Scale Up Milwaukee Graduates New Scalerator – 15 Ventures, Average New Growth Exceeds 25%
March 20, 2015 Scale Up Milwaukee celebrated regional economic growth with a full-house graduation event of the 15 graduating ventures from the second Scalerator program. The finale featured the graduates from the first Scalerator program, as well as a plethora of VIP supporters, including Mayor Tom Barrett, Barry Mandel, David Lubar, and many others. Unlike other graduation luncheons, this one did not celebrate only the 15 companies who participated in the program; it honored all the actors in the entrepreneurship ecosystem who have positively impacted the growth of the region including large corporations, regional banks, the city, county and state governments, and the region’s universities. John Robinson of the Kauffman Foundation also attended. Many of the nearly 100 participants remarked that having such a broad spectrum of leaders from different sectors gave them a new appreciation of the roles that each played in fostering a much stronger entrepreneurship ecosystem that supports rapid growth of ventures of all sizes and ages.
The Scalerator is a six month intensive training program taught by Babson faculty for Milwaukee area businesses in the $1-$10 million range, which are poised for rapid growth. This Scalerator cohort, comprising 15 companies with annual revenues totaling nearly $38,000,000, plan to hire more than 150 new employees this year, anticipate an average growth rate of nearly 50% over the next year.
Many supporters spoke out about how Scale Up Milwaukee has spurred their growth. The finale featured presentations from three Scalerator participants, Brilliance Business Solutions, Scathain, and Telcom & Data, each of whom announced new business contracts as part of their expansion, including new exports. It also included messages of support from prominent community members, such as Mayor Tom Barrett, Park Bank president and Scale Up Milwaukee steering council co-chair, David Werner, who spoke about his involvement in the program and the unique opportunity banks and business owners have to grow the region.
The venue was booked to capacity. Panelists included:
Wendy Baumann, President WWBIC
David Lubar, President Lubar & Co.
Barry Mandel, President Mandel Group
Rich Meeusen, CEO Badger Meter
Lee Swindall, VP of Industry and Business Development WEDC
Wyman Winston, Executive Director WHEDA