Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sun Prairie Participates in THRIVE Training Session on Synchronist and Zoom Prospector (City of Sun Prairie Office of Economic Development)

City Planner Tim Semman and Economic Development Director Neil Stechschulte attended a training session facilitated by THRIVE on two new economic development tools being deployed for communities in the region. Other participating communities included the City of Madison, the City of Middleton, the Village of Waunakee, the Village of Oregon Chamber of Commerce, Dane County, Columbia County, Iowa County, Jefferson County, Sauk County, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, and Madison Gas & Electric.

The morning session was on the Synchronist Business Information System, a web-based software tool used to manage business retention and expansion programs. The presenter was Mr. Eric Canada from Blane, Canada Ltd.

The Synchronist Business Information System® bundles advanced business retention strategies, sophisticated interview design, assistance tracking/service delivery management, competitive intelligence, intranet and database technology (software), BR|E resource library, and a community of committed users all working together to maximize the value of their BR|E investment.

The Synchronist System’s on-line software (Intranet) provides the information organization, management, analysis, and reporting tools needed to:

- Identify expansion opportunities, companies at risk, as well as company and community problems.

- Build relationships and insure service delivery to existing businesses.

- Free the economic developer from the back room to maximize time meeting with business executives.

The Synchronist System provides insight and documentation to impact decision-making and resource allocation within the organization, partner organizations, and the community.

THRIVE, along with MG&E and Alliant Energy have purchased a regional software license that allows any community in the region to utilize the software, upload survey data, and create a variety of reports on their local employers. All data collected is strictly confidential, and is available only to the specific communities who upload the information.

For more information on the Synchronist Business Information System, visit Blane, Canada on their website at:

Communities interested in participating should contact their local economic development professional, or Brad Elmer, Project Director for THRIVE at or 608-443-1967.

The afternoon training session was on the soon to be released online buildings and properties database system that will be unveiled later this month for the State of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association and the State of Wisconsin Department of Commerce have selected ZoomProspector, a product of GIS Planning, Inc., to provide a one-stop shop for all sites and buildings data throughout the State of Wisconsin. Data is provided through partnerships with Xceligent, Property Drive, and Wisconsin Commercial Information Exchange (WCIE), powered by Catalyst, so that accurate and up-to-date information is available about opportunities in Wisconsin. This reputable, unbiased database is nonprofit and is maintained by brokers and real estate professionals, in partnership with local economic development specialists, ensuring a wide range of available sites and buildings.

This project was also made possible in part by Alliant Energy, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Madison Gas & Electric Company, We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, WPPI Energy, Xcel Energy - Northern States Power Company and American Transmission Company.

For additional information on Zoom Prospector, go to the GIS Planning, Inc. website at:

To learn more about the upcoming release of this tool in Wisconsin, contact the Wisconsin Economic Development Association at 608.255.5666 or at

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