The Blueprint names entrepreneurs selected for next stage of training

12 companies selected for The Cultivator

Que El-Amin, center, shows students Joshua Folds, Lemarion Shuttlesworth and Giovanni Wilson how to use the 3D printer as Najee El-Amin looks on.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:04 pm

Lawrence Norwood has always had a knack for communicating on social media. After a number of companies approached him for help with managing their accounts, Norwood decided to officially establish a company, Norwood Media Group, this past summer.

Que El-Amin, center, shows students  how to use a 3D printer at a Young Enterprising Society program.

NMG manages the social media accounts for Glorious Malone’s and for Young Enterprising Society. Norwood has also helped the Milwaukee Brewers with their New Brew Crew diversity campaign in the past.

“With that, we were just trying to get more African-Americans to the games so we would host events and stuff like that with the Brewers,” Norwood said.

Now, Norwood has been selected as one of 12 entrepreneurs participating in the next phase of Young Enterprising Society’s urban entrepreneurship training program, The Blueprint.

YES co-founders and brothers Khalif and Que El-Amin, entrepreneurs and real estate developers, are leading the training program at the M-WERC Energy Innovation Center, 4201 N. 27th St. They aim to support growth in the central city, help residents develop technology and innovation skills, and increase the diversity in Milwaukee’s professional millennial population.

YES announced the 40 businesses selected for the first stage of The Blueprint at Hip-Hop Week MKE in late August. Then they went through a three-day bootcamp covering business model, legal, marketing, financial, mentor, tax and technical concepts. And earlier this month, those companies gave a 30-second pitch on their business model for a chance at this next phase, The Cultivator.

In his pitch, Norwood said his aim is to increase revenue and market share for companies and use social media to take their businesses from good to great.

“My next goals would just be to start establishing myself and connecting with more clients and just starting to get the company up and running,” Norwood said.

The Cultivator is an eight-week training program that will run from Sept. 22 to Nov. 10, providing more in-depth training on the same topics.

The companies selected for The Cultivator are:

  1. Like Minds (Monte Eady)
  2. Norwood Media Group (Lawrence Norwood)
  3. StyleQ (Chantel Teague and Emani Taylor)
  4. 16th Place (Callie Tally)
  5. NewWay (Willie Alexander and Bryce Killibrew)
  6. Root Media Company (Aziz Abdullah)
  7. Dino Black Studios (Dino Black and Andrea “Andy” Gasparini)
  8. Anita B Mogaka Consulting LLC
  9. Potty Pearls (Tyeshia Coopwood)
  10. Beneath The Surface (Salina Victoria)
  11. Trovata Box (Frank Contreras)
  12. Sekhere, LLC (Nikia Johnson)

“The list of participants that made it to the next round are not necessarily the best businesses, but the ones that the committee felt were most in line with the mission of the program,” Khalif El-Amin said.

At the end of the program, the top business will receive $10,000, second place will receive $5,000 and third place will receive $2,500. Two businesses will receive heavily discounted office or industrial space, and Legacy Redevelopment Corp. will provide access to capital of up to $200,000 through a new revolving loan fund.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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