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Milwaukee's startup culture grows.
Milwaukee's startup culture grows. (Photo:

Milwaukee makes Pando, the site-of-record for the startup root-system

As we look to our 15 year anniversary in September, we’re all honored and blessed to be a part of the start-up and entrepreneurial culture in greater Milwaukee.

We and other area technology and creative companies have grown and succeeded because of great people. Milwaukee’s full of talent, and our team at is a testament to the creative talent that's here.  Increasingly, more and more people are choosing the Midwest as a path to great startups. This is good news.

Today, Carmel Deamicis tips PandoDaily’s hat to Milwaukee and the Midwest in a column titled, "Recruiting young talent away from the Silicon Valley limelight and into ... Milwaukee?"

Yes, Milwaukee.

Big thanks to Jeff Rowe for sharing this story with me. 

There are numerous groups and individuals who work everyday to make Milwaukee attractive. From StartUpMKE to the Greater Milwaukee Committee to Newaukee, Art Milwaukee, the MMAC, the Creative Alliance of Milwaukee and many, many more. We’ve been in the recruitment and retention of talent game from the beginning. We helped start Young Professionals of Milwaukee, now FUEL Milwaukee, and I was the group’s first president.

So, it’s awesome to see Milwaukee get mentioned in what PandoDaily calls the "creeping growth of the Midwest tech industry."

Here’s the Milwaukee blurb from the story: "Matt Lautz of Milwaukee’s CorvisaCloud focuses on growing and training talent who have never worked full-time for a startup before.

"People who just graduated college have mentors who work with them for the first six months of their process," Lautz says. "We’re open to the understanding of helping to get people where they need to be."

Thanks, PandoDaily. We appreciate the exposure, and personally I love your goals and mission in your about us section.

This building needs a huge billboard.
This building needs a huge billboard.
Make Water Street pedestrian only.
Make Water Street pedestrian only.
Make UWM more green.
Make UWM more green.
Food forest?  (Photo:
Food forest? (Photo:

Six more ideas to help move Milwaukee forward

You’ve probably seen this blog before.  Well, not this exact blog but ones like it.  That’s OK.  Ideas just seem to flow freely, keep me up at night and when they are shared they can take on a new life.  

So, here you go.  Here are six more ideas for a better, and hopefully more innovative and creative Milwaukee.

Close Maryland Avenue through the UWM campus
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is landlocked for expansion, so why not create more land?  Close Maryland Avenue between Kenwood and Hartford or even Newport.  Grass it over and create more of a campus feel.  Don’t worry, cars will find a way to drive around the area and still get where they need to. 

Lure an auto dealership to Downtown Milwaukee
I’d love to see an auto dealer or auto brand lease space for a boutique dealership Downtown.  It would be a fun, unique way to showcase new vehicles and fill a vacant storefront. 

Make Water Street pedestrian-only and create a true entertainment district
This may sound a bit similar to my UWM idea, but this one’s more about safety than function.  Water Street’s busy, and while it does get closed off around bar time making the area pedestrian only all day could have many benefits.  Downtowns are made for walking and entertainment districts thrive on density.  Sure, it’s not Beale Street but taking the cars off Water Street could help the bar and restaurant strip truly become an entertainment destination.  So, let’s consider closing Water Street between Knapp and Juneau or maybe even all the way to Highland Avenue. 

Put a huge out of home sign on The Wisconsin Tower
A huge billboard would look very nice on the west side of The Wisconsin Tower, the 22-story, 280-foot-tall art deco building at 606 W. Wisconsin Ave.  How about a bottle of Miller Lite or a poster-like image of Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks?  Do it.  

Build a food forest in the city
Vacant land?  Grow it.  Let’s truly be an urban food innovator and grow a fo…

The Aaron Rodgers burger.
The Aaron Rodgers burger. (Photo: The Green Bay Packers)

The Aaron Rodgers burger

If you’ve stopped at Curly’s Pub in Lambeau Field recently, you may have sampled the Aaron Rodgers burger.  USA Today did a piece on it this week.  Do a search for "aaron rodgers burger" and you’ll see what people are saying about it. 

In fact, Rodgers, Mike McCarthy, Ryan Pickett, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews all helped create their own special burgers for Curly's.

Rodgers’ burger is on sale this week.  Here’s how describes it:

"This week’s (through Aug. 30, 2013) burger was created by Aaron Rodgers and is called the 'Aaron Rodgers Burger.'  It is priced at $13 and features Curly’s special Prime Blend Burger (fresh, never frozen) topped with bacon, fried egg, peanut butter, Swiss and Havarti cheese, avocado, pickle, jalapeno, crispy fried onion rings, mayo and ranch dressing.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The MACC Fund."

The site goes on to say that "only 500 burgers will be sold each week with a portion of all proceeds for that week going to the charity of their choosing.  The most popular burger will receive an additional donation for their charity.  Each burger will be accompanied by a commemorative photo and every 50th photo will be personally signed by the burger’s creator."

Next up?  The Clay Matthews burger.  Get to Green Bay to sample one for yourself. 

Captain Pabst penned an amazing letter to his children.
Captain Pabst penned an amazing letter to his children. (Photo:

Captain Pabst's letter to his children

I was at the Pabst Mansion, 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave., last weekend for a wedding. It’s a beautiful setting and the George Bowman Ferry and Alfred Charles Clas designed home is an amazing part of Milwaukee’s history.

As I walked through the home, one the coolest pieces is an original copy of a letter that Captain Frederick Pabst wrote to his children. I should have snapped a photo, instead I complied with the request to refrain from photography in what is now an historical museum.

I did, though, pick up a copy of the letter that sits on Pabst’s desk in his study that features an oak coffered ceiling with his favorite German proverbs worked into the beautiful design. I’ve cut and pasted it below. It’s touching, relevant and loving. The third paragraph is wonderful, "Be generous and unselfish to each other in case of need, and above all, be honest and noble in all your dealings, not only with each other, but with the world."

On a side note, you may not know this but when The Pabst Mansion was sold in 1975, it was nearly torn down to make way for a parking lot. After a three-year crusade for its preservation, it was spared demolition and went on to become the house museum that it is today. And, to this day, revenue from admissions, sales, events, grants, donations and memberships are used for ongoing restoration.

If you haven’t been to the Pabst Mansion, go. Use the Captain’s letter as your inspiration.

August 30, 1899

My Dear Children!

I place these few lines in the package containing my last will and address them to you, instead of your dear mother, for the reason that she & I have several times talked the matter over and she fully understands my wishes herein expressed. You have all been good children, and a great comfort to me. My happiest thoughts are connected with you in the hope and belief that after I shall be called away, you will, all of you strive to be kind and good to your mother, and to each other. I have the earnest and cherished desir…