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BizStarts June 2016 Featured Mentor – Alex Hinze

alex-hinze-mentor-imageBizStarts of Milwaukee is excited to present the June 2016 Featured Mentor, Alex Hinze. Each month, BizStarts highlights a mentor from the Mentor Program and asks questions that provide knowledge and inspiration to other Milwaukee entrepreneurs.

Alex currently works as a Commercial Portfolio Manager for Wisconsin Bank & Trust, where he works with mid-sized businesses for financing of working capital, real estate, equipment and other needs. Previously, he worked at US Bank as a manager on the financial analysis team, evaluating financial statements from firms in many industries for credit risk. Alex received a Master’s Degree in Management – Finance Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

1.) Why did decide to help other entrepreneurs by mentoring? What do you get out of it and/or enjoy most about the BizStarts Mentor Program?

“The main reason that I’ve decided to help others with their start ups is that the City of Milwaukee is in need of entrepreneurs to create good sustainable companies in order compete with other major cities for talent, and I want to see Milwaukee succeed. A strong Milwaukee has a positive impact on the people of the city, suburbs and throughout the state.”

2.) If you want to encourage innovative ideas, how do you go about it?

“I think the best way to encourage innovative ideas is to give people resources to support their individual ideas and their company’s growth. Without the support to turn that idea into a business, it’s much less likely that the entrepreneur will follow through with the business. Support from people who have extensive knowledge in the field can be invaluable for entrepreneurs.”

3.) If you want to create an environment where motivation can thrive, what’s the first thing you would do?

“Motivation is the key to being successful in business. The first thing I would do is sit down with the team or individual to understand their skill set. I would want to know what they do for fun, their personality type, and what they want to get from the opportunity in order to really be successful. I think it’s very important to cater to the individual to motivate them.”

4.) Who has been a major influence on you?

“My family and my wife have been great influences on me. They have taught me a lot of things about what I can improve on in my day-to-day life, as well as in my work life. I was brought up with a great work ethic, which has helped me a lot throughout my career. I have a very good support system and that has been a big key to my success.”

5.) What advice would you give to your younger self?

“I would have told myself to take more risks when I was younger. I had a lot of ideas that I didn’t act on because I didn’t think I had the tools to make them happen. If I knew about organizations like BizStarts I would have really pushed myself to take on that challenge.”

6.) What did you want to be when you were a child?

“Growing up in Wisconsin, of course I wanted to be a football player. I am a huge Packers fan and there is nothing better than Sunday afternoon in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, this never materialized after high school football. I had a chance to play Division III football, but decided that attending UW-Milwaukee was the better route.”

7.) What professional or personal struggle have you overcome and what did it teach you?

“At the beginning of my career, I thought I could do everything and be good at everything. What I have learned is that it is important to delegate work and work as a team to be successful. This really allows you to focus on the important things and come up with a better overall product.”

8.) How has BizStarts helped you develop and grow?

“This is a new opportunity for me. What it has given me is the chance to work with start-ups to share my knowledge of finance with them. I can help the community, but it also helps me understand the innovation that is occurring in Milwaukee.”

9.) What advice would you give entrepreneurs?

“The best thing I’ve heard about starting an innovative business is to think of a problem that everyone has and solve it. So go out and think of that idea and solve this problem. It will be very financially advantageous to you.”


Congratulations, Alex Hinze, for being the BizStarts June 2016 Featured Mentor! If you’re interested in our Mentor Program, contact us today!

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