Milwaukee at 8:00 AM

Tapping the federal $2.5B Technology Innovation Seed Fund

The Federal SBIR/STTR programs award over $2.5 billion in high risk R&D funding annually to qualified small businesses. The process is complex with a steep learning curve, but the impact of receiving millions in non-dilutive funding is worth the effort. 
Attend this session and find out more about these programs and how they can provide a source of R&D funding between the initial development of your innovative idea and proof that it has potential in the marketplace. Learn about SBIR/STTR eligibility requirements, which of the 11 participating agencies best fits your technology, how to compete and how to get started. Plus, find out about the many resources available to assist you in your proposal development.

Stay after the session for a question and answer session with local SBIR awardees and CTC, Milwaukee’s SBIR/STTR assistance organization.

Milwaukee at 3:30 PM

Reverse Pitch MKE

Reverse Pitch MKE will bring entrepreneurs, hackers, and other creative minds together during Startup Milwaukee Week. At this event, Northwestern Mutual will pitch to entrepreneurs, outlining potential business challenges and big ideas Northwestern Mutual is looking to explore and solve. Teams that accept the challenge can earn:

  • A seed investment of up to $85,000
  • Access to corporate mentors and networks
  • Working space in the new Cream City Labs at Northwestern Mutual’s downtown Milwaukee headquarters

Even better, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to do what they love most—work on groundbreaking solutions that could disrupt the industry and drive innovation in the Milwaukee community. 

THE CHALLENGESAt Reverse Pitch MKE on November 6, 2018 innovation leaders from Northwestern Mutual will share detailed information to teams interested in pitching Northwestern Mutual for funding. A high-level overview of the challenge statements that will be presented at Reverse Pitch MKE follow:

Securing Payments Northwestern Mutual is seeking an automated and secure way to conduct high volume, high dollar, business to business financial transactions (i.e. wire transfers).  The current process requires manual effort to mitigate the risk of fraud or error.      Evaluating Inclusion Northwestern Mutual is seeking a way to determine the impact of efforts to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive work environment.  Traditional practices to measure diversity and inclusion are currently limited to head count and surveys, rather than incorporating sentiment and language found within a company’s digital content (i.e. media, videos, training language).  Streamlining Medical Record Review Northwestern Mutual is seeking a way to reduce the amount of human review required to analyze PDF medical records in underwriting an insurance policy or evaluating a claim. Current challenges include redundant data, records out of sequence, and lack of association between related topics.

  • Talented entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and marketers and business development professionals looking to build a high-growth, scalable technology startup in Southeast Wisconsin.
  • Existing startups with potential solutions to the challenges faced by Northwestern Mutual. 

  • October 1 – Registration to attend Reverse Pitch MKE opens (on this page)
  • November 1 – Registration deadline to attend Reverse Pitch MKE at Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons
  • November 6 – Reverse Pitch MKE @ Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons
  • December 16 – Deadline for teams to apply to Pitch Back to Northwestern Mutual's team
  • January 28, 2019 – Pitch Back Day @ Northwestern Mutual

SUPPORT FROM NORTHWESTERN MUTUALEntrepreneurs who are selected by Northwestern Mutual to build startups will be eligible for the following benefits: 
  • Up to $85,000 in seed investment from Cream City Venture Capital. 
  • Free space in Northwestern Mutual's Downtown Milwaukee Headquarters for up to one year.
  • Mentorship from Northwestern Mutual executives and Startup Milwaukee's extensive network. 
  • Access to Northwestern Mutual's industry and domain knowledge.
  • Opportunity to pitch at Startup Milwaukee's investor pitch event(s). 
  • Opportunity for follow-on investment from Cream City Venture Capital.

ATTEND REVERSE PITCH MKEInterested individuals, existing startups and potential startup teams can register to attend Reverse Pitch MKE on November 6, 3:30 to 6 p.m. the event will be followed by a happy hour 6 to 8 p.m.  The application will be used to determine who will be eligible to participate at the event and additional event information will be shared.  By attending the November 6 event you are not obligated to pitch an idea to Northwestern Mutual. Attendance at the event is strongly encouraged. 

APPLY: https://www.startupmke.org/revpitch
  • View our Frequently Asked Questions page!  
  • If our FAQs don't answer our questions, contact us.

Reverse Pitch MKE participants are subject to these Terms & Conditions.

Kenosha at 6:00 PM

Investor Night

On Tuesday night at Leeward Business Advisors, students will be pitching their products to potential investors. Bradford's Starting a Business class has partnered with Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and volunteer Michael Polzin, CEO of Leeward Business Advisors, to complete JA’s Company Program. Two Starting a Business classes are getting real life experience by creating a business, producing an actual product, selling the product, and liquidating the business at the end of the term. 

Startup Kenosha Week takes place on November 5 - 11, 2018, and is designed to connect, educate, and celebrate entrepreneurship in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The week's programming showcases the community's emerging companies while highlighting the resources and organizations available to foster support for entrepreneurs on their journey. The week will feature 25+ events hosted by 20+ partner organizations in the community. Startup Kenosha Week is supported by Leeward Business Advisors, The O Coworking, ForkdIn, and Jan Salazar Photography and is a part of the Startup Wisconsin initiative. To browse all the events and programming occurring during Startup Kenosha Week visit: http://startupwi.org/Kenosha

Startup Wisconsin is committed to advancing and developing Wisconsin's tech and startup ecosystems through unique programming, collaborative partnerships, and networking. Driven by entrepreneurs and leaders throughout Wisconsin who are passionate about making a difference, and creating a positive and lasting impact that will advance the state's economy forward.  Startup Wisconsin Week is supported by Advocate Aurora Health, Concordia University Wisconsin, Husch Blackwell, Northwestern Mutual, Accelity Marketing, Headway, Wisconsin Inno and Newsradio 620 WTMJ.