The Universites of Wisconsin Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship helps entrepreneurs, businesses and economic development professionals across the state to achieve their goals through expert consulting, educational resources and a dynamic statewide network.

Small businesses thrive in an environment with room for insight, advice and networks of resources and seasoned professionals. The Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship offers these resources and more — on our client’s terms. Entrepreneurial visionaries are in the driver’s seat with direction from our seasoned, unbiased advisors. With our clients’ successes, we move Wisconsin’s economy forward.

Our Vision
Enhancing the value of Wisconsin, one business at a time.
Our Mission
To serve aspiring, new and established businesses by connecting them to resources, information and services that improve performance and increase capabilities for success.


The Institute, through our four distinct program units, helps Wisconsin businesses perform at their highest levels. We help ideas and innovators succeed. We’re Wisconsin’s hub for specialized resources — many at no cost — to help business owners grow. You have ideas. We have experience.

Wisconsin SBDC is a statewide network supporting entrepreneurs and business owners through no-cost, confidential consulting and business education.

The Center for Technology Commercialization’s objective is to guide you through the complex and exciting journey of bringing your technology from idea to market.

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Food, beverage and value-added ag businesses are unique. From choosing a business model to raising capital, the Food Finance Institute has the tools entrepreneurs need for success.

The Business Dynamics Research Consortium’s (BRDC) data is rare and sought-after. Our micro-level data from private companies comes straight from individual businesses. We’re your one-stop-shop for private business data.

Work with us

Our statewide network of consultants, economic developers and lenders is unparalleled. We help entrepreneurs, businesses and economic development professionals across the state to achieve their goals by offering technical assistance, counseling and leveraging data.

Economic Developers

Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) are charged with getting local and regional businesses on the path for growth — quite a tall order. The Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship shares that mission — to help build strong businesses in the communities of our state.


Our programs coordinate with campuses for educational and professional development programming and events. Most visibly, UW System campuses are home to many Small Business Development Centers.

Lenders and Investors

Lenders and investors often find themselves with potential clients need who need more preparation to be eligible for that loan or capital investment. We assist with impartial guidance allowing entrepreneurs to return to lenders and investors with strong business plans that are more stable with lower risk.

Curious how the Institute might be able to work with your organization? Learn more about our four program units by viewing our one page informational sheet.

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Our Team

Meet the leadership of the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship, who are committed to statewide entrepreneurial success.

Bon Wikenheiser

Executive Director

Bon most enjoys empowering others to realize their best work. When the right people have a common goal at the right time, truly remarkable progress happens. Creating these teams based on the needs of others and the talent of the professionals involved is the driving motivation for what she does. Bon values these relationships and the commitments colleagues have to their clients and communities.


Colleen Merrill

Special Projects Director

Colleen specializes in creative financial packages, strategy planning, startups and connecting to resources. She maintains a workplace that is fast paced, fun, collaborative and always looking for ways to innovate and improve.

Watching clients achieve their dreams through hard work and dedication is one of her favorite aspects of the job. Projects that are especially meaningful to Colleen are multifaceted, require creative approaches and help people/companies reach their goals when they weren’t quite sure they could.


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Entrepreneurs never stop learning. The Institute offers events around the state to continue building your small business skills through your journey.
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