So you have a great idea - Where should you go next?

Throughout this website, we've explained how WiSys Technology Foundation can help you take an idea from conception to commercialization, but there are other resources across the state of Wisconsin that specialize in certain steps of the process.

Prototype development & testing

The Center for Device Design and Development at UW-Fox Valley helps inventors and small businesses in Wisconsin by providing the engineering and technical expertise required to turn a great idea into a tangible, testable object. As a free service to the Wisconsin public, 3DC determines an idea's technical feasibility, market strength and IP potential then meets with the inventor to discuss results and next steps.

3DC helped Fox Valley entrepreneur and outdoorsman Tim Campbell develop, test and refine his idea for a waterfowl decoy.

Market evaluation & business planning

Ideadvance is a seed fund aimed at helping UW System faculty, staff and students de-risk their ideas, discover their fit in the market and begin commercializing. Two stages of funding help support specific commercialization milestones while business mentoring helps innovators learn important entrepreneurial skills and develop a solid business plan.

Mobile application development

Having a digital presence is vital for many small businesses. The App Factory at UW-Parkside provides conceptual designing and prototype mobile app development services to innovators across Wisconsin. UW-Parkside students gain real world experience working with clients and working on live projects as part of internships or course credit.

With the App Factory's help, Jennifer Carter and her colleague at IVMD took their idea for improved patient care algorithms and made it portable, so that hospitals everywhere could use it.

Federal funding to gain market access

The Center for Technology Commercialization assists small Wisconsin-based companies acquire funding through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. These federal programs aim to foster innovation across the United States, but can be difficult to obtain or navigate alone. CTC helps businesses develop successful proposals for Phase 1 awards and comprehensive commercialization plans for Phase 2 awards, as well as providing a matching grant for support in between the two phases.

Algoma Algal Biotechnology, LLC used CTC's support to scale up its research on blue-green algae and learn the ins and outs of starting a business.

Further financing & investment

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation aims to improve Wisconsin's economy by accelerating business start-up, attraction and growth throughout the state. WEDC provides a positive business climate, world-class support services and economic development tools to help entrepreneurs reach their short-, mid- and long-term goals.

Jeff Leismer founded VibeTech, a NASA startup that improves injury rehabilitation using technology developed for astronauts. With the help of many Wisconsin resources, including WiSys, UW-Stout and WEDC, VibeTech became a successful small business.