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Discover the Madison Region

The eight-county Madison Region offers affordability, walk- and bike-friendly communities and abundant outdoor recreation

By Kevin Litwin on June 16, 2020

Madison WI
Madison / Photo Courtesy of American Girl

The greater Madison area is full of opportunity and entertainment, without breaking the bank. The entire area provides topnotch quality of life for residents. In fact, Madison, WI earned the number three spot on the 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live list. Read on to discover what the Greater Madison Region has to offer. 

Madison WI
Madison / Jeff Adkins

Right on the Money

The Madison Region is a hub of financial services activity, with headquarters and major operating bases for a diverse group of firms, including insurers, third-party administrators and student loan processors.

The region offers a deep pool of financial services talent and assets, such as three campuses of the University of Wisconsin system.

The region’s growing financial services sector includes major players such as insurer and claims administrator WPS Health Solutions, third-party benefits administrator TASC, student loan provider Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, insurer QBE North America and National Mutual Benefit, a nonprofit fraternal benefit society founded in 1902 and headquartered in Madison.

Madison-based American Family Insurance, one of the nation’s largest property/casualty insurance groups, is a Fortune 500 company that operates in 19 states. CUNA Mutual Group is one of the nation’s largest providers of commercial and personal insurance products, lending and payment security solutions, and retirement, investment and marketing services to credit unions.

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A Different Tune

Madison-based LÃœM (Live Undiscovered Music) is a social music-streaming app that launched in 2019 and has already received nearly $1.5 million in seed financing.

The app allows emerging artists to post their music via an underground social scene and connect with new fans who might be looking to find music that they’ve probably never heard before.

The streaming app is free and allows bands to communicate directly with their listeners and receive feedback to grow their fan base – all through the click of a button.

Most of the company’s whopping 12 co-founders are students or recent graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. LÃœM won a pitch competition in 2018 sponsored by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.

Madison WI
Madison / Flickr.com/Keith Ewing

Visit Frank’s Home

Taliesin, once the home of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is in Iowa County in the Driftless Region of southwestern Wisconsin near the village of Spring Green.

The Taliesin estate features Wright’s home, studio and teaching school as well as other buildings designed and built from nearly every decade of Wright’s career, from the 1890s to the 1950s.

Wright willed Taliesin to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation upon his death in 1959, and the public has the option to tour the entire estate or just the home and studio. Taliesin is a Welsh word that means shining brow because the house was built on the brow of a hill.

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Ahh, Refreshing

The Madison Region is quickly becoming one of the big players in the craft beer movement. Enjoying success here are breweries such as Ale Asylum, Capital Brewery & Bier Garten, Delta Beer Lab, Karben4 Brewing, Next Door Brewing Company, Octopi Brewing, One Barrel Brewing, O’so Madhouse, Tumbled Rock Brewery and Working Draft Beer Company. 

Breweries get involved with area festivals, including Great Dane Bockfest, Great Taste of the Midwest, Isthmus OktoBEERfest, New Glarus Beer, Bacon & Cheese, Thirsty Troll Brew Fest and the Wisconsin Brewing Groundhog Open.

Madison WI
Madison / Inc./Duke Loren Photography

Game On

Some of the world’s fastest and strongest athletes have made their way to Madison many times, as the region has hosted a number of the Reebok CrossFit Games, an annual competition billed as the world’s premier test to find the fittest athletes.

The five-day event attracts top men and women athletes from around the world, competing in strength, speed and endurance events.

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The CrossFit Games culminate on the final day with a competition among the 10 top-scoring athletes to crown the men’s and women’s champions.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 CrossFit Games will not be held in Madison as planned, but the event is expected to return in 2021.

Madison WI
Madison / Photo Courtesy of American Girl

Hey, Girl

The popular American Girl dolls have longtime ties to the Madison Region.

The company, started in 1986 and now a wholly owned subsidiary of California-based Mattel, maintains its headquarters and two large distribution operations in 600,000 square feet of space in Middleton. With its 19 American Girl retail stores and an additional warehouse and distribution center in DeForest, the company’s facilities total over 1.3 million square feet.

American Girl dolls and accessories remain a popular item with children and collectors. Since 1986, 32 million American Girl dolls have been sold through the company’s catalog, retail stores and website. American Girl also produces books – 157 million have been sold since 1986.

If you’d like to learn more about the Madison Region, check out the latest edition of the Madison Region Economic Development magazine

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