The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is launching a new initiative to promote startups and entrepreneurship in the Milwaukee Region.
Goals for the new initiative include:
“The Milwaukee Region has experienced considerable success in corporate expansion and attraction over the past 15 years, thanks in large part to the outstanding efforts of the Milwaukee 7 Development Partnership,” MMAC President Tim Sheehy said. “Startups and entrepreneurship are an equally important part of regional economic development, but the successes we’ve seen in this area are not as widely known. Through this new initiative, which is guided by input from the Milwaukee startup community over the past several months, MMAC hopes to play a larger role in amplifying Milwaukee’s existing startup success stories, finding new ways to strengthen our region’s startup muscles and ultimately attract even more founders and funders to our region.”
This initiative is in partnership with MMAC Board Member Chris Abele, the managing director of CSA Partners and former Milwaukee County executive. It was driven by a working group of founders and funders who want to raise the profile of what’s working in the Milwaukee Region and the assets we have, while also surfacing new ways for the region to grow its startup and entrepreneurship landscape. The new initiative is being resourced with more than $500,000 to get it off the ground.
“Milwaukee has an active startup scene, with the potential for massive growth,” Abele said. “But people may not be aware of some of the success stories that started here or the value proposition Milwaukee offers to entrepreneurs and investors. Through this initiative, we hope to raise awareness of everything that is possible here. As is the case with many things here in Milwaukee, we have a much better story to tell than the one we’re actually telling right now.”
As part of this initiative, MMAC has launched a website dedicated to educating the Milwaukee community on startup and entrepreneurship activity in Milwaukee. The MKE Startup News website is live at https://mkestartup.news/.
MMAC also has hired Anna Lardinois in a newly created role, startup storyteller. She will produce content for the site, serve as a connector within the Milwaukee startup and entrepreneurship community and assist members of the media who are writing about startups and entrepreneurship in our region. Lardinois is a local author and historian who previously served as the narrator at the Pfister Hotel.
As this initiative evolves, other planned projects include:
Sheehy and Abele will further discuss the launch of this initiative on the MMAC’s Business of Metro MKE webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. This webinar is free and open to the public. Registration is required and available online.