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WUWM’s Chuck Quirmbach reports on innovation in southeastern Wisconsin.

'Tech Bash' To Highlight Milwaukee's Growing Tech Culture

Chuck Quirmbach
Zocalo Food Park on S. 6th Street will host the Milwaukee Tech Bash on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

A "tech bash" aimed at growing Milwaukee's technology culture in a party setting will be held Tuesday night on the city's near south side. 

Milwaukee is no Silicon Valley, of course. But the region is having some success incorporating more technology into business practices and adding to the tech workforce.

Technology and business startup advocate Matt Cordio, of the firm Skills Pipeline, says Milwaukee has a history with tech, including computer files.

"The zip file was invented in Milwaukee by PKWare. Fiserv has been around for decades. Companies like Northwestern Mutual were very early to adopt technology in their life cycle. We've got great startups like Zywave, which have built, bought and sold and created a lot of wealth in the region," Cordio explains.

Zywave is now a software firm with 350 employees.

"We want to bring these technologists together in person and just really have a fun time."

Cordio says tech is also built on networking.

"Technologists have long open-sourced their software code — have long shared ideas, best practices openly and freely. We want to bring these technologists together in person and just really have a fun time," he says.  

So, Cordio and others have organized the Milwaukee Tech Bash. It's Tuesday night at Zocalo Food Park in Walker's Point. The event is free and open to anyone, though there is a charge for drinks and food.

Credit Chuck Quirmbach
Matt Cordio is with Skills Pipeline and Startup Milwaukee.

Cordio says as many as 1,000 people may attend — perhaps leading to more innovation.

"Creating those new connections, and collisions that ultimately kind of, well, you never know what happens at one of these events. Five-10 years from now, maybe somebody meets a startup co-founder, maybe somebody hires a key person for their company,” Cordio says.

He says there will also be free tech demonstrations, including of virtual reality.

Cordio predicts the future of Milwaukee will be built with technology.

Support is provided by Dr. Lawrence and Mrs. Hannah Goodman for Innovation reporting.


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Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018. He focuses his longform stories on health, innovation, science, technology, transportation, utilities and business.
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