Innovation Center wins Impact Award


Dana Hockbein, Staff Reporter

The Whitewater University Innovation Center won the Impact Award in Mixed-Use from the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) in February of 2018.

InBIA is the largest member-based entrepreneurial support network in the world with more than 2,200 members. Their goal is to enrich industry resources, education, and global programming. They also help entrepreneurs transform their aspirations into a global prosperity.

Whitewater University Innovation Center’s premise is “to create and foster durable businesses and jobs through a close alignment of UW-Whitewater’s research and educational competencies and the resources of the City of Whitewater.”

They help start-up businesses by providing a wide variety services, from coaching to office space to mentorships. Mark Johnson, Executive Director of the Whitewater University Innovation Center said “this will better their chance for survival” by utilizing all of the opportunities the Innovation Center has to offer. They also have access to faculty, students, and staff from all business aspects such as marketing and accounting.

The awards from InBIA are meant to honor centers involved in creating an economic impact in their community.

InBIA states the Whitewater University Innovation Center is “home to 18 startups, 3 anchor clients, and the Launch Pad student startup accelerator, the Innovation Center companies support more than 100 jobs, have received in excess of $18 million in revenues, and have obtained over $4 million in debt, equity and grant funding in the most recent reporting year”.

Johnson explained that this was less of a competition and more of a recognition. InBIA gives out monthly awards to business incubators who are part of their membership. The Innovation Center participated in an incubator impact study in which InBIA uses their data and others alike for analytical purposes.

Johnson said, “It was nice to be recognized by InBIA for their efforts.” This award allows the Whitewater community to acknowledge the Innovation Center and Technology Park for all of their progressions in their effort to incubate start-ups.