Startups key to region’s economic future

BizStarts working to foster entrepreneurs, create high-potential startups in southeastern Wisconsin

If southeastern Wisconsin is going to grow the number of jobs here, it needs to create an environment that encourages entrepreneurs to start new companies here.

Two years ago, BizStarts Milwaukee was launched – and the nonprofit is already helping grow the  number of new companies based here. BizStarts helps entrepreneurs fine-tune their business plans, develop a market for their product or service, and connect with funding sources to launch their businesses. The company was formed to launch or accelerate fast growing, innovative companies that attract out of town investors and create significant numbers of high paying jobs in metro Milwaukee.

“Now, we’ve got a support system,” said John Torinus, a Milwaukee entrepreneur and president of BizStarts. “(Entrepreneurs) know they are encouraged and cheered, and if they’ve got a good enough plan, we’ll go get some money for them.”

In the two years since BizStarts Milwaukee has been operating, the organization has identified 23 new local businesses that have received outside investments and have high-growth potential. BizStarts has been involved in about half of those companies, said Dan Steininger, vice president and one of the co-founders of BizStarts.

 “We’ve either provided mentoring, connections to the right people, or capital,” he said. “We’ll be at 30 (companies) by the end of the year if we keep on the track we’re going on now, easily. Not all of them are going to make it, but a lot of them will, and those that do will create jobs.”

Read more in the cover story of the latest issue of BizTimes Milwaukee.


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