Startup Milwaukee is launching two new programs this month intended to boost local startup activity and connect entrepreneurs with investors as well as potential employees and customers.
- Emerge, to be held once a month at different locations around southeastern Wisconsin, will give three local startups a chance to make short pitches and receive feedback from attendees.
- Showcase, an informal networking event that will double as a small trade show for local startups, will be held every other month at various locations.
Designed by the Kaufman Foundation, 1 Million Cups is a national program organized weekly by members of the local startup community to educate and connect entrepreneurs.
“What we discovered with 1 Million Cups is that it wasn’t really necessarily a program tailored to the Milwaukee startup community,” Cordio said. “So the organizing team that’s behind it (Cordio, Greg Barker of J.F. Ahern, Ed Javier of EMJ Consulting, Jackie Steinmetz of Accelity Marketing, and Matt Yerkes of RBC Wealth Management), we all kind of came together and said let’s re-brand this under Startup Milwaukee and really make this an interesting, engaging hour-long pitch event. Let’s host it at a different startup every month over free coffee.
“In an essence, we’re tailoring 1 Million Cups, or the idea behind it, and providing a platform for entrepreneurs to pitch startups and receive feedback from the community. It will always feature three startups and be held at a different office or hot-spot throughout southeast Wisconsin.”
The first Emerge event will be held from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 18 at the offices of Penrod, a software company located at 219 N. Milwaukee St. in the Historic Third Ward. The three startups slated to make pitches are BetterLoanOfficers.com, Dynamis and Pedal Tavern.
Showcase events will be much more informal and focused on networking, Cordio said.
“It’s much more of a trade show for local startups,” he said. A handful of featured startups at each event will have tables or booths set up to give attendees an opportunity to meet the founders and learn about their companies.
The first Showcase event will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 26 at Third Space Brewing at 1505 W. St. Paul Ave. in the Menomonee Valley and will feature six startups: Remedy Now, Lumanu, Grow Local, Doobert, Milo Savings and Hankr.
“The goal is really to increase connectivity in the startup community,” Cordio said. “Better connect the startups to potential employees, investors, customers … and likewise, I think it’s a really great opportunity for entrepreneurs to practice their pitches and connect with the community as a whole.”