Digging begins for Lubar Entrepreneurship Center

At long last, digging has begun for the new Lubar Entrepreneurship Center.

Two pieces of heavy equipment dig up a grass-covered section of ground.
With the help of heavy equipment, workers begin digging the frozen ground Thursday for the new Lubar Entrepreneurship Center. The building, which will also house a new visitors center, is expected to open in 2019. (UWM Photo/Pete Amland)

Though a formal groundbreaking is scheduled for later, work is now underway on the new building that will house the entrepreneurship center, scheduled to open in 2019. The building, just south of the Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Center on Kenwood Boulevard, will also house a new visitors center.

The new building was made possible by a lead gift of $10 million from Marianne and Sheldon Lubar to establish the center in 2015 to support entrepreneurship. When completed, the 24,000-square-foot facility will provide space for:

  • Co-working and collaboration – allowing students, business leaders, and entrepreneurs to meet informally to share ideas in a collaborative environment
  • Flexible instruction– providing a home for “Ideas Challenge Courses” that accommodate experiential and engaged learning through entrepreneurship
  • Innovation labs and “maker” spaces – providing resources for students to experiment and to prototype products and software
  • Touchdown and launch space– providing a home for student entrepreneurs, faculty, community business partners and others to work on building new enterprises.

Other major donors who have contributed significantly to the new center include: Jerry Jendusa, a UWM alum and entrepreneur; Avi Shaked, also an alum and business entrepreneur, and his wife, Babs Waldman; and Mary and Ted Kellner through their Kelben Foundation.

“We are delighted to start work on this new building, and are deeply grateful to the Lubar Family and other donors who have made this center possible,” said UWM Chancellor Mark Mone. “A strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship is vital to the economic future of Milwaukee and Wisconsin, and this center will help us prepare the next generation of leaders.”

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