About Us

Guiding Rural Innovation and Development in Northern Wisconsin

The Grid is a regional initiative that connects, collaborates and creates opportunity. The GRID leverages innovation to foster economic growth by developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem for our rural recreational region. The GRID is a fabric that binds the entrepreneurial community.

Why focus on innovation?

Innovation fosters economic development and diversifies economies. Small business and start-ups generated more than 80% of job creation in every state in the nation in the past decade. Entrepreneurship creates positive economic and social advantages. From 2017 to 2018 more than 600 Northwoods start-ups generated more than 2000 jobs. The need to encourage and support entrepreneurial activity has never been more important.

Our Mission

The GRID champions entrepreneurial thinking and cultivates an entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives regional economic vitality and connects business builders to the resources, education, expertise, and social connections that will help new ventures succeed and help entrepreneurs thrive in the Northwoods.

 

What We Do

The GRID is a collaborative network that compliments other regional economic development initiatives to offer far more value than the sum of its parts.

The GRID cultivates a culture of innovation

The GRID organizes discussions around innovation and entrepreneurship and amplifies awareness of partner events to engage the entire community.

The Grid celebrates the benefits of innovation in the community

The GRID showcases the stories of successful entrepreneurs and innovators and highlights the value innovation brings to the community.

The GRID provides training for innovators and entrepreneurs

The GRID offers workshops, training and educational programs for entrepreneurs.

The GRID connects business builders to resources, education and expertise

The GRID identifies resources for entrepreneurs and provides multiple ways for entrepreneurs to find the diverse knowledge, resources and support they need to succeed.

Our Network

GRID Partners form the Advisory Committee and guide operation of The GRID.

Our Advisory Committee

GRID Members form the core of the ecosystem network and foster growth of the innovation community through significant and active engagement in GRID activities. Advisory Committee Members include:

Myles Alexander, University of Wisconsin Division of Extension

Brittany Beyer, Grow North Economic Development

Stacey Johnson, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Jim Tuckwell, Vilas County Economic Development Corporation

Jeff Verdoorn, Oneida County Economic Development Corporation

Melinda Childs, Art Start

William Kopka, Associated Bank

Richard Nelson, Nicolet College

Sandy Bishop, Nicolet College

Alan Javoroski, Nicolet College

Charles Komp, Nicolet College

Our Team

Our experienced staff are ready to connect. Learn more about us below.

Toni Van Doren

Toni Van Doren
Business Solutions Coordinator
TVanDoren@nicoletcollege.edu

Sandy Bishop

Sandy Bishop
Executive Director
sbishop@nicoletcollege.edu

Our Funding Support

The GRID operates with the generous funding of donors and corporations, federal and state grants, partner in-kind contributions, and the legion of volunteers seeking to impact the regional economy by fostering a culture of innovation. Major funding sources include:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer, read our full statement here.