MKE Tech News
Issue 27 - January 14th, 2021
As I recorded this video on December 30th to share my reflections on 2020 and my hope for 2021, none of us could have anticipated the national events of this last week. It is in these times that I’m reminded that focusing on a better, collective future is our only option. Tech can be leveraged to drive inclusive economic prosperity and for that reason, I’m hopeful that we can create a better tomorrow.
It is up to us on how we create this prosperity. As I started as the CEO of the MKE Tech Hub Coalition in January, 2020, we collected ideas on how to expedite this progress. Our 2020 Impact Report showcases how our programs and our systematic focus on building regional capacity is starting to have impact. We’d love to have your feedback and recommendations, including how you personally can assist and encourage you to share all or components of the report to showcase Milwaukee’s commitment to growing our already strong tech ecosystem.
Finally, none of this work would be possible without our members. Thanks to your incredible support in 2020 and we welcome our newest members, Naviant and River Run, as we work to collectively build a stronger 2021.
You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube at the links here:
Coalition Updates: Progress and Calls to Action Aligned to Key Strategies
Bold Vision
Showcasing Milwaukee as a Tech Hub
Call for Entries: Nominations for the Milwaukee Business Journal 2021 Tech Awards

Are you a tech company in the seven-county Milwaukee metro? Don't forget to submit your company or a person you know for the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2021Tech Awards. These awards recognize the top work happening in technology for area firms. Any businesses and projects in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties are eligible. Enter by February 19, 2021. More information can be found on the Business Journal website.
MKE Tech Hub Coalition CEO, Kathy Henrich, Featured in Milwaukee Business Journal’s Executive Profile

Kathy Henrich was recently featured in the Milwaukee Business Journal. In the article, Kathy speaks about growing the #mketech community and its importance for regional success. Read the executive profile here.
Developing and Retaining the Next Generation of Tech Talent
To stay up to date on K-20 subcommittee priorities and progress, please check out our web page.
State Superintendent Candidates Discuss Computer Science Education in WI

Seven candidates for state superintendent joined and for a focused conversation about computer science education in Wisconsin. This webcast series is presented in partnership with the MKE Tech Hub Coalition. Get to know all of the candidates and their platforms prior to the primary on February 16th! Click here to view all of the webcasts.
The 2020 Greater MKE Hour of Code Surpassed Expectations Because of YOU!

This regional initiative originated as a way of increasing industry engagement in’s national Hour of Code™ movement which introduces coding to K-12 students in an age appropriate way. Now sponsored by the Coalition, it has since grown into a regional “experience” where corporate and non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, and community volunteers organize events, activities and outreach intended to inspire young people to think differently about their ability to prepare for, and eventually succeed in tech/tech adjacent careers. With the continued support of Newaukee, the effort logged over 9,580 hours of tech related mentorship across 99 different organizations in a single week! For the full blog postCLICK HERE
GM-STEM Landscape Analysis – Please participate!

The preliminary GM-STEM steering team (MSOE, MKE Tech Hub Coalition, Northwestern Mutual, and STEM Forward) encourages anyone interested in supporting and/or improving STEM education in the greater Milwaukee region to complete a preliminary landscape analysis as soon as possible to inform this important body of work in the coming months/years. You are encouraged to participate HERE.  
Developing new sources of talent and demonstrating the value of diversity
To stay up to date on Re/Upskilling subcommittee priorities and progress, please check out our web page.
The launch of Apprenti of Greater Milwaukee (new Registered Apprenticeship for aspiring Software Developers) is in full swing! Apprenti held a launch event for referral agencies recently. Please reach out to if you are interested in receiving a copy of the slide deck. Candidates should be directed to the Apprenti portal to register their interest in a position and take required assessments. They should select ‘Greater MKE’ as their preferred location and Software Development for their program of interest. Employer interviews will be held soon so this step is time sensitive for the first cohort starting on 3/1/21. For more information:
·      BizTimes Media Story
Reskill MKE Demonstrates a Commitment to Local Tech Talent Development

The Coalition strives to connect workers and employers to resources that will help strengthen and expand our regional tech workforce. The Coalition joined with iHeart Media and other partners to launch ReSkill MKE, an online resource center connecting people with local organizations providing jobs, training and programs that can help forge new careers. If you are a member of the Coalition, part of the Preferred Reskilling Provider Network, or the MKE K-12 Computing Alliance, you are invited to submit a blog post to support those who might visit the site (predominantly employers or those seeking training). Your blog post will be sponsored by the Coalition. Please contact for more information.  The initial campaign runs until May, 2021. Learn more
Leveraging cross-industry partnerships to accelerate start up growth and innovation
FOR-M Info

The next cycle of FOR-M Startup Incubator will start on March 8. Thank you to Katie Schober for taking the time to highlight her experience in FOR-M.

More information on registration to be coming soon, watch MKE Tech Hub Coalition LinkedIn and Twitter social media channels for more information.
Reverse Pitch High School Edition

Thanks to a suggestion from a community member and the partnership of Northwestern Mutual, Froedtert Medical/MCW, and Yes, a high school edition of Reverse Pitch will be offered. Students will have the opportunity to compete for cash prizes and internships based on their innovative solutions to corporate challenges which they will pitch on April 8. Registration to participate is open now until February 14. More information can be found here.
Coalition Members in Action
Celebrating Local Success in STEM Excellence – Help Us Congratulate the Winners!

We are proud to announce Northwestern Mutual as the 2021 Spirit of STEM Award winner for their commitment to STEM outreach. We are also excited to announce John McCarthy, GRAEF, won Engineer of the Year Award and Nicholas Bobinski, Kapur & Associates, won the Young Engineer of the Year Award. Join us at the 68th Annual Celebration of STEM (formerly Engineers Week Banquet), a virtual celebration of STEM excellence on February 17th, to celebrate all three winners' success. A special keynote presentation with Todd McLees on Living, Learning, and Working in a Transformative World will be featured. Learn more here.
Hmong American Peace Academy 4th Graders Show Their Appreciation for SHARP Literacy's Design Through Code Program

Fourth grade students and teachers have been excited to still be able to participate in the program and continue learning about learning how to create with code through Google Meets with SHARP Literacy. Several HAPA students even wrote thank you cards to express their gratitude for SHARP.
Wisconsin Startups to Watch in 2021 from Wisconsin Inno and Matt Cordio

Matt Cordio has compiled a list of 50+ WI tech startups that should be on your radar heading into 2021. Check out the full list on the Wisconsin Startup Coalition website.

Also, each year, Wisconsin Inno, a sister firm to the Milwaukee Business Journal, takes a deep dive into the early-stage businesses poised to make headlines in the year to come. Review their list of 21 startups to watch.
Digital Manufacturing Test Bed

See how Rockwell Automation products enable the Connected Systems Institute's industry 4.0 model. Watch the video to see how this state-of-the-art environment gives students the opportunity to learn fully integrated manufacturing.
Resources & Opportunities

Dev10, Genesis10’s Talent Creation Program, is excited to launch a new Data Professional technical track in the Greater Milwaukee region. This new technical track trains Dev10 Associates in the skills needed to help enterprises transform raw data into useful information and insights. Skills gained include Data Literacy, Data Analysis, Advanced Python and Data Engineering. With the support of organizations in the region that have already seen success leveraging the Dev10 Program for Java resources, the first Data Professional graduates will enter the market in Q2 of 2021. For more information contact Jennifer Turnquist at
ELITE (Engaging Leaders in Technology, Exclusively)

Rain or shine, physical or virtual, ELITE is planning for an entire year of activities for local technology leaders to engage in. ELITE, powered by nvisia, is an exclusive way for technology leaders to gather on different occasions to discuss topics that matter... and play a round of golf... and have a drink... If you're a technology leader looking to get involved, please visit our website!
American Family Sponsors FREE Hip Hop and Architecture Program in February

ATTN: To those serving middle and high school students in Milwaukee, please encourage your students to register for a fun way to engage in STEM related activities Saturdays in February. This FREE program combines Hip Hop + Coding + Architecture. For more information and/or to register:
Washington High School’s NAF Academy Volunteer Opportunity

Washington High School’s NAF Academy is looking for volunteers to work with students studying IT. NAF provides a unique opportunity for student to learn career-specific technical skills through project based learning, work-based experienced, and connecting with industry professionals. IT classes looking for volunteers include Principles of IT, Mobile App Development, Web Design, Database Design and Computer Science Principles. Current opportunities include: - Virtual company tours - One time final project feedback - Live virtual or recorded presentation on IT topics - Ongoing cumulative project support and feedback (semester long commitment) - Ongoing student mentorship For more information contact More information on NAF and Washington High School for Information Technology can be found at and
Northwestern Mutual Brings Coded Bias to Milwaukee

Northwestern Mutual’s hi, Tech team and the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute are partnering with MKE Film to offer showings of Coded Bias throughout Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March.  Premiering at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, this award-winning American documentary follows researchers and advocates - principally Joy Buolamwini, a Black female MIT computer scientist - as they explore how algorithms encode and propagate racial and gender bias. Check out the trailer HERE. High school teachers can sign their classes up HERE for free access and curriculum, and the film will be available for college students and adults to stream for reduced rates HERE starting February 1st.
Free Virtual Coding and Engineering Workshops from Gearbox Labs

Gearbox Labs is presenting free virtual coding and engineering workshops in English and Spanish starting January 19, 2021. You will explore C++ coding and engineering design using the Arduino Uno project simulator on Tinkercad. These one-hour workshops meet once a week for four weeks. Projects include building and coding light controls, displays, several sensors, and servos.
IMPACT! An NMDSI Speaker Series: Democratizing Analytics with Joel Shapiro

Join us for the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute’s next IMPACT! Speaker Series session on January 25. This free virtual session is open to the public. Register here. What is the most important ingredient to successfully democratizing analytics within an organization? How should business decision makers and data teams work best together? These are a couple of questions that Joel Shapiro, Associate Professor of Data Analytics at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, will answer in this fireside chat. Professor Shapiro is Clinical Associate Professor of Data Analytics at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is an expert on helping business leaders and organizations generate business value by building and scaling enterprise-wide analytics strategies that achieve important business goals.
WIT Wisconsin 2021

Join in for our first 2021 WIT Wisconsin event on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 7:30am for a presentation on Crafting Inclusive Teams by Dr. Shanlini Nag. Dr. Nag will educate us on how inclusion can help tap into the full potential of teams, and that barriers can be broken by shifting your perspective and elevating conversations. Register here.
Is 2021 the Year You Become a Change Leader?

Change is good, inclusion is even better! Is 2021 the year you join us as the Wisconsin Affiliate of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT-WI) continues our work to ensure a career in technology is a possibility for all young women? It is better for everyone. May 16, 2021 is the date and 2-3:30 is the time when we will honor this year’s outstanding Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Award winners and educators. Join us in this first ever virtual event to see all the excitement. Be ready to be inspired. More information and details to follow on our website.
2/17/21 HR Roundtable: Making A Case for Re-Entry Employment

As more employers take a look at their Diversity & Inclusion strategies, it is important to remember to give opportunities to qualified applicants that have criminal backgrounds. It's encouraging to see companies and trade associations representing more than 50 percent of the U.S. workforce commit to the Getting Talent Back to Work initiative which does just that. i.c.stars |* Milwaukee invites local HR & TA professionals to join us for a discussion on Wednesday, Feb 17 at 8:00 AM regarding second chance policies and the state of re-entry employment in the Metro Milwaukee area. Register here.
Tech Ecosystem
Bucks team with The Lonely Entrepreneur to help Black entrepreneurs

The Milwaukee Bucks and The Lonely Entrepreneur (TLE), a New York-based non-profit that empowers individuals with entrepreneurial skills and support, have partnered to give Black entrepreneurs free access to the knowledge, tools and the ongoing support they need to start or grow a business. Learn more about this partnership.
Madison and Milwaukee make U-Haul’s annual list of top cities for net migration

Madison and Milwaukee are both included in U-Haul’s annual “growth cities” list of the top 25 cities in the U.S. in terms of net migration for do-it-yourself movers. Growth cities are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a city versus leaving that city in a calendar year. See full list of cities.
Legal services technology company opening office in 3rd Ward

A New York City-based software company specializing in legal information and services is opening an office in Milwaukee's 3rd Ward. The Expert Institute hopes to create as many as 75 new jobs over the next three years. Read more here.
Milwaukee was ranked #13 for Most Generous Cities.
Milwaukee was recently ranked 13th among the country’s “most generous” cities for 2020. The list compared the country’s 150 largest cities across 12 key indicators of philanthropic behavior, from charitable giving to volunteering rate to the number of food banks. Read the full article or see how Milwaukee compared.
Rexnord donates $1 million to Marquette University for career development program

Rexnord Corp. donated $1 million to Marquette University to expand its career development program for business students. Marquette said the money will be used to broaden the Bridge to Business program that started with a focus on early-career engineers. Read more here
Milwaukee Bucks esports team adds Chippewa Falls firm as sponsorship partner
Bucks Gaming, the Milwaukee Bucks NBA 2K League team, is adding another Wisconsin brand to its list of sponsorship partners. The entity recently announced a two-year partnership with Chippewa Falls-based Spectrum Industries Inc., a maker of computer lab and office lab furniture. Read more here.
IBM acquires Salesforce consultancy firm 7Summits

IBM has acquired Milwaukee headquartered, Salesforce consultancy provider, 7Summits to advance the firm's Salesforce, cloud, and AI ambitions. Read more here.
Resources & Opportunities
Apply for 2021-22 Teacher Professional Development in Computer Science

Marquette University's PUMP-CS Project is now recruiting educators to join next year's computer science professional development cohorts, to begin in summer 2021. PD tracks are available for teachers of all grade levels, and all prior experience levels. Scholarships available to cover most or all of the cost for many teachers. Make sure students in your local school have access to rigorous, relevant CS curriculum -- nominate a teacher for a scholarship today.
Wisconsin Businesses Reduce Barriers to Innovation Funding with SBIR Ready Program

The WEDC supported SBIR Ready program is a unique opportunity to support small businesses to explore, prepare, and submit competitive SBIR proposals to the Department of Defense within 6 months of participation. Learn more here.
New MKE Tech Startup Ecosystem Mapping

For those in the #mketech startup ecosystem (startups and support organizations) this is a great opportunity to highlight not only organizations, but also the relationships between them. Descriptions are crowd-sourced so fill in your profile today! Thanks to Joseph Alioto for creating for our ecosystem. Link to MKE Tech Map.
UWM's Connected Systems Institute: manufacturing & IIoT

Mary Bunzel, executive director of UWM's Connected Systems Institute (CSI), will discuss the institute's first manufacturing testbed at the annual Milwaukee Engineering Research Conference on Feb. 12. CSI works with manufacturers to develop and use technology and products that manage data streaming on the IIoT, greatly increasing efficiency. Register here.
BioForward's United Against COVID-19 Event Series

The Wisconsin Biohealth Industry stepped up to the challenge of the COVID-19 Pandemic and demonstrated strength, ingenuity, and compassion in ways that helped their employees, the state, and saved lives worldwide. BioForward's new events are focused on providing answers and highlighting the great companies in Wisconsin working to end the pandemic. The first event (1/14) consists of updates from 10 Wisconsin Biohealth companies and the second (1/26) is an in-depth discussion about the COVID-19 vaccines from Phyllis Arthur, Vice President for Infectious Diseases and Diagnostics Policy at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Click the link to register!
Code for Milwaukee Hack Night on Jan. 21st feat. Maria Yuan from IssueVoter

Code for Milwaukee has featured guest Maria Yuan from speaking at our next hack night Thursday, January 21st from 6-9pm where there will also be breakout project work time and other civic tech discussions. IssueVoter has a mission of giving everyone a voice in our representative democracy by answering the question of “We voted, now what?” through sending over 3 million alerts to individuals and Congress. We hope you join!
Get Involved!
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