A new collaboration called “Madwaukee Talks” is bringing Madison and Milwaukee together to share the costs and benefits of common speakers who will inform, enlighten, and motivate both communities.

Madwaukee Talks is organized by StartingBlock Madison and the Milwaukee Institute. At its first event attendees will have an opportunity to learn from a national expert on startup metrics, and how to keep that momentum building.

“For Wisconsin to compete on a national stage, Madison and Milwaukee, our two largest cities, need to be working together,” said Chandra Miller Fienen, Director of Operations and Programs at StartingBlock Madison. “These talks will help our innovation communities understand the same data and have the same starting points for conversations about the opportunities and challenges that we face in driving strong economic growth.”

Wisconsin’s venture capital numbers were down considerably in 2017, but they are just one metric that contributes to the health of a startup community. Unlike any other time in the state’s history, Wisconsin is seeing new venture funds open and a rebirth of startup companies.

“Madison and Milwaukee have complementary skill sets and resources. Together they can reinforce and support regional economic growth and job creation,” said Kathleen Gallagher, executive director of the Milwaukee Institute. “The time has come for a more concerted effort to bring these two cities together.”

Valerie Linton-Reed and James Hischke, technology advancement leaders at Northwestern Mutual, will moderate the Milwaukee discussion. It will take place at 3:00 p.m. on January 30, at Ward 4, a co-working space in downtown Milwaukee.

“We hope to dive into the numbers to discover new opportunities for Madison and Milwaukee, two cities that are critical to the health of the state as a whole,” said Scott Resnick, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at StartingBlock. “Madwaukee Talks offers a unique chance to forge true collaborations and show that the whole is worth more than the parts.”

The event’s first speaker Tom Chapman chairs the startup data committee for Startup Champions Network, a national sharing group dedicated to supporting innovation ecosystem builders across the United States and the entrepreneurs they serve.

Chapman will discuss his cutting-edge models and hot-off-the-press data related to the state of startups in Madison, Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general. He also will provide insight into Wisconsin’s infrastructure and how to improve it.

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Milwaukee Institute