Does Your Business Have Innovation?

According to Eric Ries of the Lean Startup the difference between a small business and a startup is innovation.  A small business executes on an existing model and a startup creates a new one.  So what is innovation?

“Innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulated needs, or existing market needs.” – Wikipedia

A new restaurant can be innovative in it is marketing or styling’s.  A cheese company might age their cheese a bit differently than its competitors. It might do things in a distinctive way that is innovative. However, compared to Facebook it seems these businesses are a bit less innovative.  Restaurants and cheese have been part of the human fabric  for hundreds of years and Facebook has been around about ten.

So what is innovation and does your business have it?  This question is based on a false premise.  It is not a question about the existence of innovation, rather the questions is about the degree. We should be asking, “How much innovation does you business have?” or  ”How can your business be more innovative in its space?”

In general there are two kids of innovation, disruptive innovation and incremental innovation.  Incremental innovation is the improvement of an existing system.  It is an innovative way to make something that exists better.  Disruptive innovation is a new system that completely replaces an old one.  Stay tuned for to find out more about the differences between incremental innovations and disruptive innovation in a future blog post.

About the Author
Steve Anderson is an entrepreneur who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently he is the CEO of Snapifeye.  In addition, he is the Founder of Laylines Consulting and previously worked at a San Francisco based consulting company.  Steve has a masters degree from the Wisconsin School of Business and was the winner of Startup Weekend Madison

96square has launched.

Dear friends,

The Startup Milwaukee team is excited to announce the launch of 96square, a co-working space for high-growth startup companies in Southeastern Wisconsin. Located in the historic Blatz Wash House, 96square provides entrepreneurs with access to affordable  scalable office space; mentorship; potential investors; talent and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.

96square is a game changer for Milwaukee’s community of innovative entrepreneurs. As research shows, the startups are responsible for all net new job creation–and we all know Milwaukee and Wisconsin desperately need more jobs. At Startup Milwaukee we are happy to step forward and provide a place where entrepreneurs, talent and capital can collide and accelerate the growth of Milwaukee’s top startup companies.

We are excited to have great companies such as Alithias, Find My Spot, Onkol, Rent College Pads, SAR32 Technologies, UCAP, LLC, Voxelmetric, Wisconsin Super Angel Fund and more already located at 96square.

The meaning of 96square goes beyond having a “cool name.” The city of Milwaukee is approximately 96 square miles, and 96square will be the epicenter of entrepreneurship and innovation in our great city.

Are you a startup, designer, developer or engineer looking for affordable dedicated desk or private office space for your team? Learn more and apply for 96square membership at 96square.org. Memberships start at just $110/month.

Your first chance to check out 96square is this Thursday, October 24 at our Capital Connections event featuring CSA Partners and Scanalytics. RSVP to reserve your free tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/event/8508341679

Thanks to the many people who have made this endeavor possible: Ronnie Reum of SAR32 Technologies, Heather Johnston of Find My Spot, Marvin Bynum of Godfrey & Kahn and many more.

See you at 96square!

Matthew J. Cordio, Executive Chairman
Alicia Boknevitz, President
Tim Grove, Corporate Secretary
Joe Poeschl, Treasurer
Michael Anderson, Community Outreach Director

Midwest Social Innovation Start-Up Challenge

IDEAS? This challenge is an opportunity for students or aspiring entrepreneurs to submit a business model that includes social or environmental impact that makes the world a better place! The challenge is open to any ambitious team or individual who has an idea to create positive social change. Register here by May 20th. Entering is free and easy — and you may enter as many ideas as you like.  Please include a description of the problem you’re solving, the solution you propose and the sustainability (financial, repeatable, scalable) of your idea.  Examples of social innovation start-ups: Dell Social Innovation Challenge Winner

PITCH: The Midwest Social Innovation Start-Up Challenge is one of many Flying Car Innovation Week events in Milwaukee, June 1 -10, 2013.  Up to 20 teams/individuals will be selected to present at June 6th, at ManpowerGroup  World Headquarters.

WIN! 3-5 winning groups will share $15,000 in cash, present their start-up idea at the evening reception, participate in summer workshops and mentoring, receive complimentary tickets to the Flying Car Gala, and advance to the Brady Midwest Regional Championship in August.

CELEBRATE: The challenge will provide excellent networking and learning opportunities with business executives, funders, mentors, local entrepreneurs, and prominent national figures in social innovation.  Join us for the evening reception (open to the public) to showcase the semi-finalist winners at The WhereHouse

 
The Midwest Social Innovation Start-Up Challenge is presented by the Marquette Social Innovation Initiative in collaboration with the Brady CorporationThe Business JournalCardinal Stritch UniversityDell Inc.,Greater Milwaukee Committee (MiKE)Johnson ControlsMIADMSOE, and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and parallels the national platform founded by Dell Inc. and the University of Texas – Austin.