APPLETON – Join top managers from business incubators in Madison, Wausau and Green Bay Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007 at the Fox Valley Technical College Bordini Center, 5 Systems Drive, Appleton. To register for this 5 p.m. meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network, go to

It is challenging to start and grow a business. What do you do when it no longer works to run the business from your basement or the garage?  Are incubators an answer?  Business incubators are popular with policy-makers, some financiers and the business press, but how do they actually work and do they have a track record of helping companies through this difficult period? They have the advantage of lower rent, shared services and often have increased access to other entrepreneurs at similar stages in the development of their businesses.

Not all incubators are created equal, however.  The Jan. 18 WIN-Northeast panel will feature Greg Hyer, associate director of University Research Park in Madison; Harry Bourquin, director of the recently opened Wausau Business Incubator; and Barb Fleisner of the Business Assistance Center in Green Bay.  They will share their experiences with early-stage companies and tell us what has worked — and describe where there is room for improvement.

Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council will moderate the panel and discuss how to enter the 2007 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which has an entry deadline of 5 p.m. Jan. 31. WIN is the membership subsidiary of the Tech Council, the science and tech policy advisers to the governor and the Legislature.

To join WIN, go to or call Andrea Johnson at 608-442-7557, ext. 27.