New Lakeland, SCEDC partnership will benefit entrepreneurs
The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) and Lakeland University have signed a new partnership to provide a centralized approach to growing and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in Sheboygan County.
The SCEDC and Lakeland University will create and manage the Sheboygan County Innovation Council, which will advise and guide innovation-based programming and services. Lakeland will be a partner in those efforts, leveraging its new presence at Jake’s, A Lakeland Community, in downtown Sheboygan.
The SCEDC and Lakeland will partner to implement the SEED Accelerator grant, which is funded by a grant that the SCEDC received from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The Accelerator will provide $10,000 grants for up to six new start-ups through a competitive process, helping them prepare to enter the marketplace.
Stephanie Hoskins, Lakeland’s Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. Chair for Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, and Ray York, SCEDC’s Entrepreneurship Specialist, will have leadership roles in implementing the Accelerator program.
“This agreement allows us to create a hub to align innovation-based services that will aid in the creation of a stronger technical support eco-system to move this area forward,” said SCEDC Executive Director Brian Doudna. “We look forward to working with Lakeland, which has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and provides access to innovative programs like Cooperative Education and Launch: Student-Run Businesses.”
Lakeland President Beth Borgen said the timing of the agreement is ideal with the recent acquisition of Jake’s, A Lakeland Community.
“We have a lot of talented entrepreneurs in Sheboygan County doing a lot of good things, and this partnership will provide a central platform to build off one another’s great ideas and strengths,” Borgen said. “We are excited to work with the SCEDC to help develop new product ideas and strategies. Our students will have opportunities to be part of this work, plus it will benefit young business leaders and startups in this region.”