Startup Milwaukee Week to return with diversity focus

4th annual event to be held Nov. 11-17

Matt Cordio, co-founder and president of Startup Milwaukee
Matt Cordio, co-founder and president of Startup Milwaukee

Startup Milwaukee Week will return in November for its fourth year with an increased focus on diversity and inclusion and more opportunities for emerging startups to connect with venture capitalists from the Great Lakes region.

The week-long event, which will be held Nov. 11-17, will include dozens of events focused on connecting, educating and celebrating entrepreneurs in southeastern Wisconsin.

The events and programming are being put on in partnership with more than 50 organizations, including Milwaukee School of Engineering, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Jet Constellations, Malamadoe, NEWaukee, gener8tor, MWERC and Marquette University.

“Startup Milwaukee Week provides a platform for entrepreneurs and key stakeholders to come together, to learn, connect and drive meaningful and powerful change and transformation in the community,” said Matt Cordio, co-founder and president of Startup Milwaukee. “Innovation and technology are vital to growing Milwaukee’s economy and creating new jobs. The programming occurring during Startup Milwaukee Week this year will continue to develop and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region and move Milwaukee’s economy forward.”

New this year, VCs from the Great Lakes region, including Hyde Park Venture Partners and Tensility Venture Partners in Chicago, will be on hand to connect with startups.

In the past we’ve highlighted local VCs, but we’re now making a concerted effort to bring in folks from Chicago and Madison, and perhaps elsewhere,” Cordio said.

The week will also include a LAUNCH workshop series, which will feature tactical advice from founders and key executives from Milwaukee’s fast-growing startups, including Bright Cellars, Frontdesk, Penrod and Wantable.

The programming will also include a more intentional focus on diversity and inclusion through a partnership with Jet Constellations’ Milky Way Tech Hub initiative. Last year, Startup Milwaukee Week hosted a diversity track as part of the programming.

“We wanted to make sure we’re not limiting diversity and inclusion to just a track in Startup Week but infusing it throughout the week,” Cordio said. “In the process of selecting events, we’ve been intentional about making sure our community partners are reaching out to diverse communities and delivering diverse content during Startup Milwaukee Week.”

Startup Milwaukee Week is a part of Startup Wisconsin, a network that includes several cities around the state that simultaneously participate in Startup Wisconsin Week. Participating cities include Appleton, Beloit, Eau Claire, Fond Du Lac, Green Bay, Kenosha, La Crosse, Madison, Racine, Sheboygan, Stevens Point, Two Rivers and West Bend.

A full listing of Startup Milwaukee Week events is available here.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.