Sunday, December 30, 2007


We voted with our feet and chose the area of Madison, WI to raise our family and to grow our businesses. Next to getting married, it was the best decision we ever made.

What higher recommendation could I make? I'm still thrilled with that choice 30+ years later.

I've started a number of new enterprises from this region since then, and now I get to work from here, helping folks launch their new businesses.

The eight counties of South Central Wisconsin have been rolling out a unified front for economic development in this region and I'm really delighted to see the progress being made. This area is a fabulous platform for creating new enterprises and improving your life.

That's why I really like the name they recently gave their new organization, Thrive.

For anyone looking to launch or grow a tech based enterprise, this is an ideal place. The research support and connections here are world class.

For those of us working as independent entrepreneurs (IEs), this place is perfect.

In both of the last enterprises we ran from the Madison area, we had customers on 5 continents. There are just no limits to the transportation and communications resources available here for the independent entrepreneur.

And yes, while we worked globally, I was also able to readily build an excellent regional economic base because of our easy access to Milwaukee, Chicago and the Twin Cities. All the early, sustaining, pay-the-bills, orders arrived from this hub. And we were in the middle of it, in a really lovely, invigorating environment, doing great startup work.

The world is only so virtual. You also need to show up. Being in the middle of this very valuable, and economically diverse region puts you on the doorstep of millions of people, representing countless different markets and industries, with relatively quick drives. And you get to be virtual the rest of the time, in one of the most beautiful and dynamic places on earth.

I believe that knitting together all the stakeholders in a project like this is tantamount to herding cats. The folks that have brought the new Thrive organization to this point should be thanked heartily and congratulated.

With the launch of the new name, Thrive has also named a new Chair. He is John Biondi, who I had the great pleasure of meeting with last fall. John has a rich and interesting track record working with science based high tech firms. After talking with John I am also firmly convinced he is strongly committed to independent entrepreneurs doing sustainable work.

I knew I would like John, when I showed up at his office and he was the only one in jeans, surrounded by suits. John said it was casual Friday, but that seemed to have caught everyone else off guard. John seems fully capable of declaring casual days all on his own, which I greatly admire. Also seems like a great metaphor for the kind of work we do in our region.

While Thrive rolls out and begins to focus on its key sectors, they will also be making resources available for anyone interested in starting or growing their enterprises in our smart, beautiful region.

If you would like help from the perspective of an IE that lives and works in this region, get in contact. Better yet, visit one of the gems of our region, Monroe, WI on Jan 7th. I'll be sharing a talk that evening with their Entrepreneur and Inventor Club meeting. The focus of this talk is on innovation and invention for the independent entrepreneur. I'll link info below. Stop by and let's meet.

When I think of all the wonderful cities, towns, villages, open spaces, natural treasures, coffee stops, pie places, great bowls of soup, and all the inventive, amazing small businesses I know about in our region I can't imagine a better place to work from. I've started thinking about all of them as 'Thrive-Points'.

Thrive is a great new name for a wonderful region to live and work. Get in touch with Thrive (below) or meet me in 'Thrive-Point' Monroe!

Thrive the newly named regional economic development organization for the best place on earth to locate and grow yourself and your new enterprise.

Download the Green Co. Entrepreneur and Inventor Club press release here. From Idea to Manufacture: The Process of Invention.

C5-6 Technologies John Biondi is the President of C5-6

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