Marquette Wire

Milwaukee Startup Week hosts several events at Marquette

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Matt Cordio wants to help entrepreneurs find resources in the city to build their businesses. To accomplish this, he founded Startup Milwaukee, which will host the second annual Startup Week from Nov. 6 to Nov. 12.

Milwaukee Startup Week, which consists of events focused on connecting, educating and celebrating Milwaukee entrepreneurs, will feature several events at Marquette, including Wisconsin’s first Blockchain Convention.

“There’s a lot of momentum happening right now in the startup scene, so we hope students really get involved and learn more about what’s happening here,” Cordio said.

This year marks the second annual Startup Week in Milwaukee. Startup Week has spread beyond Milwaukee and is now in 10 total cities in Wisconsin. The week features more than 50 events in the Milwaukee area and more than 200 total events throughout Wisconsin.

The Innovator’s Guide to Design Thinking event will take place Nov. 9 at 5:00 p.m. in the 707 Hub. The event, cohosted by the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship and the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is designed to give community members a taste of the design thinking process.

“The process of design thinking really starts with empathy and understanding who you’re designing for, who’s your customer,” Nicole Green, program coordinator for the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, said.

The event will consist of several hands-on activities that give attendees a chance to try their hand at design thinking. Some of these activities include interviewing, prototyping and pitching. Green said she believes the event will allow entrepreneurs to think about their challenges in a new way.

Another Startup Week event happening on campus is the Milwaukee Blockchain Conference, which will be held Nov. 9 from 8 a.m. to noon in the Weasler Auditorium. It is the first blockchain conference to be held in Wisconsin.

Heather Sullivan, associate director of external relations for the College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management, said she was inspired to create the event after her husband participated in a hack-athon focusing on blockchain, which is a more secure method of transferring money and documents and is the foundation for bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency.

“I came back and wondered why we aren’t doing that kind of stuff (in Milwaukee),” Sullivan said. “I worked for a bank at the time, and I didn’t really have a platform for creating an event like that, but when I came to Marquette, I thought that maybe we could do that here.”

The event will feature three keynote speakers representing corporate, government and academic interests as well as a panel representing a wide range of organizations. Sullivan said having a diverse group of people is essential to learning what blockchain means to Milwaukee.

“What we’re going to do is look at blockchain, talk about it, bring a community together and maybe figure out where this is going for people in Milwaukee,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said embracing technologies like blockchain are essential to developing a strong startup community in Milwaukee.

“Having a healthy tech culture is really important to having a healthy startup scene, so if we’re really going to grow our startup scene, we need to be open to new technological innovation,” Sullivan said.

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About the Writer
Josh Anderson, News Reporter

Josh is a news reporter for the Marquette Wire. He is a freshman from Minnetonka, Minnesota majoring in public relations.

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