By Matt Cordio Special to OnMilwaukee Published Nov 03, 2017 at 4:01 PM

Milwaukee Startup Week returns next week, running Nov. 6-12. Throughout Milwaukee Startup Week, Startup Milwaukee aims to connect, educate and celebrate entrepreneurs around Southeast Wisconsin. 

This year's event will be packed with more than 50 networking events, workshops, hackathons and pitch competitions – more than double the amount of activity that occurred last year. Much of that increase is due to the hard work of our 40-plus community partners who are producing events during the week. Organizations such as NEWaukee, Concordia University Wisconsin, gener8tor, Marquette University, devCodeCamp, Husch Blackwell, UWM, RokkinCat, BioForward and HealthTech MKE are heavily involved in making the week a success. 

This year, we also have seen an increase in corporate engagement in Milwaukee Startup Week and the startup community in general. Northwestern Mutual, our presenting sponsor, is kicking-off its Reverse Pitch MKE program which aims to seed early stage ventures in Milwaukee that solve challenges faced by the various parts of their business. Aurora Health Care, another key sponsor, will pull back the curtain on how it formed a partnership with EmOpti, a local startup, that has helped radically increase efficiency of its emergency rooms around the state of Wisconsin. 

With the plethora of events to choose, the folks at OnMilwaukee have asked me to highlight some of the events that you should put on your calendar next week. Here are 11 Milwaukee Startup Week events that I feel are worthy of your time and attention.

1. IGNITION: Aurora Health Care + EmOpti

  • Nov. 9, 6-8 p.m., PKWARE

Join us for the first-ever Startup Milwaukee IGNITION event that will focus on the story behind how Aurora Health Care's innovation team led by Michael Rodgers, Director of Strategic Innovation, played a critical role in the development of EmOpti, a Milwaukee startup focused on optimizing acute care. Just this week, Aurora also announced they would be establishing a $5 million fund to invest in local startups called InvestMKE which is also led by Rodgers. 

2. Changing our Community Through Entrepreneurship & Innovation

  • Nov. 7, 12-1:30 p.m., Concordia University Wisconsin - Midtown Milwaukee Campus
Join Jay Mason, Chauntel Mckenzie and Marlena Ward-Dodds as these entrepreneurs, marketing strategists and innovators who are changing Milwaukee discuss their powerful life lessons and practical advice.

3. Startup Milwaukee: Launch Conference

  • Nov. 9, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Ward 4

While launching a startup is tough, it is easier if you know where to turn for advice. Startup Milwaukee’s Launch Conference, held during Milwaukee Startup Week, will make it a bit easier by connecting you to resources you need to launch your company. Join us on Nov. 9 for this free event!

4. Startup Milwaukee Emerge: State of Southeast Wisconsin's Startup Community

  • Nov. 8, 8-10 a.m., Northwestern Mutual Tower

This Emerge event will focus on the state of Wisconsin's Startup Community. We have leaders from startups, established tech companies, venture capital and economic development to paint a picture of where Milwaukee is and where we are headed.

5. Startup Milwaukee Happy Hour

  • Nov. 10, 5-9 p.m., Penrod & Digital Measures

Hear from the founders of Milwaukee's fastest growing tech startups including Joseph Taylor of Penrod Software, Matt Bartel of Digital Measures, Jalem Getz of Wantable, Dom Anzalone of Rent College Pads and Kyle Weatherly of Vliet Street Capital. The event will start at Penrod and end at Digital Measures. 

6. Newaukee Speaker Crawl

  • Nov. 8, 6-8 p.m., University Club of Milwaukee

NEWaukee’s Speaker Crawl is an interactive professional development program that simultaneously features numerous speakers and a cultural institution to a young professional audience. The participants never sit during the presentations as they traverse the program exhibitions to hear from the diverse lineup of speakers. The Speaker Crawl is social in nature while it also imparts a wide array of information about the important issues facing our city as well as tips for personal and professional growth.

7. Healthtech MKE Launch Event

  • Nov. 7, 5-7 p.m., Zimmerman Studio

PICO's Southeast Wisconsin Bionet Event Series returns for an evening of networking, discussion and refreshments as we officially launch Milwaukee's first organization dedicated to supporting the healthcare technology industry, Healthtech MKE!

8. Innovation in Retail: the Sendik's Story

  • Nov. 7, 12-1:30 p.m., Concordia University Wisconsin - Miller Parkway Campus

Listen to Ted Balistreri, co-owner of Sendik's Food Markets – the ones with the red bags – discuss the ideas behind Sendik's recent innovations. Have you heard about their Online Grocery Service, Grind2Energy and Fresh2Go initiatives? 

9. Startup Milwaukee Showcase Presented by Husch Blackwell

  • Nov. 7, 5:30-8 p.m., City Lights Brewing

Startup Milwaukee's next Showcase event, presented by Husch Blackwell, is gearing up to be the best yet! Startup Milwaukee Showcase is like an expo for startups – with beer. There are no formal presentations, just local entrepreneurs demonstrating their products and services in an approachable setting.

10. Milwaukee Blockchain Conference

  • Nov. 9, 8 a.m.-12 p.m., Marquette University

Blockchain. It’s a word that can be seen everywhere from the pages of business magazines to the websites of global professional services and tech companies. What began as the technical undergirding of the anonymous cryptocurrency Bitcoin is now poised to revolutionize life as we know it by enabling the sharing of immutable contracts and records via trustless, transparent systems that remove middle men. The nascent Blockchain has the potential to disrupt nearly every industry and could change the future of jobs globally for generations to come. Join us as we bring together the area’s Blockchain thought leaders for a morning of exploration on this fascinating disruptive technology.

11. Disrupt MKE 1.0

  • Nov. 9, 5-9 p.m., Best Place at Pabst

Experience a night of thought-provoking talks from experts and professionals who want to share their ideas on how we can move our talent thinking forward. It's a fast-paced event experience with a unique format: Each speaker has five minutes and 20 slides rotating at 15 seconds each to blow your mind! Part entertainment and part education, it's a not-to-be-missed event.

For the complete line-up of Milwaukee Startup Week which runs Nov. 6-12, visit our website

Matt Cordio is co-founder and lead organizer of Milwaukee Startup Week and the Wisconsin Startup Week initiative. Cordio is also co-founder and president of Startup Milwaukee & Skills Pipeline Group.

Matt Cordio Special to OnMilwaukee

Matt Cordio is co-founder and CEO of Startup Milwaukee, which is organizing the inaugural Milwaukee Startup Week event. Startup Milwaukee’s mission is to build and network Southeast Wisconsin’s startup community. Cordio is also co-founder of Skills Pipeline, a firm that helps growth-focused companies attract top technology talent.