About Us

A working group of startup company funders and founders, led by former Milwaukee County Executive and MMAC board member Chris Abele, have launched a $500,000 push to strengthen startup and entrepreneurship efforts in Milwaukee. Under the direction of the MMAC, this program offers a three-pronged approach to develop this growth-driven portion of the local economy. Through focused communication, the collection and distribution of economic data and the integration of an internationally recognized  mentorship program, this initiative aims to increase the economic impact that startup businesses have on the greater Milwaukee area – and increase awareness of these efforts.

The program offers:


Amplifying the stories of the founders and funders who make startups successful in the region by building an information platform, including the website, MKEStartUp.news. The site will include a compilation of resources for entrepreneurs.


Adding data from PitchBook, a private market data platform, and launching a public dashboard to track the success  of startup businesses in the region, supported by the Wisconsin Policy Forum.


Bringing an internationally recognized mentoring program for startups to Milwaukee in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Additionally, MMAC is working to add the expertise of startup founders and funders to its Board of Directors. We also will host informational and networking events in the future.

Tim Sheehy and Chris Abele introduce the Startup Entrepreneurship Initiative, October 12, 2021

What is a Startup Business?

All businesses are important to the Milwaukee economy. From large manufacturers to the corner store, each business plays a vital role in our city. This initiative focuses exclusively on startup businesses. These businesses are typically, but not exclusively, technology-based, and create something innovative that is not yet offered in the market. This unique product or service is typically designed to be scaled beyond a single location or geographic region.

Are small businesses excluded from this initiative?

Absolutely not! While vital small businesses, like restaurants, retail spaces, or consulting firms are not the focus of this initiative, all small business owners or prospective owners are encouraged to use resource directory to find services that match the needs of their companies, view news about this unique segment of the Milwaukee economy, and attend any of the public events hosted by the program.