The math adds up here

In the Madison Region, computer and life science skills form the foundation of a globally competitive cluster in biotech and healthcare IT.

By Ron Starner, Site Selection

ExactSciences_lab2In Madison, Wisconsin, technology entrepreneurs aren’t just leading the field of healthcare; they’re changing it.

From Epic Systems’ breakthrough software that revolutionized medical records, to Stratatech’s regenerative skin therapies, the capital region of Wisconsin has been churning out innovative firms whose primary purpose is the promotion of personal health and wellness.

Anchoring a metropolitan region of 866,475 people, Madison outperforms much larger MSAs in a variety of intellectual property pursuits:

  • Its 401 IT establishments — many of which support the healthcare sector — employ 17,932 workers and show employment growth of 30.67 percent since 2010.
  • 971 industry-applicable degrees and certificates in IT were conferred in 2014-2015 from higher education institutions in and around the Madison Region.
  • From 2005 to 2015, employment in software publishers grew by nearly 300 percent in Dane County, Wisconsin, compared to 38 percent nationally.
  • In May 2014, Forbes ranked Madison the No. 5 top city in America for winning the battle for information jobs.
  • Madison startups now employ 825 full-time and 300 part-time people. In 2016, they created 150 new full-time and 135 part-time jobs. Tech startups also raised a record $114 million in funding in 2016, a 70 percent increase from 2015.

The anchor of this sector is Epic Systems, the country’s leading developer of electronic medical records and the Madison Region’s largest private sector employer with 10,000 workers. Each year, more than 1,000 employees leave Epic, many to start spinoff companies that augment Madison’s leadership position in healthcare IT.

“Epic gets more than 100,000 applications every year from around the world,” says Zach Brandon, president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. “When people say you can’t compete in the Midwest for worldwide talent attraction, that is absolutely not true.”

Epic’s Madison campus, at 6.5 million sq. ft., rivals those of Apple, Google and Facebook in California. “In its design, look and feel for the employee, Epic’s corporate campus is second to none,” says Brandon. “When Forbes did an article on cities winning the battle for information jobs, they said you would expect to find a company like Epic in Silicon Valley, Austin or Seattle. You don’t expect to find Microsoft-like campuses in Madison.” Read more …

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