Gener8tor Poised To Revitalize Entrepreneurial Growth In Madison


The stigma of startup growth being geographically contained to the east and west coasts has given the Midwest a somewhat stagnant business vibe over the past few years. PricewaterhouseCoopers Moneytree’s recent survey data seems to validate these attitudes to some degree––showing California attracting 53% of all venture capital dollars in 2012 alone. But is it all doom and gloom for Midwesterners looking to get their ideas off the ground here in the country’s heartland?

A group of accelerator programs aimed at relocating some of that growth doesn’t think so. gener8tor is one such program, which has dropped its roots right here in Madison, Wisconsin. With 13 companies already finding success under their wing such as EatStreet––a brilliant online delivery and takeout aggregator for Madison restaurants––it’s clear that this sort of support can have a big impact on the business environment in cities such as ours.

Gener8tor is currently in the midst of launching its next batch of businesses to the area drawing on organizations from all over the country. Speaking to the connection he seeks to forge between the academic and business communities here, co-founder Jon Eckhardt added, “gener8tor is tightly integrated into the entrepreneurship communities in the mid-west and the coasts, especially as a result of our work with nearby academic institutions. This, combined with our innovative training platform, lets us link the capabilities of the mid-west with resources nationally.”

The future of local entrepreneurship

Looking towards what lies ahead for the program, the news only gets better. With the current 13 companies already pulling in over $5 million in capital, they are currently sifting through over 250 applications from companies around the nation looking to throw their hat in the ring here in the Midwest as well.

Gener8tor’s strategy seems to be paying off just as they hoped. John Philosophos of Great Oaks Venture Capital reiterated the benefits of academic and business interconnection saying, “Critical resources, including top flight developers from the UW Computer Science program and College of Engineering, mentorship from the State’s broad based economy and forward thinking corporations are all being mobilized to support innovation in the State.  Accordingly, we have made Wisconsin one of our national areas of focus.”

Success means more than just a good idea

With all of this good news in tow, it’s important to remember what goes on behind the scenes to make these headlines happen in the first place. Having a good idea comes first, but without the means to craft an effective financial plan; you’ve already stacked the odds against yourself.

Outsourcing financial work to a third party is often times the most beneficial solution to startups facing a whole host of challenges financial or otherwise. Without employees to dedicate toward those tasks, it can be easy to make unguided and potentially devastating decisions with your money, which can leave your books in a dismal state.

Whether you’re involved with a local accelerator program or not, entrepreneurs planning to develop their ideas within the Madison area have the resources available to them to make the right financial decisions.

We offer a wide range of financial assistance and guidance to entrepreneurs trying to get a foothold in our local economy, if you think you could benefit from our services, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Photo credit: Richard Hurd

IRS Says Yes! You Can Pay Someone As An Employee And A Contractor!

Much to the delight of both financial management firms and their clients alike, a major limitation that barred workers from serving as both employees and independent contractors within the same organization simultaneously has been lifted.

Thanks to an official inquiry submitted to the IRS concerning the possibility for someone to collect income both on company payroll as well as through accounts payable for work done elsewhere in the company, the agency has issued a ruling stating that given certain criteria are met, this practice is acceptable.

Ruling remains a case-to-case affair

Although the ruling could have major implications for those attempting to work in multiple departments within their company, it is by no means broad in its practical scope. The IRS will still look closely at the specific nature of each position and make judgments accordingly. (more…)

3 Steps To Starting Your Business On A Tight Budget

Operating a “leanstartup plan is a relatively new concept which manipulates development cycles in a way that has a dramatic effect on overall business efficiency that is beginning to catch on among entrepreneurs working with limited resources.

By continuously measuring progress and feedback, you can craft a constantly evolving business plan flexible enough to conform to rapid changes that can occur from out of the blue. Although it gives entrepreneurs the ability to roll with the punches and grow dynamically, it requires fact-based decision making skills that can happen with little notice.

If you’re confident your business idea will succeed in the marketplace but are lacking the kinds of resources you’d like to kick things off, here’s some tips to shave the fat off your business plan:

1. Summarize The Finer Points of Your Plan

Take a hard look at the foundational pillars your business plan is built on. Think as broad as possible. Concepts like management and finance, sales, distribution, your market, products/services, production, and marketing are all good places to start. Bloated business plans get lost in convoluted terminology and unneeded detail. (more…)

Release: Fine Point Hires New Consultant

new Madison, WI, financial consultant Leah ShalesFine Point Consulting is pleased to announce the hiring of new consultant Leah Shales.

Shales is a graduate of DePaul University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree with a concentration in Accounting. She is a certified public accountant, and spent the beginning of her career working on various audit, consulting and risk management engagements in the Chicagoland area.

“Leah will be a great asset for us going forward,” said Fine Point Consulting President Luella Schmidt. “Hiring the right people is of utmost importance to me because it goes a long ways towards helping our clients succeed.”

Shales’ prior experience includes working with both privately and publicly held companies, with a focus on the financial institution and not-for-profit industries. In June 2013, Leah made the trek up north to Madison so she could join the Fine Point Consulting team.

“I’m excited to work with a variety of different clients who each have their own unique challenges,” Shales said. “I hope to help them achieve success in their niche markets.”

4 More Expenses That Can Affect A Startup’s Budget

As we’ve covered in the past, startups trying to evolve their brands into bigger organizations must first navigate a sea of expenses that can quickly sink them if they aren’t properly dealt with through a sensible budget early on.

With an intelligent approach to your business’ accounting practices, it’s possible to craft a financial plan that can absorb these potential setbacks with ease. Let’s go deeper into the possible fiscal pitfalls you might fall into through a careful examination of common startup expenses. (more…)