Scale Up Milwaukee

Scale Up Milwaukee selects small companies for training sessions

Published October 21, 2015
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Scale Up Milwaukee, a project aimed at helping existing businesses grow, has selected 18 companies to participate in seven training sessions over the next six months.

The companies, ranging from metal fabricators to gourmet cookie makers, will attend classes in what organizers call the “Scalerator.” Classes are taught by Babson College professors, and focus on: sales and marketing; organizational development; and entrepreneurial finance.

The Scalerator has graduated 27 companies from two classes, which ended in fall of 2013 and spring of 2015. Those businesses have gone on to generate $10 million of new economic activity (a combination of revenue and new financing), said Elizabeth Spaits, program manager. Also, the 12 companies in the first class have created 41 new jobs since the class ended, Spaits said.

Read the full article here.


Scale Up Milwaukee names third Scalerator class

Published October 21, 2015
From BizTimes

Scale Up Milwaukee, an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee supported by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., announced the participants of its third Scalerator program.

The Scalerator is a six-month, seven-session training program designed to teach business owners the practical skills to inject new growth into their ventures.

Classes begin Monday and run through March 2016. Taught by Babson College professors, the classes focus on three primary areas: sales and marketing, organizational development and entrepreneurial finance.

Read the full article here.


Economic development initiative Scale Up Milwaukee announces third Scalerator class

Scale Up Milwaukee, an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee supported by WEDC, is proud to announce the participants of their third Scalerator program. Once again Scale Up Milwaukee will convene business owners from seven counties from companies representing a diverse array of industries and sectors ranging from metal fabrication to gourmet cookies. Scale Up Milwaukee is scaling up. With 18 companies in the new cohort, this class is 20% larger than last year’s 15. The economic impact of the Scalerator has also increased; Scalerator 3 represents $100 million of economic activity. The applicant pool for Scalerator 3 was the most competitive to date. As word spread of past Scalerator successes, so did interest in participation.

  • AccuTrans, Inc., Milwaukee
  • AMC of Wisconsin, Inc., Fond du Lac
  • American Exchanger Services, Inc., Hartford
  • Armstrong General Contracting, LLC, Milwaukee
  • C2, Milwaukee
  • Comcentia, Mequon
  • Corporate Valuation Advisors, Inc., Hartland
  • Doering Fleet Management, Brookfield
  • Gross Automation, LLC, Brookfield
  • Hurt Electric Inc, Menomonee Falls
  • Mandel Company, Glendale
  • Marek Landscaping, LLC, Milwaukee
  • Nikki’s Cookies, Inc., St. Francis
  • RSP, Inc. Milwaukee
  • Seven Marine, LLC, Germantown
  • Superior Equipment & Supply Co, Brookfield
  • Telkonet, Waukesha
  • ZMac Transportation Solutions LLC, Racine

The Scalerator is a six-month, seven-session training program designed to teach business owners the practical skills to inject new growth into their ventures. Classes begin October 26 and run through March 2016. Taught by professors from world leader in entrepreneurship education Babson College, the Scalerator focuses on three primary areas: sales and marketing, organizational development and entrepreneurial finance. To date, 27 companies have completed the Scalerator, generating new economic activity exceeding $10 million and more than 40 new jobs before the year’s end. Additionally, the program works with investors, banks, professional services firms, universities and public sector stakeholders to support growth.

About Scale Up Milwaukee

Scale Up Milwaukee 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. Scale Up Milwaukee demonstrates that, when nurtured, our regional assets can be galvanized to recapture the region’s economic vigor and realize the growth potential of Milwaukee’s entrepreneurial companies, positively impacting job growth, the tax base, personal wealth and quality of life. Using Babson professor Daniel Isenberg’s proven model for promoting entrepreneurship, Scale Up Milwaukee convenes a diverse group of stakeholders, including private sector leaders, public officials, investors, entrepreneurs, university faculty and local economic development support groups, to develop actionable strategies for high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurship in the region.


Learn more about Scale Up Milwaukee.

Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship aims to complement Milwaukee startup community

Published August 24, 2015
From BizTimes

The Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, made possible by a recent $10 million gift from Sheldon and Marianne Lubar, aims to provide entrepreneurship education for both students and the wider community.

Among the goals of the center, which will be housed in a new 28,000-square-foot building to be constructed at the corner of Kenwood Boulevard and Maryland Avenue on the UWM campus, is to improve the success rate of small businesses in Milwaukee and shed its image as a low-ranked city for startups, Sheldon Lubar said.

“My hope is this is going to be transformative for Milwaukee and the state,” he said. “We will make people conscious of the significance of small business and teach them how to start a business and teach them how to scale up into a bigger company.”

The Lubars’ $10 million gift for the Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship follows another $10 million donation they made to the university in 2006 to endow professorships and student scholarships in the business school, which was renamed the Lubar School of Business.

The new Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship building is expected to cost about $8 million, and the remainder of the Lubars’ donation, along with another $15 million the college is raising, will support operations. The center will offer programming and courses in entrepreneurship, and is expected to be operational by early 2018.

One of the organizations already working with Milwaukee’s small businesses to promote growth is Scale Up Milwaukee, which plans to move its headquarters into the Center for Entrepreneurship, Lubar said.

The eventual goal is to spin off Scale Up Milwaukee from the Greater Milwaukee Committee, where it is currently based, and house it in the Lubar Center, said Brian Schupper, director of policy at the GMC. That’s similar to what other programs, like BizStarts Milwaukee and The Water Council, have been able to do after incubating within the GMC.

Read the full article here.


State business survival strong

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published July 11, 2015

While Wisconsin has taken its lumps of late for being among the nation’s lowest-ranked states for company startups, the picture looks a lot better when company “survivorship” is measured.

Wisconsin ranked 7th among the 50 states for companies with a six-year survival rate and also among the top 10 for the business 10-year survival rate, according to 2013 figures from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. noted in its latest report on the state’s Qualified New Business Venture program, which is marking 10 successful years, it often comes down to ensuring that young companies have the tools they need to succeed.

“Plain and simple, a company started in Wisconsin has a better chance of beating the obstacles that affect young companies,” the WEDC report noted, for reasons that range from the general cost of doing business to advice on the front end from strong advisors to upstream connections to customers and investors.

One emerging resource is Scale Up Milwaukee, an organization focused on working with companies that are beyond the startup stage and poised to grow.

A project of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Scale Up Milwaukee is based on a model developed by Daniel Isenberg, founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project. An investor and entrepreneur as well as an academic, Isenberg has worked with entrepreneurship systems in Colombia, Brazil and Denmark. Milwaukee is the first U.S. community to develop an entrepreneurship program based on his model.

Read the full article here.

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