As we approach the inaugural Milwaukee Startup Week, Nov. 1-6, people are asking why we stepped up to launch it. Here are the leading reasons why Startup Milwaukee felt southeast Wisconsin needed Milwaukee Startup Week:
Milwaukee’s startup community has a lot of silos
From talking to entrepreneurs, a lot of them don’t realize there are actually a ton of organizations out there to help them. One of our goals during this week is to provide a single touch-point where entrepreneurs can discover all the organizations out there to help them in the metro Milwaukee area. We are thrilled to have over 30 community partners who stepped up and are hosting 25+ events during the week. Milwaukee Startup week would not be possible without them.
Metro Milwaukee ranks poorly for entrepreneurial activity
While some community leaders consistently try to dispute the methodologies researchers use to evaluate a region’s entrepreneurial activity, Milwaukee consistently ranks poorly no matter which method is used. We have to stop trying to rationalize Milwaukee’s poor performance and address reality head-on. Whether you look at Kauffman Foundation’s, Startup Activity Index, Growth Entrepreneurship Index or the Economic Innovation Group’s distressed communities report. Milwaukee’s business community needs to get serious about startups or risk not being competitive in the 21st century economy.
Metro Milwaukee needs job growth. Startups create all net new jobs
We are developing a world-class arena and apartment buildings, amazing restaurants, retail and breweries continue to pop-up around the region. Southeast Wisconsin will need more good-paying, family-supporting jobs to support these amazing new amenities. As research has shown, new startup ventures create almost all net new jobs in the economy.
Tech jobs create more additional jobs than manufacturing
Research shows that each tech job that is created leads to the creation of approximately 4.3 jobs in the local goods and services economy (multiplier effect). By comparison, traditional manufacturing has a multiplier effect of 1.4 jobs. Therefore, it would be wise for local economic groups to focus their attention on strengthening the technology sector. To me, as a metrics-driven individual, it is clear we should be focused on investing taxpayer subsidies in companies that have the highest potential to create the most jobs.
If you are interested in learning more about how we could build southeast Wisconsin’s startup community join us for a candid community conversation on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Our conversation will include thought leaders from the Kauffman Foundation, Madison Region Chamber of Commerce and Wisconsin Technology Council, learn more and register here.
I also hope you check out our events calendar and register today for some of 25+ free events.
Matt Cordio is the founder and CEO of Startup Milwaukee and is the founder and general manager of Skills Pipeline.