Business Innovation Incubator program helping Milwaukee startups thrive

MILWAUKEE — Calling all Wisconsin entrepreneurs! If you’ve got a strong business idea, now’s your chance to be a part of a program that could help turn your vision into a successful company.

It’s called the Business Innovation Incubator. It’s a pilot program designed by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s senior lecturer Matthew Friedel to provide startup companies with the knowledge and resources they need to take their ideas to the next level.

“All the entrepreneurs are going to get connections to not only really successful investors but entrepreneurs themselves,” said Friedel.

Friedel says they’re looking for 10 startups in the area to take part in the free 11-month programme. And you don’t need to be a student to take advantage of the opportunity.

We are looking at later-stage companies. Companies that are looking for funding. They either have some revenue traction, they have some IP, or a really solid business idea,” said Friedel.

The program will be split up into two parts. Entrepreneurs will meet in a room inside the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center to focus on everything from customer discovery, product manufacturing, sales, and more.

“It’s workshops in the fall every Wednesday here and then in the spring it’s custom consulting and coaching and mentoring,” said Friedel. “I’m going to solicit, what is the stretch goal for you? What would you like in 11 months for your business to be successful? And if it’s raising money, that’s what we are going to strive for. If it’s acquiring customers that’s what we’re going to strive for.”

Steve Glynn, the Chief Milwaukee Officer of Experience Milwaukee, a podcast that’s been running for the past four years, says he jumped at the opportunity to apply for the incubator program.

When a program is offering the curriculum, the expertise, the guidance, the mentorship, the network that the facility has, I don’t think you can ever get enough of that,” said Glynn.

And if all goes well, the program will continue in the years to come.

This is a town of entrepreneurs, from restaurants and cafés and bars and musicians and artists; I think there are so many opportunities to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit in Milwaukee,” said Glynn.

The application process closes on Monday, Aug. 8. To apply for the Business Incubator Programme, click here.

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