The Greater Milwaukee Committee – About Us

The Greater Milwaukee Committee is a private sector civic organization whose mission is to contribute to the cultural and economic base of the Milwaukee Metropolitan area.

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The GMC Talent Dividend

The Talent Dividend is a GMC-sponsored initiative built upon regional collaborations between businesses, institutions of higher education, K-12 school systems, service providers, community organizations, economic and workforce development agencies and community leaders to grow the regional talent pool to match the human capital needs of existing and emerging businesses.

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MiKE (Innovation in Milwaukee)

The Greater Milwaukee Committee aligns our region’s assets in advanced manufacturing and our global innovation companies through MiKE (Innovation in Milwaukee), a design, technology and innovation cluster that serves as a catalytic source for rapid innovation and talent to compete on the world stage.

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GMC launches teachtown initiative

After being approached by MPS Superintendent Dr. Greg Thornton, the GMC and its education committee launched the "teachtown" initiative to help MPS address the impending loss of human capital. Teachtown will help MPS widen their talent pool, and create some important supports for them so that new teachers are able to access our community and make meaningful connections to their students and to Milwaukee.

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‘Creational Trails

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Welcome To the Greater Milwaukee Committee

The Greater Milwaukee Committee’s mission is to make Greater
Milwaukee the best place to live, learn, work and play.

Our membership – comprised of our region’s business, labor, academic, philanthropic, nonprofit and civic leadership – believes that intelligent, active interest in public affairs is the true measure of citizenship, and the foundation for community.

Three questions with BMO Financial CEO Bill Downe

From The Milwaukee Business Journal
Published November 14, 2014

BMO Financial Group CEO Bill Downe made a rare public appearance in Milwaukee Nov. 10, speaking in depth to Greater Milwaukee Committee members about his take on the economy, and why Toronto-based BMO is betting on the Midwest.

The company in 2011 acquired Wisconsin’s M&I Bank, merging it with Chicago’s Harris Bank to create BMO Harris Bank.

Downe’s main message: America’s economy is relatively well-positioned, the Midwest is one of the safest bets and company executives should forward the optimistic message most media outlets ignore.

Downe spoke with the Milwaukee Business Journal after the event about BMO’s Milwaukee-area operations.

Read the full Q&A here.

 

BMO Bank Chief Hails City’s Revival

From Urban Milwaukee
Published November 12, 2014

When the Bank of Montreal opened its doors in 1817, the first thing the founders did was to install a printing press in the basement and begin churning out banknotes. “Those were the good old days,” BMO Financial Group CEO William Downe told the November monthly meeting of the Greater Milwaukee Committee Monday, November 10th at the University Club.

But the notes were backed by gold, he added.

Those were the good old days, indeed!

Today, a well-capitalized bank has a capital ratio of about 6 percent (BMO Harris’s is 11 percent); banknotes are issued by nations and are backed by — faith. Downe says he has been a frequent visitor to Milwaukee during his 30-year career, and brought an outsider’s perspective on the local and regional economy to the meeting of CEOs. The “modernization of the city is very evident,” he told the 130 attendees at the luncheon meeting.

 

Check out the rest of the article here.

Milwaukee’s Hanging Gardens grows as a one-stop shop for green roofing

From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published November 5, 2014
Featuring Scale Up Milwaukee

When John Lottes put money into Hanging Gardens LLC in the spring of 2011, his sole intention was to be an investor.

But the more Lottes got to know the Milwaukee distributor of green roofing products, the more interested he became in being a part of it. So less than six months after making his investment, Lottes joined the team.

“I saw it as a good industry to get into because it was going to continue to grow,” said Lottes, an architect who is now the company’s chief marketing officer.

So far, Hanging Gardens has found ways to grow with the industry and without having to raise money from outside investors.

The company’s only investment had come from its three partners: Mayer, Lottes and Daniel Philipp, its chief financial officer. Hanging Gardens generated revenue, but without outside funding its ability to expand was restrained by the long cycle involved in warehousing products, delivering them to job sites and waiting to get paid.

Scale Up Milwaukee’s “Scalerator” project helped change that. Mayer credits Les Charm, his Scalerator instructor and an entrepreneurship professor at Babson College, with giving him a different viewpoint.

“This guy totally changed my mind and philosophy about how to garner financing for the company,” Mayer said.

Read the full article here.

 

The Commons initiative announces launch and new office space

Kickoff to take place in Walker’s Point office Nov. 7-9

MILWAUKEE, October 27, 2014 – The Commons announced its launch program and new offices in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood today. The Commons, a groundbreaking industry-academic collaborative to accelerate ideas, is led by the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative and Startup Milwaukee.

The Commons Launch kicks off November 7-9 at The Commons offices, a 4,000-square-foot office space at 170 S. 1st St in Walker’s Point, an emerging innovation district. The Commons thanks Mandel Group Inc. and Pierce Engineers for their help and support in creating a headquarters for The Commons. Other neighborhood locations, including the Global Water Center, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and PKWARE, will provide additional breakout space for teams to work throughout the weekend.

At the launch, college students from 21 colleges and universities throughout Southeast Wisconsin will come together in an intense 48-hour event to form teams and launch startups or conquer real-world innovation challenges from local companies. The weekend will wrap up with a large pitch event where teams will present their accomplishments and outline their next steps for the coming semester.

The launch event is free to college students with diverse skill sets, areas of study and academic levels at local colleges and universities.

“21 colleges and universities from throughout Southeast Wisconsin will participate in The Commons launch,” said Matt Cordio, co-founder and CEO of Startup Milwaukee and co-founder of The Commons. “We are excited to have broad support from the academic community.”

“Nine companies have already signed on as corporate partners,” said MiKE executive director and The Commons co-founder Michael Hostad. “They’re eager to work with some of the brightest collegiate minds in the Milwaukee region and are hopeful that The Commons will serve as a source of hirable talent.”

There are two distinct tracks within The Commons launch: the corporate innovation track and the startup track. In the corporate innovation track, students connect with regional businesses for experiential learning that prepares them for the workforce awaiting them after graduation. Corporations partnering with The Commons, including Briggs & Stratton Corporation, Direct Supply, Kohl’s, ManpowerGroup, Potawatomi Business Development Corporation, Okanjo, The Milwaukee Bucks, The Good Jobs, and Workshop Architects, will present real-world business challenges to teams of students who will work with corporate and academic mentors to find a solution and implement the solution through the spring 2015 semester.

Students in the startup track will get a crash course in hands-on leadership, business development, sales and critical thinking. They can submit their own startup ideas and build their founding teams, or get in on the ground floor of another idea. Over the weekend, teams will build a prototype product and secure initial customers. Work will continue through the spring 2015 semester. The emerging entrepreneurs participating in The Commons Launch won’t be going it alone – several successful entrepreneurs and investors have offered to serve as mentors during the course of the program.

The Commons pilot programming continues after the weekend as teams continue to regularly meet with mentors and make progress during workshops hosted through the spring 2015 semester. The full program is expected to launch after the spring 2015 semester.

For more information and to register for the launch weekend, please visit thecommmonswi.com.

 

The Commons announces headquarters, launch of pilot programming

From BizTimes
Published October 27, 2014

The Commons has established a home in a 4,000-square-foot office space at 170 S. 1st St. in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, according to an announcement made today by the nonprofit collaborative.

The Commons, first announced in August, is a venture headed by the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative and Startup Milwaukee, with foundational support from a host of academic institutions and businesses across southeastern Wisconsin. The Commons plans to operate a mentor-driven, seed accelerator program through which entrepreneurial-minded college students can grow early-stage companies and connect with area corporations seeking talent.

Read the full article here.

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