First Milwaukee Startup Week set for next week

Six days of events planned at various locations in southeastern Wisconsin

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Startup Milwaukee, a nonprofit organization that connects local entrepreneurs with resources to help them launch or grow digital companies, will host six consecutive days of free events, lectures, tours and networking opportunities around southeastern Wisconsin starting Tuesday, Nov. 1.

The logo for Milwaukee Startup Week, which will host its inaugural event starting Nov. 1.
The logo for Milwaukee Startup Week, which will host its inaugural event starting Nov. 1.

Called Milwaukee Startup Week 2016, the series is meant to connect entrepreneurs, investors and local leaders and educate them on what their peers are up to in the area.

It will be the largest series of startup-focused events to be hosted in Milwaukee. Startup Milwaukee co-founder and event co-organizer Matt Cordio estimated around 1,500 people will attend.

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More than 20 events are scheduled at various locations around the Milwaukee area and each will touch on one of six themes:

  • Building a stronger startup community.
  • Connecting startups and corporations.
  • Educating entrepreneurs launching & growing new ventures in southeast Wisconsin.
  • Supporting startups on college campuses.
  • Providing an opportunity to create new products and ventures.
  • Experiencing southeast Wisconsin’s co-working spaces.

“We felt like those are some key focus areas,” Cordio said. “One of the ones that I’m really excited about is the idea of connecting corporations and startups. We have a great opportunity I think in Milwaukee to do that more.”

Matt Cordio.
Matt Cordio.

The week of events will kick-off with a launch conference at Ward 4 on the second floor of the Pritzlaff building at 333 N. Plankinton St. at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1 and continue that night with a free coach bus trip from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. that will take participants from Ward 4 to Beloit to tour the city’s Irontek coworking space, an emerging hub of entrepreneurship in Wisconsin.

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Wednesday Nov. 2 will feature multiple marquee events at different locations around Milwaukee from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., starting with presentations from representatives of the Kauffman Foundation, Wisconsin Angel Network and the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce on regional best practices for building better startup communities and ending with a “speaker crawl” at the Lincoln Warehouse at 2018 S. 1st St.

Several events with speakers addressing issues facing the local startup community or advice for local entrepreneurs hoping to get their startup off the ground will be held each each day through Sunday Nov. 6 at multiple locations around Milwaukee.

For a complete list of events, visit the Startup Milwaukee website.

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Cordio said the reasoning behind organizing the event was two-fold.

“One is to increase the visibility of the fact that startups are important for the long-term growth for the region,” Cordio said. “Another reason is there are a ton of resources available for entrepreneurs in Milwaukee. There are a lot of entrepreneurs I come across that may not be aware certain resources exist. We wanted to make a one stop shop.

“We need to understand where we are as a community and be honest about it and have candid discussions about it and then move forward and figure out a plan for programs that are entrepreneur-led here in Milwaukee and go do them. We hope to start that conversation with these events.”

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