Momentum continued to build in Greater Milwaukee's startup community in 2017. Our Matt Cordio looks back on the top startup community stories from througout the year below.
Surge in Early Stage Capital Available in Southeast Wisconsin
- Aurora Health Care announced a $5 million early stage healthtech venture fund, InvestMKE led by Director of Strategic Innovation, Mike Rodgers.
- Northwestern Mutual announced Cream City Ventures a $5 million early stage led by Craig Schedler.
- Badger Fund of Funds announced local Angel Investor Ross Leinweber would be raising an early stage venture fund in Milwaukee, his fundraising efforts begin in early 2018.
Corporate + Startup Partnership Stories
- Aurora Health Care publicly discussed their strategic collaborations with local startups such as IdeaWake and EmOpti.
- Northwestern Mutual launches Reverse Pitch MKE an effort to seed local startups.
Major Startup Ecosystem Building News
- Milwaukee Startup Week expanded statewide to 10 cities in Wisconsin, attendance at the second annual Milwaukee event in 2017 surges 57%.
- Northwestern Mutual hosted a summit where, CEO John Schlifske announced the company is committed to making Milwaukee a hub for technology talent and startups.
Startup Accelerator STORIES
- In July, the BREW a water focused accelerator announced five startups from around the world would be participating in their accelerator program.
- In Fall, a consortium of local companies announced they were sponsoring gener8tor's pre-accelerator program gBeta which is moving to UWM's Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship.
- In November, gener8tor graduated six startups from their nationally ranked accelerator program. Three of the startups, IdeaWake, SteamChain and GenoPalate are based in Milwaukee.
- In December, MWERC graduated six startups from their WERCbench labs program. The startups came from all over the Midwest.
Significant Local Funding Rounds
- Pharmaceutical startup Promentis Pharmaceuticals raised $26 million in March.
- Video interviewing company Montage Talent raised an $8 million Series D round in September.