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April 20, 2016 - entrepreneur@work Digest  
In This Issue
 
officeOffice of Advocacy Releases the Wisconsin Small Business Profile
Chart of WI private startup and exit rates
The Office of Advocacy, an independent office within the Small Business Administration, released the annual Small Business Profiles. The Wisconsin profile is now available here. "The revamped design and the intuitive charts allow Wisconsin's small businesses to better understand the contributions they make to their community and the critical role they play in Wisconsin's economic success," said Chief Economist and Director of Economic Research Christine Kymn. Top-line small business stats include: 
  • Wisconsin small businesses represent 97.7% of all businesses with employees and employ about 51.8% of the private-sector workforce.
  • The three Wisconsin industries with the most small business jobs are Manufacturing, Health Care and Social Assistance, and Accommodation and Food Services.
  • The number of minority-owned firms increased by 55.6% between 2007 and 2012.
Read more about the Small Business Profile release. 
logoNeed a Startup Logo? This Machine Will Design One for You
Logo designer looking at computer screen
Creating the perfect logo is harder than it looks. Just ask Uber, which has been widely panned for replacing its signature "U" with a seemingly random combination of shapes. Or take a look at the tide of criticism following the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new logo, which New York magazine's architecture critic called a "typographic bus crash." Now, Mark Maker, a still-in-prototype machine from the Emblemmatic project, promises to take the pain out of designing a company logo - and for free. Click here to learn how Mark Maker uses an algorithm to help you easily create a new design.
ensodataEnsoData Raises $550K to Develop Software That Analyzes Sleep Data
EnsoData cofounders
At an event last August featuring pitches from startups, EnsoData co-founder Chris Fernandez told audience members that his company was hoping to raise $300,000 in a seed funding round.
EnsoData, whose software uses machine learning algorithms to help clinicians score sleep data and diagnose patients with sleep apnea and other disorders, has now realized that dream - and then some. The Madison, WI-based startup says it's raised $550,000 in equity financing in a seed round led by HealthX Ventures, with some individual investors also participating. "By using technology from EnsoData, clinicians will be able to automate what has historically been a very manual and tedious review process to quickly gain insights and provide more personalized, proactive, and preventative care for their patients," says Mark Bakken, managing partner of HealthX Ventures. Read more.
common8 Common Ways Small Businesses Waste Money Marketing
Two people planning marketing strategy with laptop and phone
Brian Sutter, Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode, hates seeing money lost to wasted marketing. After talking to hundreds of small business owners, Sutter has discovered that many inadvertently waste much of their budget on misused or ineffective tactics and tools. Marketing budgets for small companies are already too tight, and you simply don't have the time or finances for things that don't work. To help you cut waste and boost success in 2016, Sutter compiled a list of the eight most common ways small businesses lose money with bad marketing AND what you can do to turn those losses into gains. 
SBDCSBDC Success Story: Blair Fire Protection
Blair Burkette
On a hot, 86-degree summer day back in 2008, a new fire protection company was born. The Menomonee Falls, WI-based business, now called Blair Fire Protection, provides active fire prevention and protection services to customers while educating them on how to make the best life and property safety decisions for the future of their buildings or homes. The company's namesake is its founder, Blair Burkette, who manages the day-to-day activities. After forming an LLC, he received a mailing from the SBDC and concluded it would be a "great resource." Burkette began working with Laura Schmitz of the UW-Milwaukee SBDC, who provided direction on how to operate a new business and some of the future challenges Burkette's company could face. In 2011 and 2012, the business plan he wrote with her guidance helped Blair Fire Protection secure an SBA loan with the Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corporation to purchase the current facility in Menomonee Falls. Read the full success story here
AroundAround the State. . . 
Managing Employees: Projects & Processes
Provided by the Wisconsin SBDC at UW-La Crosse, participants will learn the importance of using project management tools for both large and small projects to improve efficiency. Examples of successful and failed projects will be given and how to avoid failure with careful tracking and review methods. Learn how process mapping helps your company reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and maintain proper documentation! Register here for this two-day seminar held on April 27-28 @8:30am-4pm.
Starting & Surviving in Business
This monthly workshop taught by members of SCORE is provided free of charge for those wanting to start a business. Topics presented include:
  • Determining whether a sufficient market exists for your product or service
  • Developing a sound financial plan for your business
  • Resources needed for a successful business
  • Creating a thorough business plan
After completion of this workshop, you can work with SCORE members or one of the counselors at the Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Stevens Point on an individual basis. The next session will be held on May 11 @6:30pm-9:30pm. 
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The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a program of UW-Extension. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.