Two separate reports published this month, by business news website Xconomy and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, highlight the progress made by Wisconsin startup companies, and especially how growing investment is allowing them to thrive and, increasingly, remain in the state rather than leave for more traditional tech hotspots in the Northeast and West Coast.

The Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest is now a decade old, and the Journal Sentinel says that the 25 winning startups that have attracted the most investment have raised a total of $160 million. Moreover, the number of entries and investors has risen steadily since the program's implementation in 2004. Also contributing to the positive data is the Wisconsin Angel Network, which has greatly simplified the process of acquiring venture capital for both startups and potential angel investors. The WAN and Wisconsin Technology Council work closely with the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee to aid collegiate startups as well.

A growing number of small businesses in Wisconsin, especially at the startup stage, will also mean increased demand for IT support specifically geared toward small and medium-sized enterprises. New business managers can turn to local companies for comprehensive technology solutions that are vital to ensure smooth operations. Custom programming can be the difference for a startup to successfully navigate its early stages and grow to maturity, and an offsite back up will give owners peace of mind, knowing that their data is safely stored.

Further, startup companies can benefit from the implementation of a FileMaker database to manage everything from day-to-day operations to payroll as simply and efficiently as possible. Businesspeople who wish to develop and expand their own databases can receive specific FileMaker training from a certified provider, and learn the finer details of an Apple-owned piece of software that can be a game changer for an emerging company in any sector.