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Lienenkugel Outlines Business Incubator Success


Vilas county began its first business incubator just two years ago and they're working on their fourth one  in Phelps.
The Board of Supervisors heard from Dick Lienenkugel from Vilas County Economic Development Corporation about the latest developments. The report focused on the four businesses incubators that have arisen and some of the success stories the incubators have produced. Lienenkugel has a residence in Vilas county and is a former state Commerce Secretary.

The group formed in 2010 and opened its first incubator in Eagle River in 2012, a second followed, and other one in Manitowish Waters. The incubator provides reduced costs in a business building if a company can show a business plan that eventually hires people and moves the businesses out of the incubator. Leinenkugel says it's part of what he calls the "entrepreneurial ecosystem'....

"....the idea of incubation is simply that. Get the business up and running and then kick it out the door to where it can be established. We're really proud that two of these businesses have recently graduated to locations in downtown Eagle River....."

Leinenkugel says the next one is being worked on in Phelps...

"....we recently purchased a building in Phelps. Phelps is economically depressed right now. We're going to seek targeted businesses for that building, a grocery or hardware store. That will begin to build a base on which our community partners at Phelps can begin redevelopment of their community...."

He says what makes it work is a public-private partnership and thanked many people who have contributed including Vilas county.

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