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Centergy News
Updates from your regional economic development alliance
December  2010- Vol 1, Issue 9
In This Issue
Innovation 25
Companies to Watch list
2011 Plan of Business
The Centergy Board of Directors approved the 2011 Plan of Work entitled "Drawing Direction...Connecting the Dots".  Please click here to view the plan of action.  You may contact the Centergy office should you wish to read the detailed report.  We also encourage you to contact Centergy should you wish to be involved in any of the stated initiatives. Centergy's business model is based on grass-roots support, and volunteers are always very much appreciated.
2011 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest
WI Governors Biz Plan ContestApplications are now being accepted for the 2011 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest!

The 2011 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest is open for entries now through 5 p.m. on January 31, 2011


The mission of the Governor's Business Plan Contest is to encourage entrepreneurs in the creation, start-up and early-growth stages of high-tech businesses in Wisconsin. Participants have the chance to win seed capital, valuable services that will help them launch their businesses and a Grand Prize worth $50,000. Since its inception in 2004, more than 1,500 entries have been received and

$1 million in cash and in-kind prizes has been awarded. 

Produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and a growing list of partners, the Governor's Business Plan Contest engages contestants in a six-month process that includes mentoring and comments from judges on selected plans. It will also lead to valuable public and media exposure for the best business plans submitted by contestants, as well as spur economic growth in Wisconsin. Past finalists have raised a reported $11 million in private equity, such as angel and venture capital.


Initial entry is a 250-word idea abstract. Please visit for more detailed information.

Meet the Centergy
Board of Directors
Centergy is blessed to have a strong, diverse board of directors from both the public and private sectors.

Meet them HERE.
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Barb FleisnerTHANK YOU Centergy supporters: A look back at our 2010 achievements, and the many more to come in the new year.

As 2010 draws to a close, I wish to take this opportunity to thank our many partners who helped us advance very focused strategic objectives throughout the year.  Please click here for a complete 2010 Year in Review report.  While many of the initiatives are underway, it is important to pay attention to the "outcomes."  We hope that viewers can witness a positive difference based on our management by quantitative measurements. 

Business Development

Medical Sciences

Advanced Manufacturing

Alternative Energy, Agriculture and Food Processing

Entrepreneurship - Business Innovation

Community Development

Legislative Advancements and Government Relations



Workforce Development

K12 through Higher Education

Incumbent worker training

I would be remiss if we didn't recognize our investors who provide us the resources to execute this plan of work.

Inaugural Foundation Investors - Platinum Level

B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation

Dudley Foundation

Judd S. Alexander Foundation

Liberty Mutual

Wisconsin Department of Commerce

Gold Level Investors


Delta Dental

Marshfield Clinic

Ministry Health Care

Ruder Ware

Security Health Plan


Wisconsin Public Service

North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board

Silver Level Investors

Alliant Energy

Associated Bank


Bronze Level Investors

Marshfield Door Systems


Peoples State Bank

The Samuels Group

Wausau Paper


Partner Level Investors

Gannett Central Wisconsin Media

Hawkins Ash Baptie & Co

Heritage Bank

Innovative Machine Specialists

Flap Jack

Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin

Community Foundation of Greater South Wood County

QPS Employment Group

Redevelopment Resources

Sentry Insurance


On behalf of the Centergy Board of Directors, we look forward to working with all the communities in our region in order to attract and retain thriving businesses and a high-quality workforce, to foster entrepreneurial activity, and to inspire continuous improvement in our quality of life.

Wishing you all the Merriest!


Barb Fleisner
Executive Director
Innovation 25 - Driving growth through innovation
Innovation 25 graphic

One of Centergy's major areas of focus relates to supporting our manufacturing sector. One way to do this is to partner with other statewide initiatives through the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Network (WIN).  

Innovation 25 Pilot Program is a state-wide effort to encourage 25 technology-based manufacturing businesses to research, develop and commercialize new products and services aided by federal research and development funding.  The pilot program targets technology-based manufacturing businesses (start-up, existing and in all industry sectors) that have historically not participated in the $2.4 billion federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.  Innovation 25 businesses must be focused on scientific and technological innovations that require research and development resulting in a commercialized product or service.  The State of Wisconsin is expected to receive $1.5 to $2 million of federal funding for this program to aid Wisconsin-based companies.

Businesses qualifying for this program will receive FREE individualized and customized assistance that results in the development of high quality SBIR/STTR Phase I proposals to enable them to secure federal research funding. 

Both SBIR and STTR Programs are three-phased programs with funding guidelines as shown:

Phase I - Funding up to $150,000 for a period of 6-9 months, which supports research to determine or demonstrate the technical feasibility of the innovative idea. 

Phase II - Funding up to $1,000,000 for a period of up to 24 months which supports the research and development needs to produce a prototype based on the successful Phase I feasibility effort. 

Phase III - Financing comes from the private sector.  However, if the federal government is a potential customer, funding may be available for government procurement.

Manufacturing projects that are eligible include:

- Unit-process-level technologies that create or improve manufacturing processes.

-  Machine-level technologies that create or improve  manufacturing equipment.

- Systems-level technologies for innovation in the manufacturing enterprise.

- Environmental or societal-level technologies that improve workforce abilities, productivity andmanufacturing competitiveness.

Interested companies may contact Pat Dillon, WIN at or Barb Fleisner, Centergy at

Nominations open to compete for "Companies to Watch" list
WI Companies To Watch
Wisconsin Companies to Watch is an awards program that celebrates second-stage companies. In order to be considered for this prestigious award, for-profit companies must be privately held, employ 6 to 99 individuals, earn between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue, be headquartered in Wisconsin and demonstrate the capacity to grow.


In addition to an evaluation on past growth and projected success, applicant companies are judged according to their special strengths. These strengths revolve around innovative products and business practices, special use of technology, work within the community and more.


Selected companies benefit through regional and statewide recognition, high-level networking at the awards event, the opportunity to tell their company story to thousands of people and participation in a peer learning group.  The Centergy region is proud of two winners in last year's competition - Prevention Genetics LLC and RoomPro Technologies.


"This program has proven its ability to help companies that have reached that all-important second stage of growth," said Department of Commerce Secretary Aaron Olver.

And what better way to honor these companies than to nominate them for this prestigious award. You or a business you know can fill out a form online at It takes just minutes to complete.

We hope that several Central Wisconsin-based businesses will be part of the nomination process for a right to be recognized for the level of innovation that we know occurs every day inside our local companies.

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