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.

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


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.

‘Commons’ student accelerator opens office, launches pilot program

From The Milwaukee Business Journal
Published October 27, 2014

The Commons university startup accelerator collaboration launches its pilot program in Milwaukee in November, based out of offices in the Walker’s Point “Innovation District” now under development.

The regional startup accelerator and entrepreneurial talent program connects 21 regional academic institutions through Startup Milwaukee and the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee initiative. Nearly every area university and college is participating in the program, which is funded through private donations and corporate sponsorships.

Read the full article here.


Looking beyond the cheesehead: How scaling up is Foamation’s focus

From The Milwaukee Business Journal
Published October 17, 2014

Ralph Bruno, 53, says he’s a lucky, hardworking guy who happened to invent the cheesehead and ultimately create St. Francis-based Foamation Inc., but he wants to be more than that.

Humility and hard work aside, he’s a guy with ambition and he admits that he’s gotten in his own way a little over the past 28 years by taking on too many projects that didn’t pan out. But he’s a dreamer and a tinkerer who has also worked at developing his production process. He has also become more selective in the work he takes on, and sees the need to diversify his business.

Bruno wants to create a company that he can pass down to his children or even his employees. So he’s been working on a succession plan as well. Foamation is certainly not alone in this process and it’s companies like Bruno’s that Scale Up Milwaukee is hoping to attract.

Scale Up Milwaukee is led by the Greater Milwaukee Committee, American Express OPEN, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and entrepreneurship expert Daniel Isenberg. The group targets businesses looking to grow, hosting its intensive Scalerator programming series for select companies. And the Scalerator program helps businesses find and leverage resources to help spur growth. The pilot program, which just started this year, included four two-day sessions, but now the program will feature seven sessions, some half- and some whole days, over the course of six months.

But first and foremost, the work of scaling up is predicated on the entrepreneur’s ambition and that’s not as common as people might think, said Elmer Moore Jr., project leader at Scale Up Milwaukee .


Read the full article here.

The Commons moves offices to Walker’s Point

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
October 27, 2014

The Commons, a nonprofit that helps area students build start-ups and partnerships with industry, said Monday it has leased new offices south of downtown in an area that is becoming a hub for entrepreneurial activity.

The Commons has leased 4,000 square feet of office space at 170 S. 1st St. in the Walker’s Point neighborhood, said Matt Cordio, a co-founder. The group, which formed in August, will hold its first event — a launch weekend — Nov. 7 through Nov. 9 in the new space.

Read the full article here.


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