Platteville Business Incubator Ready To Serve

Platteville Business Incubator, Inc. received $37,000 from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to expand its programming for startups, including farm businesses.

PBII created the Driftless Makers Business Series with the funds. This encompasses “mashup” networking events, a podcast, and the upcoming Driftless Makers Market, a regional business showcase happening Sep. 27. Executive Director Kate Koziol says all are invited.

“We wanted to pull out the people that aren’t just in the building. We don’t think the incubator stops at the end of our parking lot — we think that we’re here to serve the region,” Koziol says. “Not everybody needs an office space or a manufacturing space, but they might needs some coaching, some support, some community in order to continue on their path.”

Learn more about the upcoming event and RSVP: 

Platteville Business Incubator has been around for 20 years and boasts 80 graduates. Its goal is to provide startup businesses with manufacturing and office space, mentoring, coaching, and financial resources.

“Some people just need a quick conversation, they need a connection. We have the resources to reach out no matter what their challenge is,” Koziol says.

Resource partners include the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, IDEA Hub Accelerator, and the UW System. A handful of incubator board members also have background in commercial farming and ag lending.

About 15 percent of the incubator’s clients are in the food or farming business. Koziol says the addition of a 400 sq. ft. commercial kitchen a decade ago has allowed more opportunities for farmers to create a value-added product. One family farm used the incubator’s services to start a gelato business.

Incubator tenants benefit from below market rate rent. The incubator is 26,000 sq. ft. under one roof featuring offices and industrial spaces of up to 5,000 sq. feet. Monthly fees start at $0.42 to $0.54 sq. foot. Businesses may stay for 3-5 years, although some companies graduate sooner.

To apply for entrance, a business must be a for-profit company providing a product or service with the potential for job creation: