Entrepreneurship

Paul Wellington and Rick Banks, creators of the MKE Black app, stand before art of Africa on display at the Sherman Phoenix.
Olivia Richardson

A new app in Milwaukee — called MKE Black — is promoting black-owned and operated businesses.

Co-creators Paul Wellington and Rick Banks say they wanted to make it easier to find black businesses as well as make people think a little bit harder about where they spend their money.

Bonnie North

On East Burleigh Street in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood there’s a set of low cream-colored buildings with red awnings. The Florentine Opera makes its home there, but we’re not visiting the opera today. We’re meeting the opera’s landlords, Mario and Cathy Costantini. They’re the owners of La Lune Collection — a rustic, eco-friendly furniture company they founded 40 years ago when they were both 23 and had just graduated from Marquette University.  

Repurposed wood creates an American flag right at the entrance of Green Up Solutions.
Olivia Richardson

Updated Tuesday at 1 p.m. CT

For people who've served in the military, they say getting back into the swing of civilian life can be difficult. That's because the military trains members to be supportive and solutions-oriented, which is not always the case in civilian life. But some veterans are starting businesses as a means of working for purpose rather than money.

How Justin Beck Built A Mobile Game Studio That Partners With Disney

Oct 28, 2019
Courtesy of Justin Beck

When Google and Microsoft came calling with the type of jobs many young computer engineering graduates look for, Justin Beck turned them down. The 2009 graduate of UW-Madison wanted to stay in town and build the gaming studio PerBlue, which he started with his business partner, Andrew Hansen.

Tierney / stock.adobe.com

A native of Bombay, India, Jignesh Patel never touched a computer until he went to college. But he knew that computer science was an exciting area where a lot was happening, so he chose it as his major.

Chuck Quirmbach

Technology leaders in the upper Midwest say they have common problems trying to compete financially with tech hubs like Silicon Valley. But the Midwest advocates also say things are getting better in the region.

Milwaukee-area entrepreneurs often talk about local investors being cautious and perhaps conservative.  But Julia Kanouse, of the Illinois Tech Association, says it's actually the Midwest region that doesn't do as well as Silicon Valley in California and Austin, Texas. 

Angelina Mosher Salazar

Gov. Tony Evers has been making a series of stops around the state, focusing on topics that were part of his campaign. Monday he was in Milwaukee, where he talked up workforce development and entrepreneurship. The governor's first stop was at the Wisconsin Regional Training Program/Bigstep organization located on 38th Street and Wisconsin Avenue.