Inaugural Milwaukee Startup Week Calendar Released!

Startup Milwaukee today announced the official calendar for first-ever Milwaukee Startup Week will be held November 1-6 at various locations around Southeast Wisconsin.

The entrepreneur-led week will feature over 20 events that bring entrepreneurs, investors, local leaders and startup enthusiasts together to build momentum and celebrate Southeast Wisconsin’s unique entrepreneurial identity. All events are free as a way to give back to the entrepreneurial community and are intended to educate and engage the entire entrepreneurial stack.

“Building a stronger startup community in Southeast Wisconsin is critical for the long-term economic health of the region, research shows that startup companies create nearly 100% of net new jobs.” said Matt Cordio, Co-founder of Startup Milwaukee and a Co-organizer of Milwaukee Startup Week.

“We’ve all heard the negative news regarding startup growth for our region, instead of complaining about it , we decided to do something about it.” Said Ed Javier, Co-organizer of Milwaukee Startup Week.  “We believe that by hosting this event we can highlight the organizations out there who are helping entrepreneurs in Southeast Wisconsin and help foster the long-term growth of the community.”

Milwaukee Startup Week is sponsored by Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C., Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Find more information on the Milwaukee Startup Week website.

Startup Community News & Events: Week of May 10th

Launch Milwaukee will promote the rapid creation and development of hardware and software startup ideas in Milwaukee. Held June 5th through 7th at Ward4, participants are given the opportunity to pitch an idea and ask for help building their idea during a 60-second window on opening night. Teams organically form around shared interests and the building process begins. Participants do not need to have an idea to pitch, and can come individually or with a team. Register at using discount code: STARTUPMKE for a 30% discount.

WERCbench Labs announced they looking for teams of engineers, scientists, and programmers to participate in their summer program for technology innovators. WERCbench provides entrepreneurs access to unique production capabilities, including high performance computing, rapid prototyping facilities and small scale production and testing equipment in addition to a $20,000 grant, learn more about WERCbench here.

Subscription wine delivery service BrightCellars has announced they are moving from Boston to Milwaukee with the help of Ward4 and startup accelerator program gener8tor, read more here. is hiring a Business Development Manager in Milwaukee, apply for the job here., a crowdsourcing startup based in Milwaukee that helps entrepreneurs launch new products was recently profiled by the Journal Sentinel, read more here.

The Wells Building once a hub for telegrams is now becoming a cloud computing hub learn more about this initiative here.

Four startups recently won Marquette University’s ImpactNext Business Model Competitionread all about them here.

Milwaukee-based Scanlytics’ SoleSensor technology is being test-driven by a top five telecom firm, according to a recent press release.

To get the latest startup community news & events follow @StartupMKE on twitter!

Matt Cordio receives BizTimes Media’s Bravo Entrepreneur Award!

Matt Cordio, Co-founder of Startup Milwaukee, The Commons and Skills Pipeline will receive a BizTimes Bravo! Entrepreneur Award from BizTimes Media LLC.

The Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards salute southeastern Wisconsin business leaders for their bold leadership, business growth and innovation.

The winners will receive their awards at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 20, at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, Woodland Dreams Ballroom, in Milwaukee at 1721 W. Canal St., from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards and I.Q. Awards will be presented to the recipients at a luncheon during the 2015 BizExpo, to be held Wednesday, May 20, at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.  The awards ceremony will be emceed by WISN-Channel 12 News anchor Craig McKee.

The complete list of the Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards recipients:

  • Rick Barrett, president, Barrett Visionary Development, Milwaukee
  • Kelly Brown, managing partner, American Deposit Management Co., Delafield
  • Matt Cordio, Co-founder of Skills Pipeline, Startup Milwaukee, 96square & The Commons, Milwaukee
  • Michelle D’Attilio, CEO, Sosh, Milwaukee
  • John Hunzinger, president, Hunzinger Construction Co., Brookfield
  • Jerry Jendusa, co-founder, Stuck LLC, Wauwatosa
  • Scott Kubicki, president, Skyline of Milwaukee
  • Tony Mallinger, president and CEO, Metal-Era, Waukesha
  • Lupe Martinez, president and CEO, UMOS, Milwaukee
  • Sandra Nix, president and CEO, Connected Technology Solutions, Menomonee Falls
  • Regional Spirit Award: Griselda Aldrete, president and CEO of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Laughlin, executive chairman of Laughlin Constable

“BizTimes Media would like to congratulate these company leaders on their success as they continue to innovate, grow and create jobs in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Dan Meyer, publisher of BizTimes Milwaukee. “We invite all businesses in the region to attend the BizExpo and learn more about the creative best practices that are fueling this growth.”

To register to attend the BizTimes Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards ceremony and/or the BizExpo, visit

Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch visits 96square

Startup Milwaukee Crowdfunding Event Matt Cordio Rebecca Kleefisch StartupMKE

On June 12th Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch visited 96square to celebrate the launch of Wisconsin’s new equity crowdfunding law. The event featured MobCraft Beer from Madison the first company to use the equity crowdfunding laws to raise capital for their company and CraftFund a company based at 96square that is the first equity crowdfunding platform in the state.  For more pictures from the event, click here.

Startup Milwaukee’s Leadership Team Grows

Milwaukee – Startup Milwaukee announced today that veteran fundraisers Charles P. Ries and Jason Parry have been appointed to the Development Committee of our Board of Directors.

“With decades of combined fundraising experience we are delighted to have Jason and Charles join the board” said Matt Cordio, Startup Milwaukee’s Executive Chairman, “Jason and Charles will play a critical role as we raise the funding necessary to support our mission of building and networking Milwaukee’s startup community.”


Jason Parry – Jason is the vice president, development and communications at Penfield Children’s Center joining the agency’s executive team in November 2012. Prior to Penfield, Jason served as the director of development for the Diederich College of Communication and College of Professional Studies at Marquette University and as the cheap cialis prices major giving and planned giving specialist at WUWM – Milwaukee Public Radio. From concepting and visioning to executing and securing seed funding, he has been actively engaged in several innovative programmatic and capital initiatives during his time in the nonprofit industry.

Before entering the sector, Jason spent six seasons in the media relations department for the Milwaukee Brewers serving as the club’s assistant director of media relations. He has his undergraduate degree from Indiana University in business management and sports marketing and his masters in nonprofit management and leadership from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Connect with Jason on LinkedIn.

Charles P. Ries – Charles is Senior Director of Development Design and Innovation at Marquette University. He joined Marquette’s Advancement staff in 1998. Prior to joining Marquette he was Vice President for Development at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, CA and Senior Vice President of the Oram Group – a fund raising management and consulting firm founded in 1940. During his thirteen years with The Oram Group he worked with over 200 non-profit organizations solving a variety of fundraising and organizational challenges. He has worked with non-profit organizations for over 35 years.

Ries is also a published author. His poetry, short stories, articles, book reviews, and essays have appeared in over 200 print and electronic publications. The Charles P. Ries Collection is housed in the Raynor Achieves at Marquette University. He is on the board of John Michael Kohler Art Center and Chairs the Development Committee of Milwaukee LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation). He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a founding member of Lake Shore Surf Club in Sheboygan. Connect with Charles on LinkedIn.

For more information email Matt Cordio (

2013: A Year of Rapid Growth

Heading into 2014 it is clear to outsiders Milwaukee’s startup scene has momentum. Many of the programs the Startup Milwaukee community has launched in 2013 have contributed to that momentum.

Here are the top five major milestones accomplished by the Startup Milwaukee community in 2013, a year of rapid growth:

  1. 96Square Opens for Business | October 2013
    96square is the only co-working space providing entrepreneurs with access to affordable scalable office space and a unique mix of tenants: high-growth startups, investors, technical and creative talent. Read about the launch of 96square from the Journal Sentinel.
  2. Startups Connected with Mentors through Startup Milwaukee’s Mentorship Program | June 2013
    Startup Milwaukee’s mentorship program kicked-off in June and is wrapping up in early 2014, we’re already seeing the companies involved making tremendous progress towards their goals of generating revenue and building sustainable high-growth technology companies in Southeastern Wisconsin. Read more from the Journal Sentinel’s coverage, click here.
  3. Startup Milwaukee Organizes Second Annual Startup Weekend Milwaukee | November 2013
    Startup Weekend Milwaukee took place November 1st through 3rd, designers, developers and entrepreneurs attended all with the goal of launching a company in 54 hours. Out of the weekend 15 ideas were launched and several of the teams continue to work on building their businesses. Read the Business Journal’s follow-up article on the event here.
  4. Connecting College Students with Internships at Local Startups | March 2013
    Launched in spring, Startup Milwaukee’s internship program has connected over 13 college students internships at local high-growth companies. Read more from the Business Journal, click here.
  5. Startup Milwaukee helps bring entrepreneurs from Madison and Milwaukee Together | November 2013
    Startup Milwaukee has partnered with Capital Entrepreneurs, Forward Tech Festival, gener8tor and 100state to create a series of cross-state meeting of the minds. The first event held at 96square has resulted in more collaboration between the two cities. Read more about the collaboration from the Wisconsin State Journal.

Not included in this list includes the launch of Startup Milwaukee’s Founders’ Club, the launch of our Capital Connections events and the Launch of  Coder Nights at 96square (props, to Brennan Stehling for making that happen).

If you want to take an active role building Milwaukee’s startup community please reach out to me, We are always looking for the next generation of startup community leaders to join the Startup Milwaukee team.


Matt Cordio is co-founder and Executive Chairman of Startup Milwaukee. Cordio is also co-founder and CEO of Skills Pipeline a company that connects startups to Fortune 100 companies with seasoned IT and creative talent. 

Pairdd is Hiring

Are you a coding wizard? Do you want to work with a fun Milwaukee Startup?! Look no further:

Pairdd is looking for a coder/developer to help out with site changes!

Pairdd is a new local startup working to make cooking gluten free easier. We send all the measured ingredients needed to cook a great gluten free meal to the homes of many – And they are growing which means that we are looking to add to our team!

Applicants should have experience in the following areas:

Pairdd is looking for a coder to help work within Shopify on front end styling and UX/UI design. Preferably applicants will also have experience in back end development.

Languages Required:

  • HTML

  • CSS

  • PHP is a plus

Bonus Skills (not required)

  • Photoshop

  • UX/UI

  • Experience with design

  • Experience working with an ecommerce site

Time Requirements

Pairdd is looking to find a coding rockstar for contract work on an as needed basis ASAP.

Think you have what it takes?

APPLY – send your resume and past work to

Pairdd is a product of Blue Bananas LLC, a local startup incubator funded by Assurant Health. Blue Bananas is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. All aspects of consideration for employment and employment with the Company are governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.


gener8tor Winter 2014 Application Deadline

The application deadline for gener8tor’s Winter 2014 accelerator program in Madison is Monday, December 1st.
gener8tor invests its community, capital, expertise, mentorship and network in capable, early-stage entrepreneurs with innovative business models. gener8tor works with the startups in its portfolio to create successful, scalable companies.

gener8tor is seeking to invest in technology-enabled businesses, including software, IT, web, SaaS and hardware. Accepted companies receive $70,000 and 12-weeks of mentorship-driven programming. gener8tor is a proud member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) and is sponsored by American Family Insurance.

If you or anyone you know is interested in applying gener8tor, check out gener8tor’s website and application page on f6s by December 1, 2013.
Please email with any questions.

Strengthening Wisconsin’s Entrepreneurial Community

Tuesday night Startup Milwaukee has partnered with fellow entrepreneur-led organizations 100stateCapital EntrepreneursDigital Fertilizer and gener8tor to brainstorm solutions that strengthen Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial community.

Wisconsin continues to lag the country in many of the key measures of entrepreneurial activity, but entrepreneurs from around the state are determined to reverse these trends.

So Tuesday night at 96square join 150+ entrepreneurs from Madison, Milwaukee and Northeast Wisconsin as we brainstorm practical ideas to strengthen and support Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial community, RSVP here.