Milky Way Tech Hub and Marquette University have formed a partnership to launch a product development program that will support diverse startup founders in Milwaukee.
The goal of the program is to provide women and minority startup founders access to resources like software development while Marquette computer science students will receive experience in the software development and startup space.
Through the program, startups partnered with Milky Way Tech Hub’s concierge accelerator will leverage the tech talent of students in Marquette University’s Principles of Design Class, which aims to prepare students with industry software development experience.
Participating startups will be social impact oriented and receive software development services for free, according to a press release.
“This kind of substantive engagement with our local tech ecosystem provides an ideal educational opportunity for our students at a critical stage of their professional development, while also giving a much-needed boost to budding entrepreneurs in our city,” Dennis Brylow, vice-chair of Marquette Computer Science said in a statement.
The product development journey for minority startup founders often begins with little to no help, Johnson said, adding that programs like this are essential as the community works towards making Milwaukee a tech hub that centers on marginalized communities.
“There are huge racial disparities in the venture capital world that continue to make it difficult for black founders and other underrepresented demographics to raise funds to develop even a minimal viable product,” Jet Constellations and Milky Way Tech Hub founder Nadiyah Johnson said in a statement.
Participating startups will also have a chance to submit their businesses to the Milky Way Tech Hub Annual Pitch Competition in November for a chance to win $15,000.
Click here for more information or to sign up for the pilot program.