The inaugural Milwaukee Startup Week kicks-off next week, an event Startup Milwaukee decided to launch Milwaukee Startup Week for a couple of reasons.
For one, it aims to raise awareness of the importance of high-growth startups to health of local economy. Research shows new startup companies are the primary creator of all net new jobs in the American economy. And two, the week hopes to break down silos and give entrepreneurs launching and scaling ventures in Milwaukee visibility into all the resources that are already here to help them.
As the co-founder and CEO of Startup Milwaukee, I plan to attend every one of the 25-plus free events hosted by a phenomenal group of 28-plus community partners from around Southeast Wisconsin. If you're not able to, however, or you're strapped for time, here are some of the events I urge you to check out:
1. Building a Stronger Startup Community
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m.
This special edition of 1 Million Cups, co-hosted by Startup Milwaukee, will be an important community dialogue about the importance of technology-enabled startups to local economy. Colin Tomkins-Bergh, a researcher from the Kauffman Foundations, will talk about Southeast Wisconsin’s poor ranking for entrepreneurial activity and share best practices from other Midwestern cities about what works to spur new ventures; Bram Daelemans, director of the Wisconsin Angel Network, will provide us with an overview of current venture capital investment activity in Southeast Wisconsin; and Zach Brandon, President of the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, will discuss why he believes Wisconsin is primed for what AOL founder Steve Case calls the "Third Wave" of technology innovation.
2. gener8tor: Building Successful Corporate-Startup Collaborations
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 12 p.m.
Established companies are increasingly collaborating with startups to gain access to new ideas and accelerate the pace of innovation. At this event, organized by gener8tor, you’ll hear from both sides of the equation, innovation leaders from American Family Insurance and Direct Supply as well Scanalytics, a local startup. This is a can’t miss event for both entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to learn more about this topic!
3. Discovering Beloit’s Emerging Startup Community
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 5 p.m.
Recently, I took a trip down to Beloit to discover why technology startups are clustering there. Since then, gener8tor has launched their gBeta pre-accelerator in the city. Take a free short bus ride down to Beloit – we’ll have special in-bus entertainment – and meet the founders of some of Beloit’s top tech startups at IronTek. IronTek is a tech hub developed by Diane Hendricks, who according to Forbes is the wealthiest self-made woman in Wisconsin.
4. Newaukee: GoLive
Friday, Nov. 4, 5 p.m.
We often hear about the unique culture that companies possess through digital media or from our friends who work within the walls of these companies. GoLive is an opportunity to get you inside of that culture and the offices that call Milwaukee their home. This is your chance to hear their story and connect with their team through a shared experience to create lasting relationships. GoLive is a social event with a touch of story. Let’s just say it’s a series of happy hour style office parties. The GoLive bus will stop at some of Milwaukee’s hottest startups, MobCraft Beer, Wantable and Penrod Software.
5. Creativity, Diversity & Entrepreneurialism in Milwaukee
Thursday, Nov. 3, 3 p.m.
Organized by HarvestStrat, this event will feature local creative entrepreneurs such as Reggie Baylor, Bobby Drake and Jay Anderson. This diverse group of artists, experiencing success with their craft while also promoting diversity in the Milwaukee community, will cover what it takes to make it in the creative class.
6. Newaukee: Speaker Crawl
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m.
This event has been consciously designed to be a sampler platter of Milwaukee’s startup community. Over a couple hours at the Lincoln Warehouse (which incubates several startups) you will be able to check out stories from various local entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs who will be sharing their startup stories come from a diverse group of industries (fashion, food & beverage, tech, etc.) and their experience levels range from just-started to successful.
7. Launch Conference – Get Your Startup Off The Ground
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 9 a.m.
This day-long free conference will feature free workshops from local experts on topics such as sales and marketing, funding and investment, legal help and others. There also will be an opportunity for entrepreneurs to schedule free 30-minute consultations with the experts presenting.
8. Startup Grind Milwaukee: Erik Buell, Buell & EBR Racing
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 5:30 p.m.
Erik Buell is a Milwaukee entrepreneurial success story. Buell left his engineering job at Harley-Davidson to launch his own startup Buell Motorcycles. He then sold Buell back to Harley and worked there for a number of years before launching his current company, Eric Buell Racing. This is an awesome opportunity to hear about a local entrepreneur’s startup success story.
9. Technori U Pitch Event
Thursday, Nov. 3, 4 p.m.
This is an opportunity for collegiate entrepreneurs from any college around Southeast Wisconsin to pitch their startups to a local audience of investors, startup enthusiasts and fellow entrepreneurs.
10. Open Deal Screening w/ The Golden Angels Investors
Friday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m.
Get an inside look at how angel investors evaluate an entrepreneur’s pitch at this event hosted at Golden Angels’ HQ in Brookfield.
For a complete look at the inaugural Milwaukee Startup Week schedule, check out our website.
Matt Cordio is co-founder & CEO of Startup Milwaukee, which is organizing the inaugural Milwaukee Startup Week event. Startup Milwaukee’s mission is to build and network Southeast Wisconsin’s startup community. Cordio is also co-founder of Skills Pipeline a firm that helps growth-focused companies attract top technology talent.
Matt Cordio is co-founder and CEO of Startup Milwaukee, which is organizing the inaugural Milwaukee Startup Week event. Startup Milwaukee’s mission is to build and network Southeast Wisconsin’s startup community. Cordio is also co-founder of Skills Pipeline, a firm that helps growth-focused companies attract top technology talent.