Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Building multi-state successes through local foods entrepreneurship

We had a great visit from economic development friends from Illinois this week.

My last business was a Wisconsin/Illinois enterprise. We won the United States small business new product of the year award. We were headqartered in Madison, WI and Streator, IL.

That business was focused on advanced manufacturing. Wouldn't it be fun and valuable to make this kind of multi-state collaboration work in local foods and regional food systems!

This week we welcomed Illinois Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Warren Warren Ribley and Therese McMahon, Illinois' Deputy Director, Office of Employment & Training. They visited along with my new friend Kathy Nyquist of New Venture Advisors and old friend Jim Slamma from and other new friends. Thanks for a great day!

We had a great chance to show off our Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen model and how it can be replicated within states and across state lines.

Following our visit with Wisconsin's USDA Rural Development Director Stan Gruszynski last week, as well as private investors, I'm convinced there is a supportive network of private and public economic development interests that can be leveraged to help deploy a smart new network of these food facilities across multiple states.

Thanks for a great visit. Multi-state successes in entrepreneurship and local/regional foods begin with great conversations like this!

(Photos are of new economic development friends from Illinois.)

Warren Ribley, Illinois' Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Therese McMahon, Illinois' Deputy Director of Employment and Training. Photo from an award ceremony Therese participated in for firms supporting people with disabilities.

Mission statement for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity:

The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is the lead state agency responsible for improving Illinois' competitiveness in the global economy. Guided by an innovative regional approach, DCEO administers a wide range of economic and workforce development programs, services and initiatives designed to create and retain high quality jobs and build strong communities. DCEO leads the Illinois economic development process in partnership with businesses, local governments, workers and families.

New Venture Advisors and Kathy Nyquist and Jim Slamma.

Hodan Center's Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

Iowa County Area Economic Development. Come Grow With Us!

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