Co:lab selects projects and participants

Pilot civic accelerator starts this weekend

College students in The Commons prototype an entire business in one intensive weekend.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:04 pm

Civic accelerator co:lab has selected the participants in its inaugural cohort, and the neighborhoods they will target.

co:lab, an effort launched in August by student innovation program The Commons, social architecture firm NEWaukee and entrepreneurship community Startup Milwaukee, aims to apply entrepreneurial thinking to social challenges. Business improvement districts, community foundations and nonprofits submitted their challenges for participants to solve.

The seven-week accelerator, which targets young professionals, will start on March 9. It was originally set to begin in January. The spring pilot program will conclude with a presentation and fundraiser for the teams’ solutions on April 24 during YP Week.

The challenges selected are from three business improvement districts: Mitchell Street, Avenues West and Granville. The Mitchell Street BID is seeking ways to make the Modjeska Theater an iconic community gathering place. In Avenues West, the challenge is finding ways to harness the excitement behind Doors Open Milwaukee to gain new residents who will take advantage of its Live, Work, Play Homeownership Incentive program. And the Granville BID is seeking to create engagement among young professionals who work in the area.

Co:lab organizers have also selected 15 young professionals who will take on the challenges, in three teams of five. Their names were not released.

The organizers plan to host two cohorts of co:lab per year.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.