrisys Corporation; Kenosha
Cherney Microbiological Services, Ltd; Green Bay
Equity Creative; Kenosha
Functional Biosciences, Inc.; Madison
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier; Madison
H Window Company LLC; Ashland
Ictect, Inc.; Sturtevant
Liveyearbook, Inc.; Neenah
Loudspeaker Components, LLC; Lancaster
Mill Haven Foods; New Lisbon
NCCM Company, LLC; River Falls
NeoCoil; Pewaukee
Performance Micro Tool, Inc.; Janesville
Quest Industrial LLC; Monroe
Regulatory Compliance Assoc. Inc.; Kenosha
ScheduleSoft Corporation; Madison
Subway Ceramics; Verona
TrafficCast International, Inc.; Madison
Uplands Cheese, Inc.; Dodgeville
Virent Energy Systems, Inc.: Madison
Xten Industries LLC; Kenosha
ZAXX Technology Specialists, WI Rapids

The winners will be honored at a Gala Awards Program and Celebration on May 5th at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. For more information or to register to attend, please go to: http://www.wisconsin.companiestowatch.org

This event is generously sponsored by MG&E and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, host of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Program, which is co-funded with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available for the celebration event.

Winners will have an opportunity to attend a complimentary three-day Leadership Retreat, hosted by the Edward Lowe Foundation at their Michigan headquarters this summer. The facilitated peer-learning retreat is created specifically for leaders of second-stage growth-oriented companies and gives them the opportunity to tap into the collective wisdom of the group. Winners from other state’s CTW programs will be invited as well.

The Edward Lowe Foundation recognizes that many second-stage companies fly under the radar of typical awards programs. CTW is specifically designed to seek out businesses from a wide range of industries representing all areas of the state, not just those in major metropolitan areas. In addition to an evaluation on past growth and projected success, applicant companies are judged according to their special strengths. These strengths revolve around innovative products and business practices, special use of technology, work within the community and more.

WEN and Commerce have been host to another Edward Lowe Foundation program since 2005. PeerSpectives, a peer learning roundtable group for entrepreneurs currently has eight tables around Wisconsin, facilitated by the Small Business Development Center network. In addition to the retreat in Michigan, CTW award winners will be invited to join a year-long Wisconsin peer learning group.

About WEN: The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) was established in June 2005 as a joint venture between the Wisconsin Department of Commerce 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. WEN partners help grow existing businesses and move forward high-potential entrepreneurs to enable Wisconsin to be competitive in a global economic environment. For more information, visit http://www.wenportal.org.

About the Edward Lowe Foundation: Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a Michigan-based nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through recognition, education and research with a focus on second-stage companies – those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. The foundation also encourages economic gardening, an entrepreneur-centered strategy providing balance to the traditional approach of business recruitment. For more information, visit http://www.edwardlowe.org.