BizStarts to Open BizForge in Schlitz Park
Dan Steininger, President of BizStarts Milwaukee, announced today that BizStarts will celebrate its Grand Opening in Schlitz Park with a private reception April 2. A public open house will follow on April 10 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The April 2 event signifies the launch of BizStarts’ long-awaited BizForge, located within the new BizStarts offices at Schlitz Park. BizForge will be the M7 region’s first collaborative resource center bringing together entrepreneurs and business leaders of growing companies across a variety of industries, providing personalized coaching, programming and resources. The goal is simple: to prepare BizStarts companies to successfully launch or grow.
“This region will now have a one-stop resource center where our intellectual horsepower and expertise in industry, academia and government can be brought together to accelerate Southeast Wisconsin’s startup economy,” said Steininger.
Governor Scott Walker, WEDC Secretary Reed Hall, County Executive Chris Abele, Mayor Tom Barrett and We-Energies CEO Gale Klappa will all give opening remarks on April 2. Grucon President Gary Grunau will be honored with a George Dalton Inspirational Entrepreneur Award.
“Going forward, BizStarts will expand its mission beyond on potential ‘gazelles’, or high-growth companies, to also help small to medium sized businesses across a variety of industries,” said Jon Anne Willow, BizStarts’ Entrepreneurship Director. “Companies that create 10, 20, 50 or even 100 jobs are the backbone of our economy and the number one contributor to new jobs nationwide.” BizForge is built around four key spaces:
• The Academic Resource Office, where representatives from regional academic institutions meet with entrepreneurs to provide services ranging from business plan coaching to product and market assessments, technology assistance and more;
• The Money, Management and Operations Office, where representatives from staffing firms, accounting firms, law offices, lenders, service providers and potential investors work with BizStarts companies to ensure they are prepared to launch and grow, and to make connections to capital;
• The Deal Room, where companies pitch to potential investors and resource providers, and work with them on the subsequent follow-up;
• The BizForge Open Canvas, a 750 square-foot space that can be adapted to the needs of a given day, whether for classes, events, meetings or product demonstrations.
“Working directly with BizStarts gives us the opportunity to offer our outstanding business tools to a whole new group of companies who will benefit from solid market and product intelligence,” said Bud Gayhart, Director of Whitewater’s Center for Innovation and Business Development.
BizStarts will announce additional partnerships and programs in the coming weeks.