Halfway through my stay in Milwaukee, I can’t believe how intense an experience this has been. On my very first day, I was part of an interesting event at the University Club, the Greater Milwaukee Committee Annual Membership Meeting. I have more than 50 new contacts in the city and was invited to speak at a fundraising event for kids going to Denmark to study. I have been at a meeting with the executive officer at the Bucks headquarters and even had my picture in the Milwaukee Business Journal with a bunch of extremely nice people. Within five days I have been running by the lake at 0 degrees with my ears freezing off and at 50 degrees in a t-shirt looking forward for spring to come. Two weeks in Milwaukee have gone by, and I already feel fully integrated. 🙂
So what have I noticed so far? First of all, what Scale Up Milwaukee does well is to not only talk about an entrepreneurial ecosystem, but to actively take part in it. Second, the Scalerator program invites only the best of the best to teach the companies new skills. And third, the companies I have met are extremely open to new input and are always ready to pay back to the community to help others. All three things are very important in respect to a long time goal of building a scale up culture in Milwaukee.
I have also had the chance to interview 11 of the 18 companies in the Scalerator program and have asked them the following for questions:
- How would you describe an entrepreneurial ecosystem in your own words?
- What has been the best experience in the Scalerator program so far – and why?
- If you had to choose between one of the following three, that had the greatest impact on you, which one would it be?
- – Scalerator has improved my business skills
- – Scalerator has improved my ability to prioritize between tasks
- – Scalerator has changed my mindset towards more growth
- If you had to double your revenue the next 24 months and you could wish for one thing to help you in doing that, and you could wish for anything at all. What would it be – and why?
You are all very welcome to my late afternoon event next thursday, where I will present my results and where I will give you my opinion between the differences and overlaps between Copenhagen, Denmark and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.