Introducing The Commons

Startup Milwaukee is excited to partner with Innovation in Milwaukee and several local academic institutions to announce The Commons. The Commons will give college students from around Southeast Wisconsin the opportunity to launch a high-growth startup or work on innovation challenges from local companies in a supportive environment.

We hope The Commons will create the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs and have a significant impact on Southeastern Wisconsin. Get involved with The Commons here.

What local leaders are saying about The Commons: 

  • “What’s exciting about this (The Commons) from my perspective as president of the Medical College of Wisconsin is that this gives us probably our best opportunity to connect directly with the creativity sector.” – Dr. John Raymond, President, Medical College of Wisconsin (source)
  • The Commons is really about moving southeastern Wisconsin forward, creating jobs, and keeping bright, entrepreneurial and innovative students here in southeastern Wisconsin. – Matt Cordio, Co-founder & CEO, Startup Milwaukee
  • “I strongly believe that this project will strengthen a vibrant community where our current students will stay as well as serve as a catalyst to attract talented professionals from outside Wisconsin.” – Dr. Mary Meehan, President, Alverno College (source)
  • “Mandel Group is here to support the efforts of The Commons and find The Commons an appropriate home. From our standpoint and first-hand experience with creative, students and startups, The Commons is the conduit between their ideas and making them possible, teaching them entrepreneurial skills that are many times lacking, and facilitating access to capital to drive new businesses, jobs and our regional economy.” – Barry Mandel, President, The Mandel Group (source)
  • “I find that higher education too often looks at things in the rear view mirror. It’s time to get out front in moving things forward and this (The Commons) is a good way to do it.” – Neil Hoffman, President, MIAD (source)
The Commons in The Media: 
Connect with The Commons: 

Get your startup in front of established corporations at OnRamp

In an effort to increase connections between Wisconsin’s startups and established corporations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and gener8tor, in collaboration with Forward Fest and Madworks, are sponsoring OnRamp – an event that gives young companies the opportunity to pitch their products and services to established Wisconsin corporations.

OnRamp will be held Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at Madworks at University Research Park. The event is intended to help startups in the critical effort to find sales channels and to provide a way for established companies to engage with the entrepreneurial community. It highlights the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and gener8tor’s commitment to helping Wisconsin’s emerging entrepreneurs succeed.

Participating corporations include American Family Insurance, CUNA Strategic Services, and more to be announced soon!

Startups wishing to apply are encouraged to research the participating corporations. Each participating corporation will receive those startup applications that requested to pitch to them and those whose applications indicate a potential customer opportunity. Participating corporations will then choose 4-6 startups to pitch them at the event.

Those startups selected to pitch at the event will be notified on 8/24 and offered a time slot to pitch at the 8/28 event. Startups are requested to arrive at Madworks (505 S Rosa Rd #225, Madison, WI 53719) at least 30 minutes before their scheduled pitch. No technology will be available at the event, however you can use your laptop to present. Startups are encouraged to bring brief handouts of PowerPoint presentations or sales collateral to aid in their presentation. Startup pitches will last 20 minutes including Q&A.

At the conclusion of the event, participating corporations will select at least one startup to either purchase from or mentor (at least two lunches/coffees). Organizers will notify each selected startup.

Apply to OnRamp: