New UW-Platteville engineering building offers opportunities for budding entrepreneurs


PLATTEVILLE, Wisconsin (KCRG) – Loud sounds of construction trucks pervade part of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus. That’s it for the university’s new $ 55 million engineering building, Sesquicentennial Hall. Inside this building will be one of the largest creative spaces in the Upper Midwest, a place for people looking to become entrepreneurs.

“It’s going to have all the equipment you need to do anything you can literally imagine,” said Philip Parker, acting dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science.

The Huff family’s new innovation center will feature 3D printers, drill presses, sewing machines, and even design and photography studios.

“The idea is that you come from the streets, community members, students, teachers, rural entrepreneurs, come and see us and say, ‘I have an idea, can you help me? And we say, “Of course we can help you,” Parker added.

The acting dean explained that the goal is to develop entrepreneurship in the tri-state region, which he says does not offer many opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“If you’re in a big city, you have a lot of access to prototyping spaces,” he said. “If you live in the country, you don’t. “

This impact will extend to Dubuque. Jay Wickham of the Small Business Development Center said entrepreneurship has really grown in Dubuque despite the challenges of the pandemic.

“The Dubuque region is really experiencing growth in our entrepreneurial ecosystems,” he explained. “We’re really adding the level of service that small businesses can access, especially to get started, but also to grow and grow their business. “

Wickham has recognized the impact of small businesses across the region and hopes projects like UW Platteville’s will only attract more people to test the path to entrepreneurship.

“Small businesses are really the ignition, the ignition of small growth which will hopefully lead to greater growth and small businesses are one of the cornerstones of employment and also of a lot of things we love, ”he added.

Sesquicentennial Hall and the Huff Family Innovation Center are scheduled to open in summer 2022.

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