MKE Tech News
Issue 31 - May 14th, 2021
The MKE Tech Hub Coalition is committed to being a data driven organization: measuring the current tech ecosystem, understanding our gaps to create action plans, and measuring the results.

Over the last month, we’ve seen several pieces of data released which provide insight on the MKE Tech Ecosystem. Last month, we highlighted the CompTIA report. This month, we’re excited to release a regional dashboard called MKE Tech Pulse. This dashboard creates visibility and transparency into our current state and measures progress against our goals. We also want to provide context as combined data points help us understand root causes and wholistic value propositions that enable us to take the next best action. Take a look at the new MKE Tech Pulse dashboard.

Finally, this initial version is a platform on which to build. If you are aware of additional open data sources that you think contain critical data on our tech and startup ecosystem, feel free to send a note to

--Kathy Henrich
Coalition Updates
Membership Updates
We are so excited to continue to grow the membership in the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition.  In the last month, Froedtert (Silver), Deloitte (Bronze), HPS, and Marquette University have joined the Coalition.
Membership is important not only for financial reasons, but also to continue to grow the collective impact. Therefore, we’d love to receive input from those who have not yet joined us in the mission to inclusively double tech talent to drive enduring economic prosperity and create life changing jobs. Please provide input via our survey.
Finally, we regularly hear from our members that learning from one another is a key value proposition of the MKE Tech Hub Coalition as we work to collectively attract, develop, and retain tech talent. Please hold the date for the next member meeting on June 10 at 10 AM. A more detailed note with registration information will be sent to members in the next week.
Bold Vision
Showcasing Milwaukee as a Tech Hub
The battle for tech talent is heating up. Milwaukee is among the hotspots. (Read More)
Milwaukee tops the list of midmarket metro hotspots with the highest growth in tech job posting in the first quarter. Just one more sign that Milwaukee is a rising star for Tech with organizations investing in their future! As the overall national demand for tech talent rises, we will need to continue to recruit individuals to this region, while also building the tech skills needed in our existing talent base.
Powderkeg UnValley event next week: Grab a Ticket and Claim your Company Profile
We are excited to work with the Powderkeg team as a partner of Unvalley 2021 May 19-20 for a don’t miss tech conference] (, which includes Kathy Henrich in the lineup. You can connect with startups, tech leaders and learn about the newest and coolest technologies. With a large tech talent audience, it’s also an opportunity to claim a free company profile to showcase your organization’s employer brand and career opportunities. Help us showcase Milwaukee as a tech hub - (get started today).
MMAC Take 10 Interview with Kathy Henrich (Listen In)
Kathy Henrich recently chatted with Chris Jenkins for the MMAC’s Take 10 interview series. Listen in as they talk about the Coalition and the work being done to inclusively double tech talent in the region. 
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.
FINAL CALL - Student Applications and Mentor Registrations

The MKE Tech Talent Accelerator is designed to advance early tech talent through connected experiences for college students, educators, and employers. THANK YOU to the planning team as well as all of our program partners.
  • College Pre-Internship: Ethics and Impact of Data and AI.  Students will meet virtually on Wednesdays throughout the summer.  While all students are eligible to apply, priority is being given to students from underrepresented groups and/or who have a qualified referral.  
  • Mentorship Opportunity: Professionals who would like to mentor a small group of students are invited to register HERE. An informational meeting will be held from 12-1 on 6/2/21.   
  • Save the date: Registration for the Educator In-Service (July 8th) and Tech Career Expo (9/14)
Registration OPEN for CS K12 teachers to participate in Deep Learning Workshop – 7/15/2021 
MSOE and Nvidia is partnering with the Coalition to offer CS K12 educators free participation in the Nvidia workshop: Fundamentals of Deep Learning (normally $500). Educators will explore deep learning models including computer vision, transfer learning, and natural language processing. This 7 hour hands-on workshop requires prerequisite knowledge in basic python programming. This workshop will be held on 7/15/2021 from 9AM – 4PM in person at MSOE’s Diercks Hall or fully online. Lunch and parking covered. Register by sending an email from .edu address to CS program director Dr. Riley via
  • “Early Talent” Community of Practice Formed This new community of practice will advance employer practices in hiring, retaining, and developing early talent to address projected shortfalls across high demand skill areas identified by Coalition workforce data. Please contact Marie E. Olmsted at if you are interested in getting involved.

  • GM-STEM Ecosystem News: Those who participated in the landscape analysis should have received an invite to the “Share Out” Event on 5/18/21. If you have not, please request a registration form via
Developing new sources of talent while demonstrating a value for diversity and upward mobility
To stay up to date on Re/Upskilling subcommittee priorities & progress, please check out our web page.
Employer Champion Network Launches in May 
Workforce projections nation-wide indicate that we will be unable to address the projected shortfall in talent supply without leveraging non-traditional talent sources. This was the reason for the development of the Preferred Reskilling Provider Network’ and the launch of Tech Apprenticeships in SE WI in 2020. The Employer Consortium is comprised of employers who are already, or plan to, hire from non-traditional talent sources in 2021 or 2022. These leaders will confirm requirements, evaluation criteria, metrics and perceived barriers so that we can grow capacity in a manner that meets member employer needs. Thank you to the member organizations who have already stepped forward to engage in this important work. If you are interested in having your organization involved in future, please contact
Members Receive Priority for Incentive Funding through 6/31/21
The Coalition secured a state grant to support employers who sponsor a tech apprentice to train for a role as a software analyst or software developer. This workforce strategy can help diversify your workforce and leverage more seasoned talent than might otherwise be available. Average age of a tech apprentice is 32 years old. Please contact if you are interested in more info. The next cohort will be announced next month!
Leveraging cross-industry partnerships to accelerate start up growth and innovation
Reverse Pitch 2021: Information Session for Challenge Sponsors, May 25 at 11 AM
Is Reverse Pitch the right process to drive innovation in your organization? MKE Tech Hub Coalition, Northwestern Mutual and Froedtert would like to invite you to learn more about the Reverse Pitch process. With changes being made in 2021, it is easier than ever to leverage this pre-existing program to drive external innovation, enhance your talent brand, and improve employee engagement!
2021 Reverse Pitch High school update (Learn More)
On April 8, six high school teams and two middle school teams pitched creative business ideas to solve the 2020 Reverse Pitch challenges from Froedtert & MCW Health Network and Northwestern Mutual. However, the story didn’t start or end there! Students had the opportunity to continue their learning through Northwestern Mutual Summer internships, MKE Tech Hub Coalition’s pre-internship program on data/AI, or the Commons Career Accelerator Program. Two of the teams are also now finalists in the State of WI Yes! Governor’s Business Plan contest.
FOR-M Founder Night, May 17 including FOR-M Grant Awards (Register Today!)
Our FOR-M Spring Cohort is wrapping up! Join us Monday, May 17th for the Founder’s Showcase where these new tech startup founders share their ideas and projects. At the event, we will also be unveiling our grant winners. Don’t miss this chance to be a part of the exciting things happening in the startup ecosystem.
FOR-M Startup Basics: User Experience, May 24 at 4:30 pm (Sign Up Now)
Thank you to BrewUX for leading this discussion. This is open to everyone in Milwaukee’s tech ecosystem regardless of affiliation to FOR-M.
Coalition Members in Action
Meet the Inaugural Cohort for the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator 
Five companies — including Milwaukee-based Tip a ScRxipt — have been chosen to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator. Northwestern Mutual is running the program in partnership with gener8tor — a nationally ranked, Wisconsin-based startup accelerator and venture fund. Each participating company is receiving a $100,000 investment, office space in Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Labs, and mentorship from Northwestern Mutual and gener8tor. Read more
Congratulations to the MKE Tech Hub Coalition members who were selected by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as Top Workplaces in 2021 including:  Advocate Aurora Health. Concurrency, Godfrey and Kahn, Johnson Financial Group, River Run Computers, and West Bend Mutual. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey which uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection. Strong work cultures are important to retaining top tech talent. 
MARS Solutions Group CEO and Founder Brings MARS to Earth
MARS Solutions Group CEO and Founder, Rashi Arora Khosla, is one of the authors of the book "Business Success Secrets: Entrepreneurial Thinking That Works". Rashi outlines her entrepreneurial journey, and how she brought MARS to earth. You can find the book on Amazon.
Local Students Compete in Contrapt Wisconsin
On Friday, May 7, 2021, STEM Forward hosted Contrapt Wisconsin Competition for middle school students. The competition was held live virtually, and this year’s challenge was “Turn on a Light in 8 or More Steps!”. Contrapt. STEM Forward’s engaging middle school contraption competition to expose students to STEM. A contraption accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated, fun way possible. Building one can be challenging, but it allows students to work on skills involving engineering, simple machines, trial and error, project planning, physics, teamwork, and creativity. Learn more about this program and see the winners.
Resources & Opportunities
Employer survey to inform Veteran Tech Talent initiatives
In advance of "Veterans in Tech" month in June, Wisconsin Veteran Chamber of Commerce is asking for our partners to help us assess the state of Wisconsin's tech community and its veteran/military engagement. Please participate in the survey that will provide us with an initial assessment of how we can best engage with veterans, service members, and their families. Wisconsin is facing a critical shortage of tech talent which veterans and service members can fill. Your participation and feedback can help inform our approach to these important issues.
Talent for Hire from i.c.stars (see full list)
The participants from i.c.stars' 7th cohort will graduate on Thursday, May 20, 2021. If you are an employer looking to fill your open early career reqs with diverse, resilient, future technology leaders, look no further! View the May 2021 Graduate Skills Profile to 'meet' the i.c.stars graduates and contact [Leia Ferrari] ( for more information.

Join the i.c.stars for a discussion on tech + insurance + equity this coming Tuesday, May 18th, 8:00am-9:30am. Listen to a panel of experts discuss emerging trends in insurance, as well as key initiatives around the topic of equity in the insurance industry. You’ll have the chance to interact in breakout rooms to further engage in the subject and network with technology & insurance executives. Additionally, you’ll hear from Cycle 7 program interns on their website build for Project Sponsor Molson Coors.
Milwaukee Software Improvement Network (SPIN) event on May 19 at 5:30 pm

During SPIN’s 16th Annual Night with Executives, four regional executives will share their insights and knowledge. Join as Terry Rowinski, President of Health Payment Systems, moderates a panel with:
  • Holly Baumgart, Vice President of Strategy at Sargento Foods, Inc
  • Kathy Henrich, CEO of the MKE Tech Hub Coalition
  • Brian Melter, Chief Experience Officer at Landmark Credit Union
  • Creamheld Pepito, Chief Technology Officer at Tuft and Needle

Marquette University Shares CISA Cyber Essentials for Small Business

The National Cybersecurity Alliance is sponsored through DHS/CISA with a focus on advice to small business and individuals on implementing organizational cybersecurity practices. Check out their Cybersecurity Essentials program "Do your part be #CyberSmart"

NCWIT-WI Wisconsin Affiliate wants to remind you of our Wisconsin 2021 Aspirations in Computing Virtual Awards event on Sunday May 16, 2021 from 2-3:30pm. We hope you can join us as we celebrate our 127 WI 2021 Honorees and 3 of their inspiring educators. Holly Baumgart, VP of Information Technology, Sargento Foods, and Bridget Quinn, Regional Affiliate Manager, NCWIT will be our keynote speakers. Register here.
NRC Virtual Event: Bridging the Gap Between Business and IT

 The next installment of New Resources Consulting’s Educate and Connect virtual series will be held Thursday, May 27th from noon to 1:00 pm CDT. Jody McDonough, VP of Information & Technology / CIO of Sub-Zero Group will explore new ways to work with IT as a business partner and how to conduct business with and through technology. This presentation is a great fit for IT Managers, Directors, VPs, and C-Level individuals who drive IT initiatives across an organization. Register here.

Makers of all kinds are being celebrated this year and we're celebrating the return of Makers Faire! Gearbox Labs is co-hosting Makers Faire Sheboygan on June 19th. Watch for upcoming newsletters for Makers Faire Milwaukee, with information about a Coalition space.
Tech Ecosystem
MKE Tech Hub Coalition |