Matt Lautz Founder and CEO Neostella
“My business and my passion are technology. All my businesses have been tech-centered in some way, and to succeed in this space requires an entrepreneurial spirit. It’s that ‘high-risk, high-reward’ mentality that’s been the impetus for all tech breakthroughs – innovation doesn’t happen when you’re playing it safe. There will absolutely be mistakes and setbacks when you embrace that mentality. I have always taken the approach of not fearing those mistakes or setbacks because, ultimately, it’s in those periods that you learn and develop the most. From a leadership perspective, I encourage Neostella employees to think the same way, to not be afraid of making mistakes, to take some risks.
“Looking at current economic conditions, I could very easily choose to play it safe and continue doing things the way we have always done them. But I look at this point in time as an opportunity. Organizationally, we encourage each other to look at trends and figure out how to leverage them, to create new ways of doing things that no one has tried before, whether that’s developing a new process automation or a new way of doing business: try it. And because of that, we have a lot of interesting new ideas and products coming to market right now that will be game changers – not just for us, but for our clients as well.”
Jake Schinker Co-founder and brand director Eagle Park Brewing
“Throughout Eagle Park’s relatively short history, we have always tried to prioritize and foster innovation as opposed to relying on our industry’s status quo. We work constantly to gather inspiration from breweries, distilleries, wineries, restaurants, bars, and beyond. Something we have learned is that being the first isn’t always the best. Many of our ideas are implemented quickly, while others may take years to develop. It all comes down to timing and being able to separate short-term fads from long-term opportunities.
“This is an important distinction, but it should be noted that short-term fads aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If we have the tools to pursue what we see to be a short-term fad with minimal risk or modification to our existing processes, it might still be a great opportunity for multiple reasons. One common reason is exposure of our brand to a new audience. I think it’s common to get stuck in your industry’s bubble and not think outside the box. In reality, Eagle Park has a relatively small customer base. I’m personally reminded of this every time I meet someone who has never heard of us or what we do. This helps to guide us in our choices of what’s next.”[caption id="attachment_558867" align="alignright" width="300"] Britt Gottschalk[/caption]
Britt Gottschalk Founder and CEO Geno.Me
“Interoperability between health systems has been, and continues to be, a challenge. From getting access to accurate patient data, to transferring health data to the right medical professionals, these elements influence the ability of our physicians to provide the highest standards of care to individuals. The problem that Geno.Me aims to solve is improving health care access for all, and we’re starting at the biological level. Streamlining the pipeline of health information from patient to researcher expedites the ability for population health data to directly influence pharmaceutical research and treatment plan development.
“The launch of the Geno.Me platform last month was the start of a new kind of ecosystem. Currently, the platform provides access to linked, de-identified, electronic medical records and genetic reports for various populations, while compensating individuals that contribute their health data. By combining both a patient-centric and research-centric approach, we address the existing health information gap by providing the most accurate information in relation to inherited and environmental health conditions within individuals. It is possible for people to have a convenient and affordable ongoing relationship with their entire network of medical professionals. Our approach is working to establish this as a cultural norm within the health care system.”
President and CEO
Town Bank"At Town Bank, we believe that supporting entrepreneurs and innovators creates a positive snowball effect that benefits our entire community. With financial and technical support to help them thrive, small business owners can create an economic ecosystem that drives further business growth in a community, increasing employment opportunities and advancing stable commercial corridors that ultimately improve quality of life for all. [caption id="attachment_558973" align="alignright" width="169"] Jay Mack[/caption] "Our dedication to entrepreneurship and innovation is embodied by one of the initiatives we’re most proud of - our partnership with Rev-Up MKE, a pitch competition where entrepreneurs looking to open a storefront in Milwaukee’s Near West Side seek funding for their business ideas. During the annual competition this September, residents, nonprofit partners, elected officials and business leaders filled the venue. We heard the vision local entrepreneurs have for our community and connected with past Rev-Up MKE winners who leveraged the support they received from Rev-Up MKE as a springboard to the successes they have earned since. We are proud to help support this year’s winner, Vertical Essence Dance Company. With a solid foundation of startup capital from the competition and access to business support services, the business will be set up for long-term success in the Near West Side. "Since I joined Town Bank when it was founded in 1998, uplifting our community and providing the first ‘push’ of the proverbial snowball for those beginning their business journey has been at the heart of what we do. We look forward to supporting Rev-Up MKE, Near West Side Partners and local entrepreneurship for years to come."
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