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UW campuses developing new programs to spur business development


LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - UW campuses are coming up with new programs to encourage business development. And they hope to get competitive grants for those programs, which Governor Scott Walker proposed for the next state budget.

Walker has asked lawmakers to approve $20 million in incentive grants. But while the funding is not a done deal, chancellors at Platteville, River Falls, and Whitewater explained their proposals to the UW Board of Regents Thursday in La Crosse. And officials say every campus in the system is working on at least one idea.

Platteville hopes to start a regional innovation center for 14 counties in southwest Wisconsin. It would provide mentoring and business services for entrepreneurs.

River Falls is a small business development center aimed at smaller companies, which would build on the campus’s strengths that include food marketing and bio-medical services.

Whitewater hopes to open a central office to help coordinate efforts by 11 local economic development organizations.