Published August 24, 2015
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.
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