The UWM Lubar Innovation Incubator is a brand-new collaborative growth accelerator that works to help engaged entrepreneurs to launch their new ventures. This eleven-month-long program is directed by Matthew Friedel, Senior Lecturer at the UWM School of Information Sciences and Co-Founder of Milwaukee Venture Partners Angel Network. We spoke with Matt and Steve Glynn, Incubator participant and Chief Milwaukee Officer at Experience Milwaukee, on their experiences with the program.
Please give us a short introduction to yourselves.
Matt: “Angel Investor, Entrepreneur, and Educator specializing in Web 3.0: Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
Co-Founder – Milwaukee Venture Partners Angel Network: a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide investment capital, strategic advice and mentoring to early-stage companies to help them achieve market leadership.
Director – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Business Innovation Incubator: collaborative-based startup accelerator to assist founders and entrepreneurs in launching their 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.
Co-Founder – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Disruptive Technologies Lab: a platform to conduct research, create new courses, and educate and work with our strategic partners in the business community (Web 3.0: Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence AI, and Internet of Things – IoT).”
Steve: “Milwaukee native passionate about the city and how people can experience it. I have worked in the startup scene here in Milwaukee and across the country for the last 15 years.”
What is the Business Innovation Incubator?
Matt: “The new UWM Business Innovation Incubator is a collaborative and comprehensive accelerator for startups with focus on fundable ideas plus equity and inclusion. The program runs for 11 months with 2 components.
Component 1: Fall 2022 workshops focused on needed skills in entrepreneurship – Lean Launch: Business Model Canvas & Customer Discovery, Team Building, Founders Dilemmas, Intellectual Property IP, what does it take to be an entrepreneur, Finance, Product Development and Fund-Raising, Prototyping and Product Development, Storytelling vs. Pitching, Term Sheet / Deal-Valuation, Selling, and Leadership. The workshops are led by industry experts.
Component 2: Spring 2023, the entrepreneurs get custom consulting. At the beginning of the program each team was asked for a stretch goal. The director and his network will use their expertise to assist the new ventures. That could be raising funds, running a crowd funding campaign, or growing sales. Three of the companies have already pitched to Milwaukee Venture Partners.”
Steve: “For me, it’s a way to learn from and connect with others to be more intentional and strategic about my business.”
What do you think is the participants’ number one takeaway from the Incubator?
Steve: “It’s hard to pick just one. The incubator, more than anything, is helping all of us be better, more thoughtful, more prepared, and more connected business operators. Also, our business has doubled from current to projected 2023 revenue since joining the incubator.”
Thank you to Matt and Steve for sharing your experiences with us. If you are interested in learning more about the Incubator, click here. To learn more about Matt, click here, and here to learn about Steve.