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Corporate Engagement Forum

2014-07-17 18.14.06 Corporate Engagement Workshop – Using Entrepreneurship to Strengthen Corporate Global Competitiveness.
One aspect of an entrepreneurship ecosystem is access to markets – in order for growth entrepreneurship to flourish, entrepreneurs need access to customers and marketing partners, particularly big ones.  Did you know that the Milwaukee region is home to dozens of publicly traded corporations? Surprisingly, at least to us, the top 35 of these have a combined market value of over $150 billion ($50 billion of market value was created in the last year)! Scale Up Milwaukee conducted a workshop with eight of the largest of these companies to help them explore how they might increasingly engage with entrepreneurs to enhance their own global competitiveness, whether via strengthening innovation, supply chains, access to talent, business development, or access and deployment of intellectual property. The workshop was attended by the CEO’s and C-level executives from eight of the regional publicly traded companies:

  • A. O. Smith
  • Badger Meter
  • Briggs & Stratton
  • Harley Davidson Motor Co.
  • Journal Communications
  • ManpowerGroup
  • Rockwell Automation
  • Strattec Security

Dan Isenberg kicked off the discussion with a case study on how an energy company in Scandinavia engages with entrepreneurs, followed by presentations and discussion drawing on the extensive experience of the participants. Some of the key themes discussed were the need to align a corporation’s “entrepreneurship strategy” with its corporate strategy, the costs and benefits of diversification through partnerships and acquisitions, and the organizational and cultural challenges. The workshop concluded with a discussion about actionable next steps to continue this engagement. Stay tuned for announcements about follow up events around corporate engagement in the Milwaukee region!