RIVER FALLS – The St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center will celebrate its grand opening Thursday, April 12 -- the result of a partnership among the River Falls Economic Development Corporation, UW-River Falls, the city of River Falls and Chippewa Valley Technical College.
The center is located in the Sterling Ponds Corporate Park, 1091 Sutherland Avenue, River Falls. The open house begins at 2 p.m., with a brief ceremony and ribbon cutting at 3 p.m.
Scheduled speakers include Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs for the U.S. Department of Commerce Dennis Alvord; Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Sheila Harsdorf; Vice President of Entreprenuership and Innovation at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Aaron Hagar; UW System Board of Regents President John Robert Behling; Chippewa Valley Technical College President Bruce Barker; and City of River Falls Mayor Dan Toland.
“The St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center will be a one-stop location for businesses to access services and has great potential to provide new connection to the university’s students and faculty,” said UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen. “It’s a strategic priority for UW-River Falls to encourage this kind of innovation and partnership, and we are proud to be a partner in this exciting collaboration.”
Chancellor Van Galen will join U.S. Economic Development Administration Regional Director Jeannette Tamayo and the River Falls Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors and others in the ribbon-cutting event.
Planning for the center began in 2010 after interested organizations did a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the regional economy. It found significant numbers of business start-ups; high percentages of small business failures; high population growth compared to the rest of Wisconsin; below-average earnings; established companies interested in spinning off new business ventures; and a desire to better connect university resources with the business community.
Work on the facility, located across Highway 35 from the Whitetail Corporate Park, began in May 2017 and it opened to its first tenant in February 2018.
The St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center will team with UWRF’s Center for Innovation and Business Development (CIBD), which is located in the new facility to provide business planning, coaching and mentoring assistance, software, financial advisory services and many other resources to young and growing businesses. The UW-River Falls Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is part of CIBD and the new innovation center.
“The St. Croix Valley area is one of the fastest-growing in Wisconsin and we’re excited to be a part of the engine that will drive business growth in the region,” said CIBD Director Danielle Campeau. “There is so much potential in this region and working together, we can help grow business to benefit everyone.”
For more information, contact Campeau at 715-425-3066 or firstname.lastname@example.org.