The moment for cities like Milwaukee is right now

By Kathleen Gallagher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee skylineIt has been well-established by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and others that Wisconsin lags in business start-up activity.

Now a conversation has started in Milwaukee to figure out what to do about it.

“There are some serious issues that need to be addressed. There’s a lot of work to be done,” said Colin Tomkins-Bergh, a Madison-based research analyst for the Kauffman Foundation.

Tomkins-Bergh presented Kauffman’s research into start-up activity and growth entrepreneurship during a Milwaukee Startup Week session Wednesday morning.

Wisconsin has for each of the past two years ranked last in the nation for start-up activity, which measures all companies that have been started, Tomkins-Bergh said.

The state fares better in Kauffman’s growth entrepreneurship ranking, which focuses more on the density of high-growth companies, he said. Wisconsin ranked 23rd among all 50 states in 2016, compared with 20th in 2015, he said.

There has been a steady increase in the number of companies being funded in the state, said Bram Daelemans, director of the Wisconsin Angel Network. Nearly 70% of the companies in the state funded so far this year are based in Madison, with another 16% in Milwaukee, he said. Read more …

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