Wausau business center helps startups succeed - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau business center helps startups succeed


The Entrepreneurial and Education Center in Wausau is committed to helping new businesses survive a tough market. Despite new jobs numbers that place Wisconsin at the bottom when it comes to job creation, leaders at the center say they're making a difference.

Tim Sheridan is an army veteran with one goal. "I always wanted to own my own business," he told Newsline 9.

It's a goal the Entrepreneurial and Education Center in Wausau is helping make a reality.

"This is a great place to start a business and get it up and going," Sheridan said of the center.

It rents office space and provides mentors to startups like Sheridan's business, Applied Fab and Machining. The contract manufacturer makes steel parts.

"The success rate is over 80 percent in new startups across the country that start in an incubator, a business development center like we have here," said the center's manager Romey Wagner.

Services at the center are paid for by a $40,000 grant from the county and rent paid by businesses. AFM is one of 16 at the center. Business leaders there said the program is working.

"In the past three years, we have helped create 86 full-time jobs and 114 part-time jobs," Wagner said.

Several local businesses have moved on from the center and now have locations in Wausau. One of them: Sweet Lola's in downtown.

Wagner said it's the advice other entrepreneurs can provide that helps people at the center do well.

"They can go across the hall and talk to someone who maybe had the same question a year ago," he said.

While not all businesses succeed, people at the center work to help owners have the best chance they can.

"We help them make the right decision," Wagner said.

Sheridan said that's true, and he has big plans. "We're going to grow and add more."

Leaders at the business center said they have a goal to help businesses move out of the facility within three years.



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