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St. Croix Valley Business Incubator
The St. Croix Valley Business Incubator (SCVBI) is a collaborative partnership among the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, City of River Falls, Chippewa Valley Technical College, and the regional economic development community. Once established, the SCVBI will serve as a one-stop location for the coordinated delivery of business development services in the region.

The time for submitting proposals for Architectural/Engineering Services has passed. The request for proposals can be viewed here.
Questions about the construction of the facility can be directed to Scot Simpson or Tobi LeMahieu.

If you are interested in learning more about the services and opportunities that will be provided through this collaborative space, please contact Danielle Campeau with the UWRF Center for Innovation and Business Development.

Project Updates
US EDA Grant Award
The City of River Falls, River Falls Economic Development Corporation, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and the Chippewa Valley Technical College have been awarded a $1.4 million grant for the creation and construction of the St. Croix Valley Business Incubator. Please see the Press Release for more information!

With the assistance of the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and the support of the regional business community, the partners submitted an application for the Investments for Public Works and Economic Assistance program. Through this program, the US Economic Development Administration provides a 50% matching grant for the construction of economic development facilities like the St. Croix Valley Business Incubator.

The grant is for $1,421,7000, resulting in a total construction project cost of $2,843,400. Other costs and resources have already been committed, including land, infrastructure, and site preparation. The SCVBI will have approximately 13,000 square feet dedicated to general manufacturing and about 18,000 square feet occupied by offices and common areas. Here are representative floor plans for the First Floor, Second Floor, and Building Elevations.

Stay tuned for more updates on the creation of the incubator and the construction of the facility!

Project History
Starting in 2010, interested organizations and leaders began looking at the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats within the City of River Falls and its surrounding counties, as part of a regional planning effort. This process found (1) significant numbers of business start-ups; (2) high percentages of small business failures; (3) high population growth compared to the rest of the State; (4) below average earnings; (5) established companies interested in spinning off new business ventures; and (6) a desire to better connect University resources with the business community.

These findings led to the establishment of a more formalized working group comprised of representatives from the City of River Falls, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Chippewa Valley Technical College, area economic development corporations, the business community, and others. Discussions quickly identified the need for a business incubator/accelerator.

In order to evaluate market feasibility, the working group hired the nationally-known Place Dynamics to conduct a feasibility study. The key findings were that there is a market and client base for general business incubation services in the region, with industry concentrations in manufacturing, agriculture, and professional services.

Collaborative Partnerships
River Falls Economic Development Corporation
The St. Croix Valley Business Incubator will be owned and operated by the River Falls Economic Development Corporation, with governance from a separate Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will have representatives from the City, UWRF, RFEDC, and others, as deemed appropriate by the partners.
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) has committed resources for this project through the recently-established Center for Innovation and Business Development (CIBD). Danielle Campeau, Director of the CIBD, will also serve as the full-time Incubator Director. UWRF is committed to Supporting Economic Development in the region. Once established, the CIBD and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will operated out of the Incubator facility.

City of River Falls
To assist in this project, the City of River Falls has helped coordinate the partnership among UWRF, local and regional economic development corporations, and the regional business community. The City is also donating the lot that will host the Incubator facility in the Sterling Ponds Corporate Park (see below).

Other Key Partners
Chippewa Valley Technical College
The Chippewa Valley Technical College is also a key partner in this project, providing their technical expertise and guidance from developing the widely successful Applied Technology Center incubator in Eau Claire, WI.

Regional Economic Development Corporations
Critical support for this project has been provided by the the regional economic development corporations in St. Croix and Pierce Counties.

West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
The West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission has also supported this project throughout its stages of development. The WCWRPC is currently coordinating and submitting all the necessary elements of the US EDA Grant Application (details below) on behalf of all the partners.

Other Information
Sterling Ponds Corporate ParkSterling Ponds Location.jpg
The SCVBI will be located in the Sterling Ponds Corporate Park in River Falls. The Sterling Ponds Corporate Park is modeled after its neighbor across STH 35, the Whitetail Corporate Park, which is currently home to several of the region's high-growth businesses as the region's Premier Business Park.

The SCVBI will be ideally situated along STH 35 through Pierce and St. Croix Counties, just 5 minutes from I-94. It is directly adjacent to the new Radio Road Interchange on the north end of River Falls and centrally located for entrepreneurs in the region.

Client Services
The SCVBI, in conjunction with UWRF's Center for Innovation and Business Development, will offer services to persons in the exploratory stages of forming a business; start-up businesses or Stage 1 businesses; existing Stage 2 businesses; and larger, more-established businesses.

Services provided will include affordable rental space; business planning; coaching and mentoring assistance; business software; financial advisory services; market development assistance; export assistance; networking opportunities; and access to UWRF resources. These services will be offered to businesses located both inside and outside the physical incubator space.