Representatives from a startup accelerator based in Lincoln, Nebraska called NMotion will meet with local entrepreneurs at the Ward 4 co-working space in Milwaukee from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
[caption id="attachment_154361" align="alignright" width="340"] Ward 4, a co-working space for startups and entrepreneurs, is located in the Pritzlaff Building at 333 N. Plankinton Ave.[/caption]
NMotion, which held its first accelerator program in 2013, runs a 90-day accelerator program. The group selects between five and eight companies from a pool of applicants to participate in the program and invests $20,000 in each of them in exchange for 6 percent equity.
The accelerator typically selects startups operating in four industries: food technology, agricultural technology, financial technology and sports and entertainment.
"But there are definitely exceptions to that," said Keevin O'Rourke, a program manager at NMotion.
O'Rourke said Milwaukee is one of several stops he has planned on a tour of the Midwest to attract applicants for the accelerator program. Last week he visited Kansas City, next week he will also visit Madison. From there he will head to Minnesota to visit Rochester, St. Paul and Minneapolis, and head northwest to Fargo, North Dakota. His tour will end in either Denver or St. Louis, he said.
O'Rourke said NMotion is looking for young companies that have a solid business model in place, and perhaps even a small amount of revenue, but need help figuring out how to scale and get rolling with their product.
He said NMotion has already scheduled some meetings with Milwaukee entrepreneurs on Tuesday, but he still has open time slots for anyone who is interested in learning more about the program.
Once his office hours end at 5 p.m., O'Rourke will give a presentation on NMotion and how the accelerator selects and mentors startups that will include free food, and perhaps even some free beer.
He said he and NMotion are very passionate about exploring opportunities to collaborate with startup communities in different cities around the Midwest.
“I’m thinking my perspective will probably change as I visit these other communities, but from what I see right now, I think there’s a lot of Midwest communities doing very good things and very positive things creating their own ecosystem," he said. "With that said, two things are going to have to happen if the Midwest is going to compete with the coasts. A: Every startup community is going to need to create their own thing. They’re not going to be able to clone the Silicon Valley. B: I think there needs to be more sharing of resources. We need to not look at everything with such a territorial mindset. If we can be more open sharing our founders, sharing our ideas, we can start to build a more connected community on a large scale that can then start competing with these other areas."
Ward 4 is located in the historic Pritzlaff building at 333 N. Plankinton Ave. More information about NMotion and its tour of the Midwest is available on its website. The Group has created a Facebook page for its visit to Milwaukee on Tuesday.