Scale Up Milwaukee

New growth-training program launching for Milwaukee businesses

Published August 15, 2017
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Scale Up Milwaukee is launching SPARC, a new growth-training program for Milwaukee businesses.

Milwaukee companies with revenue between $100,000 and $1 million can apply for the program to learn how to think about growth.

Scale Up Milwaukee is an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee and supported by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

SPARC companies will take part in four sessions from October through December. Participation in the program is free, and admission does not come with funding for the businesses.The first cohort of SPARC has the capacity for 30 companies. The online application on Scale Up’s website is open through Sept. 15.

SPARC draws from Scale Up Milwaukee’s Scalerator program that focuses on growing established businesses with revenue more than $1 million. The curricula for Scalerator and SPARC address three business areas: sales, finance and organization development.

JPMorgan Chase donated more than $50,000 to launch SPARC. The program is run with the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation.

Elmer Moore, executive director of Scale Up Milwaukee, said all the partners recognize the effects growing businesses can have on the city.

More than 40 Milwaukee companies have gone through the Scalerator program. On average, a company grows 33% during the program, Moore said. Milwaukee bicycle company Fyxation and marketing firm Red Brown Kle’ are both graduates of the six-month Scalerator program.

Read the article here.

A Letter from the President: June 2016

Taylor, JuliaAs we enter another beautiful Milwaukee summer, we’d like to share some updates on our key initiatives with you. We’re keeping busy at the GMC offices!

Scale Up Milwaukee

Scale Up Milwaukee recently launched a new membership program model; the very first quarterly members meeting took place at the end of June at the University Club with more than 70 individuals from about 50 organizations. Scale Up Milwaukee membership is the perfect way for everyone to directly engage with Milwaukee’s growth-oriented programs, network and culture. We encourage everyone to join and be a part of this exciting movement. For more information, reach out to Elmer Moore or check out the webpage here.

Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE)

MiKE is in the process of planning Walk the Talk 2016, a conference exploring the intersection of innovation and creativity. The conference is scheduled for Thursday, October 13th, and will be hosted in the Near West Side neighborhood. Leading up to the conference, MiKE will host a summer speaking series. The second speaker is in just a few short weeks on July 20th – check out more information and register here.

The Commons completed its spring 2016 session with another 75 students completing the program. The Commons has now served more than 285 students, and after completing the program, 90% of students feel more connected to our professional community and 81% are more likely to look for job opportunities in Wisconsin.

MKE Fellows

Forty-five high-achieving black male college students have been placed in paid summer internships at top companies through the MKE Fellows. Throughout the summer, we’re hosting professional development sessions and partnering with local companies for lunch and learns. Thank you to all the area companies participating!

Teachtown MKE

The GMC launched this important project in 2013 and since then has welcomed nearly 2,500 educators to our urban schools, helped relocate nearly 500 of them to this region and continues to serve hundreds each month in social and professional development activities. In fact, educators that participate in Teachtown MKE activities are 15% more likely to be retained in the classroom. The Teachtown MKE Key to the City, a card given to each educator, includes free admission and promotions to many of Milwaukee’s cultural institutions.

MPS and Bradley Tech

The Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council teamed up with Milwaukee Public Schools’ Bradley Tech High School recently to get more students interested in construction jobs and enter apprenticeships. Bradley Tech hosted its first Life Mentor Day, organized by local professional mentors and Bradley Tech students to celebrate five months of mentorship and working hands-on with welding, plumbing, tile-setting, heating, brick-laying, cement-laying and electrical wiring activities. Special thanks to Dan Bukewicz for his leadership with that program!

Reimagining High Schools

There is a lot going on throughout our high schools. Just last summer, 62 diverse Milwaukee leaders met at the Catalyst Ranch in Chicago to reimagine what MPS high schools can and should be in order for all students to be successful and to create a vibrant Milwaukee community.  Ultimately, the SAS attendees collectively conceived a vision for the MPS high school of the future. This initiative has a strong commitment from the 60+ collaborators from the MPS High School SAS. The GMC, in partnership with Milwaukee Public schools continues to take on projects like the Super School grant with Morse Marshall High School and the Bradley Tech Redesign plan. These efforts are increasing educational opportunities, finding innovative ways to support our schools, and enhancing outcomes for our students.

Talent Dividend/Inspire Southeast Wisconsin

Following up on our Talent Dividend program, now known as Inspire Southeast Wisconsin, in its first year, the program flourished with 110 active companies, 138 active career coaches and 270 career-based learning activities. Thousands of students learned about companies and connected with professionals in the fields they’re interested in.

Downtown Action Agenda

In May, the team of consultants working with the Downtown Action Agenda was in town for Immersion Week. This included several days of meetings to connect the consultants with the planning efforts already underway or recently completed to ensure alignment and avoid duplicative work. The civic engagement phase of the project began just in the last month. The first round of focus groups is coming up in late July and early August, and will engage 100 key community stakeholders.

Creative Placemaking

The GMC’s efforts in creative placemaking were recently spotlighted during a panel discussion as part of the National Main Street Center’s annual conference held in Milwaukee in May. Looking ahead, the Beerline Trail Extension will soon kick off summer programming along the trail in the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods.


We encourage you to stay engaged with our projects this summer. If anything jumps out at you, let us know and we’ll get you hooked in.



Julia Taylor
Greater Milwaukee Committee

A Letter from the President: May 2016

Taylor, JuliaSummer is finally here, but the GMC isn’t slowing down! One of our initiatives in particular, Scale Up Milwaukee, is poised to scale up itself.

In the past month, Scale Up Milwaukee celebrated growth and Scalerator 3 participants at the Celebration of Growth, learned about the Bucks’ plans and challenges from president Peter Feigin and heard from Palermo Villa, Inc. president and CEO Giacomo Fallucca. Scale Up Milwaukee also underwent a staffing transition, and moving forward, the initiative will continue its successes in the capable and experienced hands of team members Elmer Moore and Elizabeth Spaits and globally-known consultant Dan Isenberg.

And that’s not all. Scale Up Milwaukee also launched its new membership program. Scale Up Milwaukee members will have access to myriad opportunities, including:

  • Invitations to quarterly members-only meetings
  • Access to a regional and national network of professionals across all sectors who are uniquely positioned to help you grow
  • Links to worldwide markets, projects and partnerships
  • Access to a pipeline of prospective employees and interns
  • Waived, discounted and/or early registration to Scale Up Milwaukee-sponsored events
  • Member profiles in and access to our Scale Up Milwaukee Community Directory, the only listing that includes stakeholders from across the growth ecosystem

We invite you to join the new Scale Up Milwaukee membership and be a part of the amazing things happening. Quite simply, if you want to grow – and you believe in growth – you belong in the room.

For more information on membership, visit or email Elmer Moore at


Julia Taylor
Greater Milwaukee Committee

Scale Up Milwaukee Participants Recognized as Future 50 Award Winners

Scale-Up Milwaukee LogoMILWAUKEE – May 19, 2015 – Eight participants of Scale Up Milwaukee’s Scalerator program were named MMAC/COSBE 2016 Future 50 Award winners. The Future 50 program recognizes the outstanding achievements of local, fast-growing entrepreneurs. The combined revenue of all Future 50 firms total $1.19 billion, with almost 4,000 employees.

The Scalerator alumni winners are:

  • Able Access Transportation LLC
  • Clear Path Connections
  • Diamond Discs International
  • Hurt Electric, Inc.
  • RSP, Inc.
  • Scathain LLC
  • Superior Equipment & Supply Co.
  • ZMac Transportation Solutions

Scale Up Milwaukee, an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, helps companies grow and accelerates the environment that makes growth a core, self-sustaining part of the fabric of Milwaukee, with all the social and economic benefits that accompany it. One of the many programs Scale Up Milwaukee offers to businesses in the Milwaukee area is Scalerator.

Scale Up Milwaukee’s Scalerator program is a unique, intense, six-month training program for owner-entrepreneurs with current revenues of $1-10 million who demonstrate a scalable business model and ambition to grow. Individual workshops, taught by world-renowned Babson faculty and supplemented by local expert instructors, tackle topics including marketing and sales strategy for growth, organizational building for growth, organizing and managing sales teams, building sales pipelines and assessing, choosing and enlisting sources for financing growth. The third Scalerator cohort completed the program in March.

The Scalerator programs have impacted growth in 45 companies, reflecting more than $195 million of economic engagement. These companies have created more than 200 new jobs at $2,000 public cost per job and have a 24% average annual revenue growth.

The application for the next Scalerator cohort opens this July, with the sessions starting in October. For more information on the Scalerator or other Scale Up Milwaukee activities, visit

A Big Week for Scale Up Milwaukee

Scale-Up Milwaukee LogoLast week was an eventful one for Scale Up Milwaukee! We celebrated growth and Scalerator 3 participants at the Celebration of Growth, learned about the Bucks’ plans and challenges from president Peter Feigin and heard from Palermo Villa, Inc. president and CEO Giacomo Fallucca.

At the Celebration of Growth, nearly 100 attendees heard success and growth stories from Scalerator participants. Each company shared their progress and learnings from the Scalerator, along with their strategies for continuing their growth. The latest graduating class is projecting an average 40% revenue growth by the end of 2016. Following the event, Mayor Barrett invited Scale Up Milwaukee to ring the city bell in commemorating the businesses’ growth. Congratulations to our Scalerators!

At Meet the Masters, Palermo Villa, Inc. president and CEO Giacomo Fallucca talked with Dan Isenberg about his company before giving candid answers to questions posed by the audience. He described the struggles of starting and growing a family business and the importance of personnel. Giacomo, who has led Palermo’s to be one of the world’s largest frozen pizza producers, is very involved in the local business community, sitting on Scale Up Milwaukee’s Steering Council, co-chairing Food and Beverage Wisconsin (FaB Wisconsin), and belonging to The Executive Committee.

At the CEO Forum, CEOs openly discussed challenges their companies are facing and how they’re addressing them. Bucks president Peter Feigin went in-depth on the Bucks’ new mission and strategic plan, soliciting ideas and perspectives from the other CEOs around the table. Following the Forum, the CEOs toured the Bucks’ practice facility and enjoyed refreshments in the courtside lounge.

Thank you to everyone who attended and for making our events successful.

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