The Business Innovation Incubator is an 11-month collaborative-based startup accelerator to assist founders and entrepreneurs in launching youir new venture. The focus is on providing passionate entrepreneurs who have a strong business idea with the tools, resources, and connections to accelerate your venture and raise funds. 

At the completion of the program, participants will have gained clear direction on moving their venture to the next level, and will have the opportunity to pitch to accredited investors.

The program accepts up to 10 teams with 25 total participants each year.

Who Can Apply?

  • UWM Students
  • UWM Faculty and Staff
  • UWM Alumni
  • Community Members

Entrepreneurs accepted to the program are expected to have completed basic customer discovery and to demonstrate that they have a strong business idea.

The application window for the class of 2022-23 is closed.

People Brainstorming
Fall (September – December)
Business Innovation Incubator Workshops (3-credit evening course), includes:

·        Business Model Canvas & Customer Discovery
·        Building Successful Teams
·        Intellectual Property
·        Legal Structures and Finance
·        Storytelling vs. Pitching
·        Successful Exits
·        Professional Communication
·        Networking
·        Negotiations
·        Angel Investor Pitch
People Meeting
Spring and Summer (January – August)
Significant time will be spent coaching and mentoring ventures after the entrepreneurs have gained the knowledge and tools from the fall workshops.

The program will guide entrepreneurs on their “next steps,” including networking, scaling the business, pivoting if needed, refining the sales pitch, and finetuning their investor pitch decks.

Venture entrepreneurs will be exposed to potential investors.

Entrepreneurs in the program will continue to develop of community around venture development.

Resources Available to Incubator Participants

  • Each venture is eligible to receive a $5,000 grant that may be used towards business expenses incurred, including tuition and operating expenses
  • Shared workspace in the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center (LEC), including internet access
  • Meeting/conference rooms with A/V equipment
  • Huddle spaces for private meetings and/or phone calls
  • Support from the LEC innovation team, including the LEC Entrepreneur in Residence
  • Access to LEC programming – including talk series, brown bag lunches, and pop-up classes

About the Program Director

Matthew Friedel

Matthew Friedel is the Co-Founder of Milwaukee Venture Partners MVP Angel Network, Senior Lecturer and Co-Founder of the Disruptive Technologies Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and an Adjunct Faculty at Marquette University. Matt is also a Lubar Entrepreneurship Ideas Challenge Fellow, National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps mentor and is working with other faculty and staff on cross disciplinary learning. He brings his experience in startups, investing, and advance technologies to the creation of a new collaborative cross disciplinary startup-tech ecosystem at UWM.

Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and master’s degrees in engineering and business (entrepreneurship focus) from Marquette University. 

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