Startup Milwaukee exits 96Square, launches next class of The Commons

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:05 pm

Startup Milwaukee has passed on the management of its 96Square co-working space to SSG Properties, the firm that owns the historic Blatz Wash House building in which it is based.

There are currently 15 startups based in the 11,000-square-foot space, located at 1101 N. Market St., for which Startup Milwaukee provided the sales and marketing. Launched in 2013, its goal is to provide entrepreneurs with low-rent space to grow their businesses, and access to other entrepreneurs and mentors.

Startup Milwaukee, a nonprofit, volunteer organization run by its four co-founders part-time, made the move so it could focus on some of its other programs and projects. The organization, which serves as a kind of trade organization for startups, plans to launch a series of events this fall, said Matt Cordio, one of its founders.

“We’re turning to doing more networking events and programs around mentorship and connecting entrepreneurs to talent and capital,” Cordio said.

Meanwhile, Startup Milwaukee has started accepting applications for its fall entrepreneurial skills accelerator program, The Commons, which it conducts in cooperation with Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE).

The 10-week program is free to students from 22 area colleges, universities and technical colleges, and offers an opportunity for students to receive mentorship and training on becoming an entrepreneur or working for an innovative area company.

Among the companies providing mentorship are Brady Corp., Briggs & Stratton, Direct Supply and Kohl’s. Some of those companies may recruit students they connect with through The Commons.
The Commons launched a pilot program last fall with the goal of attracting, developing and retaining the brightest minds in southeastern Wisconsin.

Applications are due Sept. 9, and the program will start Sept. 19. This semester, The Commons will accept 70 to 80 students and shorten The Commons from a full year to one semester.

Since the program is free for students, revenue is generated from corporations who would like access to the entrepreneurial talent and academic partners whose students will gain skills from The Commons.

“The goal is that The Commons has its own full-time staff and we’re in the very early stages of a fundraising campaign to get individuals, corporations, as well as our academic partners to contribute to the success of the program financially.”

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display