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Project Milwaukee: In-depth reporting on vital issues in the region.

Project Milwaukee: Innovation - How Do We Compete?

WUWM News reporters and Lake Effect producers are working on the next installment in our Project Milwaukee series. This time, the focus will be innovation.

Some leaders believe "thinking outside of the box" is an important tool for economic growth that helps to create new products, processes and services. While Milwaukee's history is steeped in innovation, today the city ranks low in the generation of new ideas and products.

Project Milwaukee: Innovation - How Do We Compete? will examine the status of innovation here, its value and the factors that are laying the groundwork for the city's future success. We'll talk with entrepreneurs, investors, educators and others about Milwaukee's assets and challenges. And, we'll learn about some of the big ideas coming out of Milwaukee.

You can listen to news reports and Lake Effect interviews March 11-18.

On Tuesday, March 15, WUWM will host a panel discussion at the University Club. At the forum, insiders and leaders will discuss what the future holds: How can we encourage, develop and retain innovators in Milwaukee?

Panelists include:

  • Carrie Bristoll-Groll:  Bristoll-Groll is founder and principal civil engineer of Stormwater Solutions Engineering, whose specialties include flood control and comprehensive storm water management planning for state government agencies, developers and landowners. The firm uses innovative techniques in meeting and exceeding storm water regulations, and is located in the Global Water Center in Milwaukee.
  • Que El-Amin: El-Amin is co-founder of the Young Enterprising Society in Milwaukee. He presents workshops in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) to youth, introducing them to career opportunities in STEAM fields. The process is designed to encourage youth to be entrepreneurs and business owners.
  • Michael Hostad: Hostad is executive director of the Greater Milwaukee Committee's initiative, Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE), which creates programs leading to partnerships between corporations and emerging talent networks. Hostad also is co-founder of The Commons, which is an entrepreneurial skills accelerator preparing college-level students for careers in the 21st Century Innovation Economy.
  • Joe Kirgues: Kirgues is co-founder of gener8tor, an accelerator located in Milwaukee and Madison. It provides first-stage startups with seed capital, applies lean-startup principles to startup development, creates an environment for entrepreneurs to collaborate, and establishes access to later-stage capital. Its 38 portfolio startups have created more than 400 jobs.
  • Brian Thompson: Thompson is president of the UWM Research Foundation. He joined the UWM Foundation in 2006 to broaden its role in support of research and innovation, and to help launch the Research Foundation. Prior to joining the UWM Foundation, Thompson was managing director for TechStar, a Milwaukee-based organization that assists in launching high-tech companies.
  • Andrew B. Williams: Williams directs Marquette University's Humanoid Engineering & Intelligent Robotics Lab. He's a leader in broadening the participation of women and minorities in computing and STEM education. He also directs two National Science Foundation-funded projects, on the design and use of social robots in K-12 schools to teach STEM and robot programming.

Tuesday, March 15 from 8 to 9 a.m.
University Club in downtown Milwaukee
» RSVP Today

The forum is free and open to the public; however, reserving your spot is highly encouraged.

Ann-Elise is WUWM's news director.
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