A coalition of Wisconsin universities will try to help start-up businesses develop their products.
The federal government has granted $2 million to five universities for the Wisconsin Center for Commercialization Resources. The schools taking part are UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater, UW-Parkside, Marquette University and the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Parkside and UW-Milwaukee official Carmel Ruffalo directs the new center. She says it will provide entrepreneurs with commercial advice, "Help them with their marketing, prototypes, engineering."
Ruffalo says the five schools involved have experience working together. She says some of the universities also have partnerships with angel investors to potentially provide money for the startup businesses. One entrepreneur who has already done some multi-university networking is Nathan Conroy, a Marquette student who helped create a computer display called H20 Score. Conroy says the product helps homeowners and businesses practice water conservation, "So what our display is takes data to help people understand what they're using."
Conroy says H20 Score also links businesses with green-minded consumers. He says he hopes the new university collaboration can help connect more start-ups with talented people.