Nine Milwaukee startups to watch

By Jim Dallke, ChicagoInnomobcraft_web

Milwaukee has a rich history of entrepreneurship, with corporations like Harley Davidson, Kohl’s and Miller all carrying a founder’s name who turned a business from a paper napkin idea into a massive multi-national company.

But in 2016, as the tech boom is taking place all across the country, Milwaukee’s nascent startup scene has largely flown under the radar. However, that’s not to say there aren’t fast-growing, disruptive tech companies working to put Milwaukee’s startup ecosystem on the map. Here are nine to watch:

1. Wantable

Founded by serial Milwaukee entrepreneur Jalem Getz, who previously founded BuySeasons, the largest online costume retailer in the US, Wantable is a subscription box startup for women, delivering an assortment of makeup, fashion accessories and apparel. The startup has raised more than $4 million since it launched in 2012, and now employs more than 70 people.

2. Bright Cellars

Bright Cellars, a startup founded in Boston by two MIT grads, moved to Milwaukee last year after being accepted into the Gener8tor accelerator program. Bright Cellars is a subscription wine delivery startup that uses a quiz to understand a user’s wine preferences, and ships four bottles of wine to them a month. Users then rate each wine they receive, and Bright Cellars’ algorithm gets smarter over time to send brands users are most likely to enjoy. After launching in 2014 the company now has over 15,000 members and has raised$2 million.

3. Scanalytics

Scanalytics creates floor sensors that help retail stores and event spaces analyze foot traffic to help measure performance at brick-and-mortar locations. The startup helps brands measure their conversion rates and how many window shoppers it turns into actual customers. The startup, which built its prototype using a Dance Dance Revolution mat, has been used at events like Mobile World Congress, the National Retail Federation and Madison’s Bratwurst Festival. The four-year-old startup has raised $2 million.

4. Lumanu

Born in San Fransisco, influencer marketing startup Lumanu recently announced it would be relocating permanently to Milwaukee after finishing Gener8tor’s 2016 accelerator program. Lumanu helps businesses automatically identify and engage with influencers, like bloggers, who are paid to promote content. The startup was founded by former Googler Tony Tran in January 2016. Read more …

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