By Anna Lardinois
Cupid’s arrows are flying through the air and heart-shaped chocolates are on desks across the nation. Now is the perfect time to show some love to the Milwaukee startup community.
Startups are essential to a growing economy and need your support. A city with a robust startup business community is a healthy city. New companies are the leaders in job creation, and the creation of high growth startup businesses will mean more jobs for Milwaukeeans. These innovative new companies will attract skilled talent into the city, increasing the tax base, and creating new customers for businesses in all sectors. When a startup business succeeds, the whole community benefits.
Below are a few ways to love your local startups, on Valentine’s Day and every day:
Invest in the Future
Many think only the ultra-wealthy can invest in startup companies. That is no longer the case. Investors who are not accredited can invest in startups through a variety of equity crowdfunding platforms, like WeFunder, StartEngine and others.
Spread the Word
If there is a startup company you are excited about, help them amplify their message. Like, share, and comment their social media posts. Interacting online with a company on the rise will help stretch their limited marketing budget.
Take the Leap
Are you in the position to join a startup’s pilot program or be a beta tester? Consider taking that leap to test a new product. Serial entrepreneur and CEO of Pythonic Corporation Matt Younkle said, “folks in a community can help entrepreneurs (by trying) the products. If it’s a product in their industry, or if it’s a consumer product, if it’s something that they might want to use, just give it a try, and provide the feedback. Just getting those initial users and that feedback, the faster that (development cycle) can happen. The faster that cycle can happen, the better we can be.”
Buy the product
Startups need customers. If the emerging company has a product on the market, consider buying it. This can be as easy as throwing a box of Twi-Pod in your cart at the grocery store or opting for a hellowater when you pop into a gas station to grab a soda. Your purchase not only helps your favorite startups bottom line, but it also shows demand for the product, which will make it easier for the startup expand their footprint in the market.
If the startup doesn’t have a consumer product, download their app, or give them the opportunity to pitch their b2b product to your company. Even the small consumer actions can positively impact a startup.