Innovation Center Offers a Seminar on How to Go Out of Business

Nutty, but true: the Innovation Center – the Disappointment that Keeps on Disappointing™ – is apparently offering a program entitled, “What you Will Need to Know When You are Ready (or Not) to Sell Your Business.” It’s part of – wait for it – the Center’s ‘Elements of Success‘ series. Honest to goodness, for all…

No, That’s Not Why There’s an Innovation Center

Perhaps, just perhaps, Whitewater’s a laboratory for testing the theory that if one repeats a flimsy explanation long enough, it will become true. Over at the Daily Union, there’s a recent story about a university project that’s developed a smartphone app that allows users “to link organized recreational activities with social media.” One reads that…

Amps, Business, and the Innovation Center

There was a story recently about a tenant at the Whitewater Innovation Center that makes a device for controlling a guitar amplifier. The story’s notable for four reasons: (1) it under-reports the actual cost of the Innovation Center and Tech Park by about half, (2) the current uses of the Innovation Center are so different…

Innovation Center Executive Director Admits Building’s ‘Major Accomplishment’ Was Taking $11.5 Million in Public Money

There’s no better summary of the millions wasted on Whitewater’s Innovation Center than that from the building’s own Executive Director, Robert Young: The major accomplishment was raising $11.5 million to make this community-university project possible… It’s not a perfect summary, of course: Young cleverly uses the term ‘raising,’ as though the money for the building…

Deceptive Headline Can’t Hide Truth of Innovation Center’s Wasted Millions

Over at the Journal Sentinel, the dodgy headline on Tom Daykin’s story can’t hide the truth of Whitewater’s taxpayer-funded ‘business incubator’ – after a year, the overwhelming majority of space is either for public tenants or is still empty. Not businesses, not private concerns, but public money overwhelmingly for new digs for public employees…or used…

The Innovation Center, Virtual and Real

Every exercise in puffery about the taxpayer-funded Innovation Center is an opportunity to demonstrate how wasteful the project really is. The gentlemen behind the project would do better to say nothing about it than to hype it yet again, but that they cannot do: insisting on the grandeur of that empty effort is who they…

Whitewater’s Innovation Center: ‘The die is cast’

It was Caesar, in Suetonius’s account, who said of his fateful crossing into Italy that ‘the die is cast,’ the Latin of which comes out as ‘alea iacta est.’  There’s scholarly debate about the saying, but this is how most have come to know it — that a small game-piece has slipped from one’s hand,…

The Innovation Center and the State of the Union

There’s a lot of talk about marketing public projects in Whitewater, but the best marketing is sound policy. So sound, really, that it’s not marketing at all. Yet, for all that talk, Whitewater’s bureaucrats stick to a simple script, repeating the same tenuous or dodgy claims. Nonetheless, occasionally one finds something new, like this odd…

Innovation Center Update

At Whitewater’s January 18th common council meeting, City Manager Brunner offered remarks on Whitewater’s taxpayer-funded Innovation Center. Those remarks are recorded from 6:48 to 8:55 in the video embedded above. (Quick note: the best part of the session was a recognition ceremony for the national champion Warhawks, beginning around 3:30 into the video.) But as…

Update: Whitewater’s Innovation Center: Good for Producing Innovative, ‘International’ Fairy Tales

Over at a nearby paper, there’s yet another announcement, entitled Innovation Center saluted for economic development, about how Whitewater’s multi-million dollar, publicly-financed Innovation Center supposedly won a significant ‘international’ award. For a critique of a previous announcement of this kind, see Whitewater’s Innovation Center: Good for Producing Innovative, ‘International’ Fairy tales. There are three points…

The Dodgy Statement About Violations of a Federal Grant for the Whitewater Innovation Center

There’s a Whitewater Community Development Authority and Tech Park Board meeting today. Before the CDA meets again, one should consider how principal players in Whitewater’s multi-million dollar Innovation Center project have rationalized explained violations of federal competition in bidding requirements. Explanations offered at the October 13th Tech Park Board meeting and the October 25th Community…

Whitewater, Wisconsin’s Innovation Center: The Limits of Photography

I wrote on Friday, in a post entitled, About that Public Hearing… (Part 2), that one could show how a recent announcement about Whitewater’s Innovation Center isn’t merely ineffective, but counter-productive, to the interests of that project’s proponents. I’m a critic of the project, and there are times when I think: I wish proponents would…

Whitewater’s Innovation Center: Economic Development Administration Sends ‘Cease and Desist’ Letter Over Alleged Violation of Competition in Construction Requirements

The City of Whitewater, together with UW-Whitewater and the Whitewater Community Development Authority, is undertaking an eleven-million dollar, publicly-funded technology park project. The centerpiece of that project is an Innovation Center building. (I have written about the project before; for information on the relationship between the three organizations involved in the project, see the Memorandum…

Whitewater’s Innovation Center from the Perspective of the New Deal

I posted yesterday about Whitewater’s Innovation Center, in a post entitled, Whitewater’s Innovation Center: Grants and Bonds. The more one looks at the project, the emptier it seems. Attempts to justify the multi-million dollar public expenditure — on their own, apart from any other consideration — are exercises in embarrassing hyperbole. Attempts to answer objections…

Whitewater’s Innovation Center: Grants and Bonds

Whitewater’s planned Innovation Center and Tech Park rest on a multi-million dollar federal grant and millions in federally-subsidized bonds. The grant is for $4.7 million, and here is how a page from the Economic Development Administration described the purpose for those millions: September 7-September 11, 2009 ….$4,740,809 to the Whitewater Community Development Authority, the University…